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activism

Rhiannon Rasaretnam scribbles notes for her speech for Seattle's March for Our Lives before she goes on stage.
KUOW PHOTO/ALIYAH MUSALIAR

In March, thousands of students took to the streets of Seattle to protest gun violence. March for Our Lives was organized by everyday high school students who aren't Nobel Peace Prize winners like Malala. My friend, Rhiannon Rasaretnam, is one of them. 

When I saw Rhiannon behind the stage, seconds before giving a final call for action at Seattle's March for Our Lives, she was hastily finishing up her speech.


'I'm one of them': Mia, 9, marches on May Day

May 1, 2018
Suri Emigdio, 11, second from right, and Rocio Carranza, right, cheer during the annual March for Immigrant and Workers Rights on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Perhaps it was fear of immigration authorities that kept the crowds smaller than usual this year at Seattle’s May Day march for immigrant and worker rights.

Saying they want to keep up the pressure on elected officials to pass new gun control measures, Seattle-area students joined a national school walkout on the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School.

But they said Friday’s gathering was intended to shine a light on gun violence in the U.S. beyond shootings on school grounds. 

Tera Oglesby and her son join protesters outside the construction site of King County’s new youth detention center in Seattle, where three clergy members chained themselves together around a construction beam.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A protest at the site for the new King County youth detention center apparently halted construction this morning.

At schools across the country today, students are getting up from their desks and walking out when the clock strikes 10 a.m. They're participating in the National School Walkout, part of the movement that has taken hold among students to call for action to end gun violence.

Today marks 19 years since the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in which two high school students shot and killed thirteen people.

Courtesy of Jorge Aguilar

Last year thousands of people hit the streets of Seattle and the nation to march for all things scientific: respect for the scientific method, evidence-based government policies, public funding for research and increased support for STEM education.

A prominent lawyer who spent years fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people set himself on fire Saturday.

David S. Buckel's charred remains were found in a New York park, The New York Times reported. In a letter Buckel emailed to the publication and other media outlets earlier that day, he wrote, "Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death."

Patricia Murphy for KUOW

This week Dow Constantine, the King County executive, agreed to a debate on the Seattle Channel about the new youth jail. On Friday, activist and attorney Nikkita Oliver tweeted that she wouldn’t participate without a live audience.

Courtesy of Jamie Rand Imaging/Jamie Colman

This past weekend, students in hundreds of cities and towns around the country joined in March For Our Lives  "sibling marches." Before the March For Our Lives Seattle event, students and supporters gathered to hear speeches.

Gregory Pleasant, 17, center, and Elijah Lewis, 18, right, raise their fists in the air before the start of March For Our Lives Seattle on Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It was a great awakening – thousands of people, many of them teens and preteens, marched through Seattle on Saturday morning. They joined tens of thousands more across the country calling for laws that would curb gun violence.

Reilly Donham, 18, of Mill Creek, Washington, attends the 'March for Our Lives' rally in Seattle on Saturday morning.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

We are at the 'March for Our Lives' in Seattle this morning where 50,000 students and their families are expected to rally. We will update this post as the march progresses.

We were hundreds of women, marching on the streets of Karachi, Pakistan.

We shouted slogans. '"Aurat aiee, aurat aiee, tharki teri shaamath aiee!" (Women are here, harassers must fear!)

We raised our fists in the air, smiling, laughing.

We wore what we wanted to wear: burqas, jeans and designer shades, brightly embroidered skirts, the traditional tunic and baggy trousers called shalwar kameez.

Men gaped, shook their heads, filmed us from passing cars as we walked by, disrupting traffic.

We did not care what the men thought of us.

Courtesy of 350 Seattle/Alexandra Blakely

Thirteen kids are suing the state of Washington and its governor to protect their generation from climate change.

The plaintiffs range in age from 7 to 17.


On Sunday, people around the country will mark one year since the Women's March on Washington, D.C. Last year it brought hundreds of thousands of liberals to the capital, many wearing pink knitted caps in solidarity. Others marched in hundreds of cities and towns across the United States and more than 80 other countries.

Courtesy of Susan Fried

What’s a progressive citizenry to do? It’s been over a year since President Donald Trump was elected. Liberal Seattleites reacted to that event (they call it “the incident” here) in various ways.

The individuals you’ll hear in these talks switched careers, took a road trip to conservative Oregon, reflected on the balance between parenting and activism, sought ways to confront family divisions, and took up boxing.

Courtesy of Northeastern University-Seattle

The name Bill Ayers rings a bell for people of a certain age. He is one of the icons of '60s and '70s counterculture and anti-Vietnam War movements. As a young man he became a founder of the notorious leftist radical organization The Weather Underground.

One of the group's goals was to overthrow the U.S. government. They orchestrated a string of bombings of public offices. In 1970, three members were killed when a bomb they were building exploded. Ayers became a fugitive for a time after that incident.

MOHAI, Cary W. Tolman Photographs, [2002.68.9.10]

In the 1960s, an era when activism across racial lines was uncommon, four Seattle activists became allies. They were called the Gang of Four.

Larry Gossett, Roberto Maestas, Bernie Whitebear and Bob Santos collaborated and supported each other’s efforts throughout their activism careers.

November 2, 1972, two days after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kingdome, Bob Santos led a protest. The rallying cry: HUMBOWS NOT HOT DOGS!
Courtesy Eugene M. Tagawa

The 1960s brought marches, boycotts, and moments of unrest to Seattle as the battle for civil rights played out across the country.

That was also when four local activists — Roberto Maestas, Bob Santos, Bernie Whitebear and Larry Gossett — joined together to give voice to Seattle’s minority communities. Their nickname was the Gang of Four.

Frances Lee at the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Matt Martin

Frances Lee recently asked to be excommunicated from the church of social justice.

Lee, who is queer, trans and Chinese-American, was trying to point out the intolerance of the social justice movement. In an article that went viral earlier this year, they chose the headline “Excommunicate Me from the Church of Social Justice.”

Baltimore native Joe Odoms had been singing the national anthem at Ravens home games since 2014.

On Tuesday, the member of the Maryland National Guard who served tours of duty in Afghanistan resigned.

In an Instagram post, Odoms wrote: "The tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country's culture crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there."

I went undercover in Seattle’s white nationalist group

Sep 22, 2017
Patrik Hermansson, a Swedish activist, spent time with the Northwest Forum in June.
Courtesy of HOPE not hate

For the past year, Patrik Hermansson, a young, gay, anti-racist activist from Sweden has been undercover inside white nationalist — also known as ‘alt-right’ — groups for HOPE not hate, a UK group. One of his assignments took him to Seattle. This is an excerpt from his report.

R
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Every day, Seshat Mack wakes up and takes the bus to school. She’s a doctoral student in science, from Harlem. Every morning, the bus drops her off in front of a statue of a man looking down kind of heroically, kind of benevolently at passers by.

Seshat can’t stand the statue.

Dr. J. Marion Sims, born in South Carolina, is considered the father of modern gynecology — a status memorialized in that statue. He started his work in the mid 19th century.

On Sunday a planned rally of right-wing activists in Berkeley, Calif., mostly fizzled out, but thousands of peaceful left-wing protesters turned out, singing songs and chanting.

About 150 members of anti-facist groups — also known as antifa or black bloc protesters — also were there, marching in formation with covered faces. Then a couple of people from the right-wing did show up.

A mostly peaceful demonstration turned violent in Berkeley, Calif., when left-wing counterprotesters clashed with right-wing protesters and Trump supporters on Sunday.

Thousands of people held a Rally Against Hate in response to a planned right-wing protest that never got off the ground.

During the hours-long event, counterprotesters marched and chanted "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA," among other slogans. But several Trump supporters and right-wing demonstrators were also chased away by groups, who chanted "Nazis go home."

Jared Taylor was not in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. But Taylor, one of the leading voices for white rights in the country, says it was clear what really happened at that rally.

The president of the WSU College Republicans, James Allsup of Bothell, Washington, said Monday he would resign after attending the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Less than a month away from the start of the regular season, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains a player without a team.

Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before games last season. He said he was protesting treatment of people in black communities during a time of great tension sparked by police shootings of African-Americans.

Courtesy of Democracy Now!

Journalist Amy Goodman has been an influential voice in independent media for the past 20 years. Her efforts to inform, defy and edify resonate with many audiences. She co-hosts the award winning program Democracy Now!, where she is often seen reporting from the front lines of progressive action.

SEIU organizer Patience Malaba leads a protest while Amazon shareholders enter the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Seattle in May.
KUOW Photo / John Ryan

Big companies often tout the good they’re doing for the planet. Reducing energy use, buying green energy, things like that. But they often reveal much less about the harm they do.

Like Amazon. With its data centers, warehouses and delivery trucks, the computing and retail giant has grown into one of the nation’s biggest users of energy.


A noted art collector and philanthropist has sold a major painting for an eye-popping $165 million to raise money for criminal justice reform.

Agnes Gund sold Roy Lichtenstein's 1962 work Masterpiece, reportedly to billionaire hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Cohen. The sale apparently took place months ago; an art industry newsletter reported on the transaction in January, but Gund would not confirm it.

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