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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Police arrest 7 in downtown Seattle during march calling for social change

By Paige Cornwell Seattle Times

A march to call attention to issues like poverty, systemic racism and militarism culminated Saturday afternoon with the arrests of seven demonstrators who blocked an intersection in downtown Seattle.

About 50 people marched through downtown Seattle in the Washington Poor People’s Campaign demonstration, hosted in solidarity with a larger rally and march in Washington, D.C.

The demonstration blocked traffic near Sixth Avenue and Pike Street around 3:30 p.m., police said. About two hours later, a police commander ordered the protesters to return to the sidewalk, but seven people remained in the intersection.

Five women and two men were arrested and booked into King County Jail for investigation of pedestrian interference.

The Poor People’s Campaign is a revival of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1968 movement. The march and rally also celebrated what has been accomplished by the Washington State Poor People’s Campaign, which is based in Olympia.

For the past six weeks, activists have gathered in dozens of state capitals to call for social change. Each week had a theme; the theme for the first week, for example, was “Somebody’s hurting our people: Children, women and people with disabilities living in poverty.” Across the nation, more than 1,000 people have been arrested in various Poor People’s Campaign protests.

The campaign emphasizes nonviolence, and violent tactics aren’t tolerated, according to a list of principles posted on the main campaign website.

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