This past Saturday's march was scheduled to come up So Jackson Street, towards the shopping center we're in and then turn and proceed to Yesler to the north. The parade route had been known for some time now, and did not involve any protest at the recruitment centers. In fact, the route, while skirting the complex the store is in, wasn't going to be close enough to warrant this over-reaction from the Seattle Police Department (SPD). About an hour before the protest meet-up in the park 6 blocks away (about a half-mile). SPD unloaded barricades in front of the bookstore and placed them across the small parking lot in front of us. So why were we effectively shut down for 3plus hours? Because the Army Navy and Marines have recruiting offices between Toure and the West Africa Imports. The last march in the spring actually stated
their intent was to "close down the recruiting offices", even though
they aren't open on Saturdays. They sent 6-8 officers that time. This
time, there was no mention of the recruiting offices in the pre-march
Tiny entry ways were left on either end, but at a glance we were not accessible.
During the first hour of speeches and music in the park we had a heavy police presence in front of the shop. None of our regular beat cops were on duty during this. A familiar face would have been nice.
Barricades were in place to close off Jackson Street.The Landlord had made 4 sandwich board signs for the occasion. That would be the landlord who cares more about where tenants park their cars than their tenants success. The same landlord who also hates tenants using sandwich boards for their businesses (that's ours behind the landlord's. Screw 'em!)
By this time all the cops under our portico who had been admitting customers to us, The City of Seattle Neighborhood Service Center, Royal Beauty, Toure Clothing, West Africa Imports and The Beauty Center were out in the street and no-one was present to admit customers and clients.
I could not get back into the bookstore.
The march paraded by peacefully, chanting, singing and banging on pots. And it was huge! A glorious wave after wave of people saying no to this sham of a war.
After they passed, SPD packed up their barricades and allowed traffic through on the streets.
Of course, they took down our barricades last.
Dude here on the left actually said loudly as he passed by me: "Another fine afternoon of Community Servicing!" I replied, "the bookstore didn't sell very many of those dollar books off the Buck-a-Book rack!"
Finally, they drove off, and all that was left was:
UPDATE: The Turtles are over here!