Thursday, May 12, 2011
Nighttime protest in Madison Park
Few people would think of Madison Park as a likely venue for a protest march, but mini-demonstrations do sometimes happen here. A few weeks ago, for example, four or five senior citizens appeared in the business district to demonstrate in favor of taxing the rich and against corporate tax evasion. Why they picked Madison Park for this public display was not obvious, but perhaps it was the presence of a particular bank branch within our midst (one of the protesters supposedly was holding a sign reading "Bank of America is a tax dodger").
And on Wednesday night there was another demonstration in the neighborhood, this one in a residential area. Students from the University of Washington set up a candlelight vigil in front of the Walker-Ames Mansion (aka Hill-Crest House) in the Washington Park section of 36th Avenue E. The mansion is the residence of the UW President, and the students were on hand to protest against the University's concessionaire at Husky Stadium, Sodexo, which is accused of providing "sweatshop-like" working conditions for its employees. Not surprisingly, the company denies the practice.
In any event, the nighttime vigil here in the Park proved much less eventful than the sit-in at the UW President's office on campus, which took place earlier in the afternoon. That demonstration was broken up by UW Police, who hauled 25 or so students away, citing them for trespassing. Although Seattle Police were on hand for the candlelight protest, the twenty or so students in attendance were reportedly on their best behavior. According to our correspondent, some candles were lit, some songs were sung, and after about a half hour everyone moved on.
By the way, that silhouette in the upstairs window is apparently not interim UW President Phyllis Wise. She was reportedly not at home at the time of the demonstration. Incoming UW President Michael K. Young will be assuming his new position on July 1 and will presumably become a Madison Park resident and neighbor at about the same time.
[Photo sent from the Iphone of J. Waltz.]