Hundreds fill downtown North Bend: peacefully protest racial inequality, stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter movement

Amidst some community concern that Saturday’s Stand in Solidarity Snoqualmie Valley anti-racism protest could lead to violence and property damage by opportunists, the event went off as organizers planned: a peaceful gathering to “bring the community together to peacefully unite and stand against racism.”

Hundreds, including many families, filled a 5-block region of downtown North Bend. Wearing masks, they held signs and lined the sidewalks in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The historic event drew at least 400 people according to Snoqualmie Police Captain Nick Almquist, who agreed that he had never seen a turnout of this size in the Snoqualmie Valley before. He commented, “It’s bigger than SipFest.”

[In our own estimate from being on the ground, we gauged the crowd size to be approximately 500.]

Protest organizer and Mount Si High School senior Salma Habashi led the event, giving powerful speeches and – with her bullhorn in hand – continuously paced sidewalks, reminding protestors to stay off streets, wear masks and also respect the rights of those holding ‘blue lives’ matter signs, saying it was their 1st amendment right to express their viewpoint.

MSHS Senior Salma Habash addressing the crowd at the June 6th protest.

Snoqualmie Police Chief Perry Phipps said in total 28 officers – many from other jurisdictions – were at the protest in preparation for any potential violence or looting.

Officers were on the rooftop of the Sunset Garage building at the corner of Bendigo Blvd and North Bend Way, monitoring the protest from above. Others mixed into the crowd, talking with protestors and observers on the sidewalks.

At busy downtown intersections, cars drove through honking horns in support, some holding signs of solidarity – which was met by cheers from sidewalk protestors.

At the end of the day, the demonstration went as Salma Habashi envisioned, which she explained was to “use the unity that our community has to bring attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, George Floyd, and the other victims that have been taken by police brutality and racial biases. We want it to be known that the system needs to be changed to better support all of our American Citizens.”

[See short. Video and Photo Gallery of the June 6th North Bend Protest]

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  • I back the blue and stand against case you were wondering you can do both. Couldn’t be there yesterday. But felt this thought/ statement needs to be spread. Clearly we are on the razors edge and our news outlets can’t be trusted. So many officers being punished for a epic bad decision that forever changes our country. We need good people to protect us who have enough fear that they will be giving there lives to do so. Please show them the respect they deserve report the protests and the horrible things peace officers are dealing with

    1. Was the fella on horseback wearing the gun on his hip associated with the police force in any way?

  • I hate to be the bad guy here (well, not really), but this all reminds me a bit of how Michael Jackson was adored, and later mourned, by millions, despite being a child molester. Sure, nobody deserves to be killed by cops (unless they’re shooting at them), but Floyd was a criminal who’s been locked up several times (I’m guessing his home invasion victim isn’t too upset by all of this), and was high on two different illegal drugs at the time of his death. Just sayin’.

    1. Mr. Floyd was not asphyxiated because of his past behaviors but because he was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

      We might not like it that “criminals” who’ve served their time get to come back to their families and friends to turn their lives around, but that is how it is in America. Whether he was “high” or not is in dispute based upon his actions during his arrest. Did you watch him be choked? Was he resisting? Was he fighting? Or was he crying out for someone to help? Crying out for his mom.

      I hope that in the hour of my own death I am surrounded by those who love me and not those who are crushing my windpipe and without the knowledge that all of my sins will be revealed in order to show that I, too, deserved to die the cruelest of deaths on national TV for all to see.

      Even those whom we despise are worthy of compassion and empathy. We can do better. We can use non-lethal methods for dealing with people who are arrested.

      Nurses know how to control patients many times their weight or size and don’t kill their patients in order to subdue them. How about we consider such a method of intervention instead of pain and cruelty and death?

      1. Polling is showing something like 97% believe what happened to George Floyd was wrong. That is the exact opposite you’d expect from a society that exhibited systemic racism.

        And sorry, Stephen, but this isn’t all white people. This is white people that vote for democrats. The disparity in outcomes among black kids that live in blue cities versus red cities is a mile wide, with red states having significantly better numbers. Just look at national figures on 4th and 8th grade literacy: Our big blue cities–cities that have been blue for 50+ years–are failing. You want your mind blown? Black kids that grow up in Salt Lake City outperform black kids that grow in Chicago or Boston or Altanta or NYC by a country mile.

        Minnesota hasn’t seen a republican gov for 15 years. The Minneapolis city council has been deep blue for eternity. They pick the police chief and they set the policies that were applied to George Floyd. Just as in Seattle, the decades of rot is deep and it manifests in bad policing.

        The problem isn’t all white people: It’s white people that vote blue and perpetuate the decades of poverty in our biggest cities, and then use the police to keep the poor in line. And that shouldn’t be a surprise–the father of the modern progressive movement was Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic
        president that re-introduced government segregation, showed the KKK propaganda “Birth of a Nation” in the Whitehouse and was a huge supporter of eugenics. History is not on your side.

        > Even those whom we despise are worthy of compassion and empathy.
        This coming from the person that calls people Nazis in various online posts? Are you serious?

        > Nurses know how to control patients many times their weight or size and don’t kill their patients in order to subdue them.

        You got to be kidding. There is not a female nurse in the world that could put a male in cuffs that is 5″ taller and 30 pounds heavier and 10 years younger if that person did not want to go into cuffs. Especially if the person that was being subdued was allowed to kick, punch, bite, spit and the nurse was not allowed to do anything except cuff them.

        And finally, this latest move to defund the police will disproportionately hurt the poor and especially those living in black communities. But the far left blue voters don’t care. They see it as a money grab, and don’t care who gets hurt in the process. Moderate democrats and right wing voters understand with 100% clarity how defunding the police hurts the most vulnerable.

        1. I’m sorry we are at such odds in our communications.

          I can’t respond to statements about something I didn’t say.

          1. > I can’t respond to statements about something I didn’t say.
            I precisely quoted what you said and indicated why I thought it was wrong. It’s a bit odd you’d write all that and then not have anything to back up your assertions. But OK, I guess

    2. We have a system of justice here in America, which isn’t too be carried out in the streets. He paid his depts for his crimes and stayed out of trouble for a decade. But that it’s entirely beside the point, under any pretext, this was a stone cold remorseless murder. The man was unjustly killed by an officer sworn to protect.

    3. Floyd was cooperating and was in no way acting violently. And Chauvin couldn’t have known Floyd’s history when he put his knee on his neck. For this, apparently he deserved to die, and folks like you will still come out to defend killer cops no matter how unjustified their acts. So yes, you’re the bad guy here, and a literal murder apologist.
      Get educated on the history of racism in policing – to start, I highly recommend the documentary 13th on Netflix. These protests don’t come out of nowhere. Or… stay ignorant and keep licking those boots, your choice.

      1. I’m not defending anyone, and I’m most certainly not racist. My point is simply that we are responsible for our own fate- if you don’t want to run the risk of winding up with a cop’s knee on your neck, don’t put yourself in that position (literally or figuratively).

        1. Um, bringing up the past of a Black man who was killed by the police on camera to prove that he deserved it seems like an awfully racist thing to say.

          Mr. Floyd served his time. We don’t arrest people for past crimes if they’ve served their time. Nothing about his demeanor showed him to be a threat. He was *accused* of a petty crime that some of us have also done just as inadvertently. (I once had a counterfeit $20 and didn’t know it, and the bank caught it. I wasn’t arrested and killed.)
          The punishment for a conviction of passing counterfeit money isn’t death. The number of Black men killed by police, whether armed or not, is far in excess of the proportion of Black men in the population.
          Bringing up his past is simply a way to smear Mr. Floyd and remove his status as a victim of crime–the crime of murder by police officer.
          There are no perfect victims of crime. We use this technique to defend the actors of a crime, especially those with power. A woman who is attacked was asking for it. A man who is murdered on TV is Black and was a “known criminal.”
          It’s truly shameful that you would attempt to defend the murder of a man because in your eyes his past was unforgiveable. That’s not how jurisprudence works, and that is certainly not how mercy works.
          Not a racist? Every accusation you make is evidence that it is racism that drives your desire to destroy Mr. Floyd who died before your eyes crying out for help.

          1. > The number of Black men killed by police, whether armed or not, is far in excess of the proportion of Black men in the population.

            The comparison to the population is wrong. For example, women are 50% of the population. Do you expect them to be 50% of the murder convictions? Of course not. Men are 98% of the murder convictions. Does that mean our society exhibits systemic misandry? Of course not.

            Black men are 6% of the population, but commit 36% of murders. They are NOT over-represented in police stats related to shootings.

            And the number of unarmed black men killed by police each year is small–about 15. And if you take out those that were beating the cop and the cop shot to make the beating stop, that number falls to fewer than 10.

            Cops aren’t perfect. But they are not the villians they are made out to be if you take the time to understand the numbers.

        2. I just need to point out that you are goofy. Did you know that occasionally people are falsely arrested?!? Gasp, it’s true! No, George was not, but when it does happen is it open season to *accidentally* kill the person on the ground. Under your knee? Only if he’s black. Which I am guessing you are not. Good day!

  • Yes Chris! And I’m “Just Sayin'” it WITH ya! All these people just seem to be following the “Monkey see…Monkey do” attitude and not studying the history of this guy!

  • Was the fella on horseback wearing the gun on his hip associated with the police force in any way?

  • This guy…
    And Kendra James
    And Jordan Davis
    And Breonna Talyor
    And Walter Scott
    And Trayvon Martin
    And Charles Kinsey…

  • Around 1,000 people are killed by police each year. In 2016 John Hopkins found that more then 250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors. Regardless of race, the data indicates that it’s much safer to be interacting with police then with a medical professional.
    Thank you police for keeping our communities safe!

  • TJ, nice list of fine individuals and I see you even threw in a half white porn star for good measure. But for those willing to look at statistics, America doesn’t have a massive problem with police brutality, in fact numbers are low, but any murder of an unarmed person of any race in the hands of the police is to many and we can always do better. Hardly worth calling in your Antifa buddies, rioting, de-funding police? or beating small business owners half to death with 2x4s. Anyone else notice the following headline from Chicago’s paper today – Last weekend, 85 shot, 24 fatally, mostly blacks? Where the hell is the uproar over this? So do only some black lives matter?

    1. Antifa is a philosophy. The actions of a few extremists does not account for the majority of people who are also antifascist. Saying antifa is terrorist is like calling Christians terrorists because of the Westboro Baptist Church. It’s been around for at least 100 years and led to us fighting in WW2 in the first place.

  • Fact check might be necessary. Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis weren’t killed by cops. Maybe i am wrong. Lets not do what the mainstream news does here please.

    1. Yeah sure, but Michael Brown was. Freddie Grey. Philandro Castile. And I could go on. This has been happening for years people. It’s 1919 all over again if we don’t watch it.

      1. President Obama’s DOJ looked at Michael Brown and determined it was a justifiable shooting. Eric Holder’s team looked very hard for any civil rights violations and could not find any.
        Freddie Grey was similar. All the officers were acquitted in some form or another, and the DOJ again declined to bring charges, though they did find some issues overall in the department. In the Castile case, the officer was found not-guilty 10-2. The Castile case was particularly difficult, but the cop was scared out his mind, and kept telling to Castile to show his hands, while Castile kept lowering them. That same town had a very nervous cop shoot Justine Diamond, an unarmed white woman who had called police because she thought she heard someone that needed help in the alley.

        Police have 10’s of mlllions of interactions a year. Unfortunately, a few end up in tragedy. We should take great comfort in the fact that very, very few are unarmed and killed each year by the police (roughly 15 black and 20 white). Each one tragic. But it’s a very, very rare event.

        the greater tragedy are the 6000 to 7000 black men that lose their life each year from criminals. If the cops leave, that number will grow by a lot.

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