Protests and rioting continue to take place in Seattle, and now some business owners who were on the receiving end of the violence have actually said they support these terrorists. How far will these protests go before they’ve had enough?
In the First Hill area of Seattle, eight businesses were hit by vandals last Sunday night. When police arrived on the scene after a slew of 911 calls, people were smashing the windows of a storefront. And for many businesses in the city, cleaning and boarding up after graffiti and smashed windows is the new norm.
The owner of the Pioneer Square Simply Seattle store, Jamie Munson, described the situation as unnerving. He said: “Sadly it’s become routine; we’ve gotten good at calling the insurance company, boarding up windows and protecting the store. It’s just exhausting.”
However, he also said: “We fully support the Black Lives Matter movement and want to see change.” And while this declaration may just be his way of trying to avoid drawing even more ire from these thugs, the truth is that several business owners in Seattle have been vocal about their support for the movement.
Many Seattle restaurants expressed solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters in June, donating to their causes and using social media to show how “woke” they are.
For example, Ballard’s Rupee Bar boasted on Instagram about how they raised more than $2,000 for Black Lives Matter, while Chef Renee Erickson of the Sea Creatures restaurant group posted an image of George Floyd surrounded by a wreath of flowers with the message “Justice for George.”
Miki Sodos, the owner of the Bang Bang Café and Café Petirrosso, posted a photo of protesters with the caption, “While I am scared for my businesses, I firmly believe this is necessary. I’m putting my head down and will take whatever is handed to me. Seattle I’m proud of you. Civil disobedience is patriotism. Stay safe. #blacklivesmatter”
So let’s get this straight: Some of these owners believe they should “take whatever is handed to” them because a police officer unrelated to them used deadly force on a criminal in a different city? Are they happy to clean up broken glass and remove bricks from their restaurants because they think it is somehow helping black people? Would these people be okay with having their establishments burned to the ground?
Some of the business owners had a more reasonable take on the situation, asking how much worse this will get after the Seattle Police department makes cuts.
Seattle coffee shop owner Faizel Khan knows all too well just how bad it can get. When his Capitol Hill coffee shop found itself in the middle of the CHOP Zone, he said he had to get permission from self-appointed armed guards just to go inside. He described being barricaded inside by men sitting in lawn chairs wielding guns.
He is now part of a group of local business owners who are suing the city for leaving the neighborhood unchecked by police and unserved by emergency health and fire services, not to mention inaccessible to the public. This naturally led to tremendous property damage as well as lost revenue.
He described the scene as being “lawless” and told the New York Times that he had to pay for private security, which was difficult considering the loss of business due to coronavirus and the protests. He added that many business owners are scared of speaking out because they fear they may be targeted further.
Another scary issue that business owners in Seattle have to contend with is a website called Cop Blaster, which says its goal is tracking police brutality but also has galleries of so-called “Snitches” and “Cop Callers.”
After the owner of an auto repair shop in the zone called police when his shop was burglarized – who never came, by the way – he found his photo and the address of his shop listed as a target on the site. The harassing phone calls and messages have been so intense that some of his employees have had to take time off.
Anticipating further problems, a group of 16 business association leaders recently signed a letter asking the city council not to make cuts to the Seattle Police Department’s budget, but their plea was unsuccessful. Yesterday, Seattle’s first black police chief, Carmen Best, announced her retirement just hours after the council voted to make cuts that would see the department lose as many as 100 officers at a time when violent mobs continue to terrorize businesses and citizens.
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