VIDEO: ‘Port Encouragement March’: 50+ walk from Junction to T-5

3:23 PM: This rally was just the start, promised speakers at the rally that wrapped up today’s “Port Encouragement March” about an hour ago, with more than 50 people walking from Walk-All-Ways in The Junction to the 5-way intersection by Terminal 5, west of the low bridge, in hopes of “encouraging” the Port of Seattle to cancel the T-5 interim lease that will bring Shell Arctic-drilling equipment here.

Encouragement March almost to 35th and Alaska. #westseattle

A video posted by West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) on

The march was peaceful and relatively low-key – several speakers and a song at the end; walking along from The Triangle to the end of the route, we noted lots of sign waving along the way, some horn-honking from passing motorists, one bicyclist telling the marchers “thank you.”
Seattle Police officers on bicycles accompanied the march, which stayed on sidewalks/trails throughout.

ADDED 4:37 PM: Here’s how it unfolded: Participants gathered at Walk All Ways in The Junction, including the Raging Grannies:

Today’s march segued from a standing monthly rally to encourage people to take action against climate. Marchers headed east on Alaska – along the way, American Legion Post 160 in The Triangle offered a “hydration station”:

Staying on sidewalks and trails along the way, the group headed down 35th to Avalon:

On Avalon, the police bicycle escorts blocked traffic at the Genesee stoplight for an extra few moments so everyone could cross safely:

Turning onto the Alki Trail under/alongside the west end of the West Seattle Bridge, the marchers were urged to stay single-file so bicyclists could get past them. Those with signs held them high to catch the eyes of drivers heading westbound on Spokane:

Rather than going all the way to the gates of Terminal 5, the group stopped by the 5-way intersection west of the low bridge and listened to a few short speeches before the rally ended.

Organizer Stu Hennessey, a longtime West Seattle community advocate, said he felt “betrayed” by the Port’s decision:

Speaking second, Zarna Joshi of Rising Tide, who said there is more at stake than people realize:

She criticized Port Commissioner Tom Albro for telling her he wouldn’t take action to try to cancel the lease, even though he personally opposes Arctic drilling. (At the last Port Commission, as we reported in as-it-happened coverage, both Albro and Courtney Gregoire, the other anti-drilling commissioner, had said they won’t take action to try to cancel it.) Organizers of today’s march included the Green Party of Seattle and Greenpeace, which also provided a speaker:

She said another rally is being planned for April 26th, after the expected arrival of Shell equipment including the drilling platform Polar Pioneer, now in the North Pacific and being trailed by a Greenpeace boat. No counter-protesters showed up today, but supporters of the 2-year lease for Foss to use a third of T-5 say it will provide hundreds of jobs and that it’s better to have a company like Foss, which has a good environmental record, handling this work, than someone else.

29 Replies to "VIDEO: 'Port Encouragement March': 50+ walk from Junction to T-5"

  • ho hum April 5, 2015 (5:28 pm)

    Only 50 marchers? Ho hum. Doesn’t seem as if it even warrants a mention on regional or citywide news.
    I was actually thinking it would be interesting for longshoremen to have a counter-protest in support of waterfront jobs. No such luck.
    Nice touch by the American Legion to offer water breaks, even if only a few blocks from the start. Nice move, guys.

    • WSB April 5, 2015 (5:45 pm)

      No counter-protesters seen. Didn’t hear any insults shouted out of car windows, either. Very calm all around.

  • wetone April 5, 2015 (7:24 pm)

    Curious if this was a permitted rally/march ? as there was police bicycle escorts involved and blocked traffic for marchers. Were bicycle officers that covered protest on overtime pay. Just wanting to know how and where our tax dollars are being spent. I see no problem if protesters are paying for services they use and don’t disrupt others.

  • Lisa Muller April 5, 2015 (7:24 pm)

    Is there a central group organizing these? I am wondering how to get more information about future marches and actions, thanks!
    PS I think there may have been more people if it was advertised more

    • WSB April 5, 2015 (8:33 pm)

      Lisa – having covered more than a few rallies/marches/etc. in my day, I was actually surprised to see this many show up on short notice in the middle of a holiday Sunday. It was first announced on Monday and then re-announced Thursday. We published two advance stories about it and a reminder this morning, and we weren’t the only media outlet contacted, as I saw others there, including two TV photographers. The URL on the big banners, – while I’ve seen the “Shell No” slogan at a few events we’ve covered related to this, most notably the port commission meetings, I believe the website is new, and I would guess that’s one way to plug into future events. The organizers were listed as Green Party of Seattle, supported by Greenpeace,, and West Seattle Meaningful Movies.
      Wet, I don’t know whether a permit was sought but one was not needed, per the city rally/march rules. This was not on a city street, it traveled down sidewalks and the pedestrian trail. Everyone also waited for the light to cross. At Genesee, the bike police chose to hold the traffic for an extra few minutes beyond the light to get people across – that was their choice and absolutely not required. I was surprised to see the police there at all but SPD seems to monitor the media and show up for rallies/marches of all kinds. If you have a problem with them having done that, I’m sure you can file a complaint. – TR

  • Eileen April 5, 2015 (9:29 pm)

    I’m also really impressed so many were able to attend today considering the holiday. I wished I were able to go as well. It’s great to see people committed to this cause organize and get out there for what they believe is important.

  • Lacey April 5, 2015 (9:38 pm)

    Can anyone explain to me exactly what jobs will be created by this thing sitting in the port? They’re saying “hundreds” of jobs will be created…?

  • themightyrabbit April 5, 2015 (10:03 pm)

    No thanks to this group. I had to instead of riding safely along the bike path back to Avalon, instead take the road by bike and deal with fast moving car traffic.

  • Playing Nice April 5, 2015 (10:21 pm)

    Lacey, according to the ST article below, it’s not just storing the vessels but using the yard as a staging area for equipment and supplies to be loaded/shipped out as needed too.

  • Smitty April 6, 2015 (6:37 am)

    50? Where are the other 25? Are you counting police and media?

    • WSB April 6, 2015 (7:03 am)

      No single photo or clip shows the entire group, which spread out in a circle at the final stop so that the path to the trail wouldn’t be blocked, and that’s where I counted.

  • old timer April 6, 2015 (8:11 am)

    I wonder what kind of depravity would ever outrank the promise of “jobs’ and, of course, the promise of money.
    We continue to test that boundary don’t we?

  • blanchus April 6, 2015 (8:42 am)

    So true, old timer.

  • Smitty April 6, 2015 (9:00 am)

    Sorry WSB. I should have realized you guys attended. I have no issues with your math skills (or reporting accuracy). I sometimes question organizers PR though.


    • WSB April 6, 2015 (9:33 am)

      Smitty, just for future ref, if I quote a number that is from organizers, I’d say “organizers estimate …” I should have included “by our count” – which I often do. Crowd counts at events big and small are a point of contention everywhere for everything, either overcounted or undercounted or … It would be easy maybe just to avoid them but I do think that it’s of interest. – TR

  • BeachBoy April 6, 2015 (9:04 am)

    I was surprised when I passed thru the Junction and saw so many SPD officers for what looked like a pretty peaceful protest, until I read that they were helping escort the marchers and keeping everyone safe! Nice job SPD, and thank you to the protest marchers for showing that exercising your right of assembly can be civil, adult, and not involve mayhem or the impedance of others trying to go about their business.
    I’m certainly going to look deeper into the issue they were protesting, unlike those knotheads who invaded Alki businesses with their obnoxious ‘black lives matter’ protest. Nonsense like that just makes me support the Police even more!

  • robertojosedelarosa April 6, 2015 (11:43 am)

    “Stu Hennessey said he felt betrayed by the Port’s decision.” In the meantime, Stu appears to be speaking to the crowd of supporters, dressed in bike togs made from petroleum products. In fact many of the products in Stu’s bike shop are petroleum based. Oh, and by the way folks, the ink for the lettering on your protest signs is oil-based. Alternatively, WITHOUT the so-called “Artic” drilling, we can just continue to buy oil from the same shieks who continue to fund and finance terrorism world-wide.

  • Kathy April 6, 2015 (11:51 am)

    If you can put 2 + 2 together and get 4, you have probably figured out by now that we cannot continue on our current fossil fuel burning path and have a planet that is safe to live on. When do you plan to do something about this? If you are getting toward the end of your life and don’t care now about what happens to your planet after you are gone, you should probably stay out of the discussion. At least be honest and just say you don’t care what happens to the rest of humanity, or don’t want to bother because you think it’s too late to do anything.

  • Mrs.T April 6, 2015 (3:35 pm)

    We were there. We took our three kids and have a lovely time and met a lot of nice, kind and passionate people. I loved it that the police were there participating in the process by keeping us safe.

    For the nay sayers and “but what about the jobbers”, I say, don’t worry, we are doing this for you too.

    As we were walking I explained to my 11 year old daughter that she was actively participating in democracy for the first time in her life. We vote with our dollar, our voices, and our ballot. Eventually the world will listen to us and change this broken system.

    We will see you there next time!

  • alkistu April 6, 2015 (5:11 pm)

    Oh Ho Hum, Do the research. The Port of Seattle has designated T-5 to be an automated terminal. Doesn’t sound like Jobs are a priority. Since renewable energy jobs are outpacing fossil fuel energy new job growth even with the fossil fuels industry getting 50 times the government support we encourage you to change your mind and use some actual data.

  • alkistu April 6, 2015 (5:18 pm)

    We had predicted 50-100 to come to this 1st in a series of rallies. At the Junction All Walk rally we had closer to 80. Among that group were several age and mobility challenge folks and a couple of families that attended only that portion of a beautiful day.
    Actually I personally counted 65 participants that arrived at T-5. I of course excluded the very positive and supportive police escort. Thank you again SWS Precinct.

  • JS April 6, 2015 (7:19 pm)

    It was the first article that was in this WSB about this issue (picture of McGinn a couple months ago) that turned me off to the WSB. I think I’ve logged onto the Blog twice now in the past 2-3 months (the other reason was because my son was in an article). WSB showed their true biased reporting with that initial story about why they did not support this arctic drilling equipment storage. No impartial reporting here. Good bye.

    • WSB April 6, 2015 (7:57 pm)

      Hi, JS. Sorry you are choosing not to read WSB (and I guess you won’t see this reply, but I’ll write it anyway), but we don’t take sides on anything and have not written anything about “not support(ing) the Arctic-drilling storage.” Unlike many traditional news-media organizations, we don’t run editorials espousing one side or another, nor do we endorse political candidates or issues. We have in fact have reported on many facets of this, including the Port Commission meetings at which people spoke for and against, summarizing each and every person who spoke (at the last one, many were from Foss or Saltchuk). We also covered Saltchuk chair (parent of Foss) Mark Tabbutt’s speech at the West Seattle Chamber awards last week in detail, including posting video of the entirety of what he had to say. We actually get criticized for writing rather simply and neutrally about what we cover, in a day and age when people seem to want the media to take sides (see, for example, the Stranger’s “follow the dead polar bears to the meeting” coverage). This was news, and so we covered it. If someone organizes and announces support rallies, we’ll be covering those too. Hope you’ll reconsider sometime – Tracy

  • G April 6, 2015 (8:32 pm)

    And who are going to be the new overlords and dispensers of energy, once we’ve gutted the oil and coal industries? Who’s going to be allocating and controlling what you can, and can’t use? I’d start thinking about those who want to dictate every nuance of your life, and then I’d start to be more than a little worried.

  • wscommuter April 6, 2015 (9:46 pm)

    I’m one of those who thinks that environmental concerns deserve to be high on our priorities list, but I also think opposition to this particular idea is misplaced and naive. No need to repeat the arguments made before about it – anyone following this issue already knows the pro/con on this issue.
    But I am commenting on the remarks above about switching to “renewable” energy. Again – a lovely idea and I’m all for it … but under current technologies and economies of scale, the only – ONLY – meaningful alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear energy in terms of capability to meet national energy needs. I wonder how many of these uber-green folks are ready to get behind building nukes to meet our vociferous energy demands? Renewables are terrific – build more wind, solar, tidal, etc. … but the truth is none of these can produce anywhere near enough of what we need.
    I’m not for more nukes either. But I prefer to deal in facts. I’m looking for genuine alternatives if we’re going to be so pure and green as to say we block use of T5 for this proposed purpose. Please tell us about real alternatives.

  • wb April 6, 2015 (10:50 pm)

    Be the change.

  • Alkistu April 6, 2015 (11:21 pm)

    Robert, My exact words were a “Breach of Trust” based on the secrecy that prevailed to make this lease agreement. Furthermore I was an original founder of Greater Harbor 2000 in 1993 when the Port of Seattle acquired this public space for a container shipping terminal. We were told and we trusted that is what the terminal would be used for. As for the bike togs I wore slacks from the Goodwill and and cotton t-shirt. Can’t tell you what the ink that was used was made of but we all know there are a lot of non oil based inks. Besides the majority of the signs were made from reused materials and cutout lettering. If we really had the will we could benefit from the current oil supplies by continuing our reduction in consumption while developing the very many alternatives to every product we use daily. If we had the will.

  • robertojosedelarosa April 7, 2015 (2:22 am)

    Thank you for enlightening me. I stand corrected, and obviously I need to research this subject in more detail. Clearly this issue is far more complex than I had originally assumed. TYVM

  • miws April 7, 2015 (7:31 am)

    If we really had the will we could benefit from the current oil supplies by continuing our reduction in consumption while developing the very many alternatives to every product we use daily. If we had the will.




    The argument implying, or outright claiming hypocrisy on the part of protesters of Big Oil, or whatever, just because the protesters must use at least some forms of what is being protested, gets old.


    Whether a person outright protests/boycotts a product, or a huge corporation, or simply quietly cuts back on doing so, while seeking out and switching to alternatives that are better for our Environment, or our Local Community, at least they are doing that much.


    Too many people think it must be an all or none scenario.



Sorry, comment time is over.