Seattle protests: Left takes on Liberal as Kshama Sawant launches coup against Mayor Jenny Durkan
Questioning Jenny Durkan's leadership, three members of Seattle City Council — Kshama Sawant, Teresa Mosqueda and Tammy Morales — voiced their frustrations
Black Lives Matter protests continue across the US with thousands raising their voice against police brutality, systemic racism, and demanding justice for George Floyd's death. Amid all the fuss and fracas, protesters in Seattle have taken over City Hall and are calling for the resignation of Mayor Jenny Durkan, saying she has failed to stop “unnecessary violence” from being used at demonstrations.
Questioning Durkan's leadership, three members of Seattle City Council — Kshama Sawant, Teresa Mosqueda, and Tammy Morales — voiced their frustrations and wanted her to consider putting down her papers. "I support the growing number of people who have signed a petition calling on Mayor Durkan to resign or be impeached for gassing her own people," Sawant said on Monday, June 8 according to a KUOW report. The petition already had 25,000 signatures.
Now, people have reached City Hall for a peaceful protest, demanding Durkan to "lose her job." "Lots of people in City Hall right now chanting “Black Lives Matter!” and for Durkan's resignation... Sawant looks like she may be preparing to speak," one tweet read and another tweeted a clip of hundreds chanting, "You've got to lose your job." Sending a message to Durkan, one said, "If I was the mayor of Seattle, I would simply not have my police department brutalize protestors."
A former United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington, Durkan was appointed by former President Barack Obama and elected the 56th mayor of Seattle in 2017, becoming the city's first female mayor since the 1920s and the city's second consecutive openly LGBT elected mayor. But, in the wake of the current scenario, protestors are chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, Jenny Durkan has got to go!"
The question circling in many minds right now is: Who let them inside City Hall? According to reports and several tweets, it was Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. "WHO LET THEM IN? Our @komonews team has learned @cmkshama and her staff opened doors and allowed protestors into City Hall. Clearly an impromptu move catching city leaders off guard," one tweet said and another read, "Councilmember Sawant has a key to City Hall, allowing protesters to enter and chant for the mayor’s removal. #seattleprotest."
A former software engineer and a member of Socialist Alternative, Sawant first had an unsuccessful run for the Washington House of Representatives but later won her seat on the Seattle City Council. Sworn into office in 2014, her victory made her the first socialist to win a citywide election in Seattle since Anna Louise Strong was elected to the School Board in 1916. She has been ready to take over since then and people feel, perhaps, this is her big chance.
"Kshama Sawant was built for a time like this. She’s been ready—and now most of the other Seattle council members are desperately trying to catch up," one Twitter user said and another posted, "Good for Kshama Sawant, now she should have BLM make her the mayor." Another posted, "People don't talk enough about Kshama Sawant. The socialist alternative got her elected before Bernie Sanders, was even a national figure and they've had some real accomplishments, those guys don't mess around, more of us need to be taking notes."
One highlighted how she had created an army. "Socialist Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant has created an army. But she can't control all of them. This is out of control. When will @realDonaldTrump get the DOJ involved? We are losing Seattle and more precincts are next," one tweet said while another read, "Councilmember Sawant has the mic. She says to the crowd, “You’re my people.” #seattleprotest."
While many seem to be cheering for her, others feel it is wrong on many levels. "One of the first speakers here tells CM Sawant not to co-opt Black Lives Matter as a vehicle for her political ambition and agenda. #seattleprotest. Another tweet said, "Police sources tell me Kshama Sawant let the mob into City Hall after hours. If there's any damage, she should be personally liable and go to prison for this stunt." Another Twitter user posted, "Sawant wasn’t elected to start riots. She should be arrested and treated as a terrorist. All socialists should be. This is what happens when u allow 1 idiot socialist to get into office. They think s**t is free and don’t like the law. Thank god for the 2nd amendment."
Slamming her for "self-promotion", one said, "Let it be known that Kshama Sawant did NOT ONCE mention dropping charges or freeing prisoners AT ALL during her political rally next to the CHAZ tonight. #seattleprotest #capitolhillautonomouszone #chaz." Another said, "She reminds me of the companies suddenly coming out in support of BLM. The time to prove you care is before anything else happens. Where was Sawant the first week of the protest?" One even said that it was a "coup", "Sawant organized a coup against the Mayor."
Moreover, when she was questioned about it, her answer was to see the uprising in the halls of power. A tweet read, "When @evanbush asked why Sawant brought the group into City Hall, Sawant said it was essential that the power and uprising evident in the streets be seen in the halls of power in Seattle." With these developments, people feel the revolution is near. "Did I hear correctly, did chief Best resign as police chief in Seattle? Seattle now has armed terrorists on the streets. Kshama Sawant opened up the Court House and gave it to the protestors. Is this America. I can't believe this, this is nuts. Revolution is near," one said. But the question remains: is this Sawant's way to grab a chance to seize the throne or will she bring real change in the society?