Decriminalize Seattle March from Youth Jail to King County Jail Amplifies Call to Free All Protestors

WHAT: From the Youth Jail to King County Jail: #FreeThemAll March & Rally organized by Decriminalize Seattle / Defund SPD

WHEN: 11:30-3:30 

WHERE: March and Rally to begin at Youth Jail (1211 E Alder St, Seattle, WA 98122) and end outside King County Jail 

WHO: March is organized by the Decriminalize Seattle Coalition, which includes No New Youth Jail, Block the Bunker, WA-BLOC, Seattle Peoples Party, COVID-19 Mutual Aid, Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, BAYAN, La Resistencia, PARISOL, CID Coalition, Asians for Black Lives, APICAG, Creative Justice, Seattle ACED, and Queer the Land.


The Decriminalize Seattle Coalition, which is leading the campaign to Defund SPD, will lead a march on July 3rd from the controversial $242 million youth jail to the King County Jail to call on King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and City Attorney Pete Holmes to defend Black lives and drop all charges against protestors. The Coalition, whose demands are backed by over 40,000 individuals and more than 250 organizations, is also calling the city and county prosecutors to refuse to file any additional charges against people taking to the streets during the George Floyd uprisings that began on May 29th. 

The forced evacuation of the CHOP by the Seattle Police Department resulted in the arrest of over 65 people, with many more attacked with mace and rubber bullets despite a recent ban on the use of chemical weapons and projectiles by the SPD. The raid on CHOP was an extension of SPD’s brutal tactics against both houseless community members and protestors. This renewed call to drop all charges and free all protestors comes after over 200 arrests in just over a month of street-based protest demanding an end to police terror towards Black communities. 

During the last ten years local law enforcement have been responsible for many deaths, including the killing of John T. Williams, Charleena Lyles, Che Taylor, Demarius Butts, Oscar Perez Giron, Renee Davis, MiChance Dunlap Gittens, Tommy Le, Shaun Fuhr and Marcello Castellano. Decriminalize Seattle organizer Angélica Cházaro stated, “The uprising in Seattle is a local manifestation of nationwide outrage at police violence against Black lives. By prosecuting those who protest police violence, Holmes and Satterberg are defending the status quo, even as calls to disband SPD continue to pick up steam.” Following the march, speakers outside King County Jail will highlight the need to divest from police and jails, and call for investments in community-driven solutions to health and safety.  

For live updates, visit:

NNYJ FB @NoNewYouthJailSeattle

COVID-19 Mutual Aid IG @covid19mutualaid

#FreeThemAll | #DefundSPD | #DropTheCharges | #NoNewYouthJail | #CareNotCages

Participatory Budgeting Process for City of Seattle 2021 Budget

King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle announce today the creation of a participatory budgeting process for the 2021 budget cycle. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. The participatory budgeting process coordinated by our two coalitions will inform and help guide Seattle’s spending on the City’s “public safety” agencies, with a focus on the Seattle Police Department, Law Department (City Prosecutors), and Municipal Court, and on the community reinvestments that could generate real safety.  This announcement comes on the heels of Mayor Durkan offering a mere 5% cut in the Seattle Police Department’s budget during a time of severe budget shortfalls. 

The nation-wide uprising of the last few weeks in defense of Black lives has focused unprecedented public attention on the destructive role of policing and bloated police budgets. In Seattle, Decriminalize Seattle and King County Equity Now have been spearheading the call to defund SPD by at least 50%, and calling for reinvestments into real community safety and well-being. Hundreds of community groups and tens of thousands of community members have signed on to these demands. The overwhelming support for defunding SPD makes it clear that people are tired of seeing essential needs like housing, health care, and child care unmet in their communities while hundreds of millions are spent on policing. The community-led participatory budgeting process announced today will help transform community demands into reality. 

The City government has proven unable, despite years of protest, to reduce the police budget meaningfully and an independent community-led process is needed. In order to truly reflect community needs around public safety, the design and implementation of the process to reduce the police budget must be held by community organizations, not under the Mayor’s control. The coalitions organizing the participatory budgeting process seek support and consultation with the City, but plan to maintain the process’s independence so that it can truly focus on community consensus for spending. 

More is spent on policing in Seattle than on the bottom 25 departments in the City budget combined, including city money dedicated to housing; education; city planning and community development; labor standards; economic development; arts and culture; sustainability and the environment; civil rights, immigrant and refugee affairs; concerns/complaints of employee harassment, discrimination, and retaliation; police accountability; and elections. Community-led participatory budgeting will directly challenge this state of affairs.

The defense of Black lives requires meaningful action from City officials. While every resident in Seattle has an investment in the budget, the community members most impacted by the legacy of over-investment in policing and disinvestment in their well-being must be centered in shaping the new vision for the city’s public safety dollars. We invite City officials to endorse and support this community-controlled and community-designed process. 

For updates on the participatory budgeting process, including opportunities for engagement, click here. Many cities around the US and around the world have used participatory budgeting to give residents the power to make decisions in how their cities spend revenues. King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle are being advised by the Participatory Budgeting Project, the leading North American organization on participatory budgeting, whose work you can see at

King County Equity Now (“KCEN”) is a coalition of accountable, Black-led, community-based organizations fighting to achieve equity across meaningful metrics—e.g., land ownership, wealth, mortality rates, etc. 

Decriminalize Seattle is a grassroots coalition building power in Seattle to invest in pro-community initiatives and divest from policing and the criminal legal system. 

We Keep Us Safe: Decriminalize Seattle Statement on Shooting at CHAZ/CHOP

Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone/Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHAZ/CHOP) emerged from struggle and resistance against the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and its East Precinct in defense of Black lives. No single group fought in the streets against cops–instead, many different people from many different belief systems and organizations who all agreed that anti-Black police violence must end struggled together against the SPD and lifted demands for defunding SPD. Following SPD abandoning the East Precinct, thousands of people have helped hold the blocks around the precinct, providing decentralized support to each other. From food tents, to medics, to healing spaces, to political education, CHAZ/CHOP has provided a space to experiment with self-governance and self-determination, without police presence.

Last night’s shooting at CHAZ/CHOP is a tragedy. Our task now is to support the family and community of the person killed, the people injured in the shooting, and the people who witnessed the shooting. 

We know that in every neighborhood of our city, violence is a constant. We know that police do not stop violence. We know that violence happens even when the police are present. Less than a year ago, a Black woman was killed on the same block as last night’s shooting, with the East Precinct fully staffed with officers only 200 feet away. The presence of police did not stop that death. 

We also know that Seattle police do cause violence, including murdering people like Charleena Lyles, John T. Williams, and many others. Resistance against police violence and calls for a radical shift away from policing is why so many people have engaged with the global and local protests, and with CHAZ/CHOP. Police don’t keep us safe, we keep us safe. Last night’s shooting should redirect us to the task at hand – to defend Black lives by dismantling the Seattle Police Department and investing in real community safety. 

We don’t yet know who was responsible for last night’s violence. It could have been carried out by people who know each other, or it could have been carried out by a stranger. We know that most violence occurs between people who know each other, such as family members, romantic partners, and neighbors, and that policing and criminalization are ineffective at preventing or addressing it. We also know that racism and sexism are the causes of enormous violence, and that police violence is a part of that, not a solution. Whatever the cause of last night’s shooting, real solutions do not look like continuing to fund and support the police. If we want to stop violence, we need to resource people and communities in a way this City has never committed to doing. We need people housed, we need people fed, we need healthcare for all, we need childcare for all, and we need real investments in the programs and communities that are developing to replace police responses to violence. 

Decriminalize Seattle is a grassroots coalition building power in Seattle to invest in pro-community initiatives and divest from policing and the criminal legal system. We coordinate the campaign to defund SPD, reinvest in community, and free all protestors. 

If you need immediate emotional support in the aftermath of last night’s shooting, you can reach out to Healing Justice via text or e-mail: 425.243.7855,  Healing Justice’s team of practitioners is composed of mental health therapists, counselors, and somatic practitioners with long histories inside of social justice movements and in trauma healing. 

MLK Labor Council voted to expel the Seattle Police Officers Guild from its ranks

On June 17, 2020 the Martin Luther King Labor Council voted at its virtual meeting on June 17 to expel the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG) from its ranks.

The more than 150-member coalition of unions voted 153 in favor to 77 against, with a delegate roll-call vote that garnered more than 45,000 delegates in favor of SPOG’s expulsion. 

“I ask the obvious question: if not now, when? Because we have been dealing with this for a long time,” Prawl said. “Racism is perversive in all society as sickness that infect the trade union movement, just as it does the facet of all life. Because union must be spokesperson for all the people who work for a living, and because we must be advanced of our social and economic program, we have no choice but to take the lead in eliminating this cause of racism from our land.”
– Gabriel Prawl, the first Black African American chapter President of the ILWU Local 152, at the meeting on June 17th.

Read more about SPOG’s removal here.

Seattle Police Department Out of Seattle Public Schools!

On June 10th, 2020 the Seattle Public Schools Board announced the district will temporarily cut ties with the Seattle Police Department for one year in response to widespread demands from students, teachers, parents, and community members.

“Students want Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to end their partnership with the Seattle Police Department. The students have five preliminary demands they posted on Instagram:

  • Hold police accountable for abusive behavior toward black students
  • Eliminate the presence of police in all schools
  • Implement restorative justice and de-escalation tactics in all schools
  • Urge school districts to fire all staff members with racist/ anti-black reports
  • End racist police violence. Defund police.

These demands, including the phrase “defund police,” which has been rippling across the U.S., call into question how the city’s monetary resources are distributed. The city of Seattle has allocated $409,538,851 for police expenditures in 2020. In comparison, the annual budget allots $105,261,978 for education and early learning; SPS is not supported by city funds”

Read more about how student activism led to Seattle Schools temporarily cutting ties with SPD.