Spokane Prepares For Another Rally, With Shadow Looming Of Last Sunday’s Downtown Clashes
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People in Spokane are preparing for another Black Lives Matter rally on Sunday, June 7.
Demonstrators and police say a protest and march from Spokane’s Riverfront Park to the county courthouse last Sunday was peaceful. But hours later, after several hundred people headed back downtown, later looting of a Nike outlet store by a few people spurred police to use tear gas and rubber bullets. That led to hours of clashes and confusion downtown.
Demonstrations in Riverfront Park have continued every night since.
Law enforcement is investigating threats of bombs and other violence by white supremacists ahead of this weekend’s demonstration.
But Spokane Police Sergeant Terry Preuninger says violence from any demonstrators also won’t be tolerated. And if a disturbance occurs downtown again this Sunday, he says police won’t be patient.
“Once that turns from that First Amendment protected activity into that unlawful gathering, we’re not going to do a do-over today,” Preuninger said. “And I don’t mean to be sarcastic or sound like a grade school kid, but the other kids have messed it up for us and we’re done. And so at that point in time, it’s criminal, and we’re going to resolve that and we’re going to move everybody out of the area.”
Organizers for this Sunday’s rally say they are waiting to announce a location because of threats.
Renee White, who’s been leading daily demonstrations and helping to keep them peaceful, says it wasn’t outsiders or even extremist groups that caused the violence in downtown Spokane a week ago.
“I didn’t see anybody represent Antifa down there. I didn’t see anybody represent Proud Boys down there,” she said. “Racial discrimination is everywhere. It could be somebody walking down the street. Your mailman, your doctor, your boss, your apartment manager. A homeless person. It could be anybody. Literally, anybody.”
Along Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma, the city’s new Black Lives Matter mural unfolds across the 23,000 square-foot Tollefson Plaza in bright colors.
The mural cascades down the steps of the plaza and from different viewpoints, it reveals different faces, messages and meanings. The challenging space makes the viewer work to absorb the mural — something lead artist Dionne Bonner wanted.
Continue Reading Tacoma unveils Black Lives Matter mural
Later this summer, Tacoma’s downtown Tollefson Plaza will be transformed into the first Black Lives Matter mural sanctioned by the city and other partners. The project is designed to acknowledge police brutality of Black people and racial inequities that came to nationwide attention after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Continue Reading Artists Bring People And Kids Together For Tacoma’s BLM Mural Project Design
Following a year of frequent armed protests, some of which turned violent, the Washington Senate voted Thursday to ban the open carry of firearms at the state Capitol and within 250 feet of permitted demonstrations anywhere in the state. Continue Reading Washington Senate Votes To Ban Open Carry Of Guns At Capitol And Public Demonstrations