Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
SEATTLE - Members of the Ndns for Justice joined the Occupy Seattle Police Accountability Coalition march for justice, calling for the ouster of Seattle Police Chief John Diaz. In all about 75 protest Saturday in reaction to the US Department of Justice decision to not prosecute former Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk, who killed First Nation woodcarver John T. Williams. The decision was announced on Friday.
Seattle Police dressed in riot gear and banishing with batons block Peaceful Protestors
John T. Williams was fatally shot by former Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk on August 30, 2010. Williams was carrying a knife, which served as a tool for woodcarving, and a piece of wood in downtown Seattle. Officer Birk ordered him to drop the knife. When Williams did not put the knife down, he was shot four times by Birk.
Cindi Beech LaMar-Choctaw
“It really has saddened us that there will be no justice for John T. Williams, in as much as Ian Birk will not be prosecuted,”
stated Cindi Beech LaMar, Choctaw, who is the chair of Ndns for Justice told the crowd.
"However, it doesn't deter us in our efforts to continue to fight for change in the laws and institutions that allow these injustices to continue. We do it for the generations that will follow us!"
Woodcarver John T Williams-Ditidaht
The protesters marched two and half miles. Many chanted, "Bring down with Diaz!" as they walked through the downtown streets of Seattle. Some of the protesters wore masks and eye protection in case tear gas was used. Many carried flaming torches during the rally.
The protesters intended to walk to the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct, but were unable to due to barricades that were erected and the presence of the police dressed in riot gear banishing with batons.
"The protest was peaceful and no one was arrested,"
LaMar told the Native News Network on Sunday night.
Special thanks to Christopher Francisco for the photographs.
posted January 16, 2011 6:30 am est
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