Black Lives Matter activists gathered in Seattle on Wednesday night, calling for every vote to be counted in the presidential election. But they stressed that their work does not end with the election.
Leaders of the rally in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, titled “Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person,” tried to channel concern over the election into local causes they’ve been advocating for years. They made the argument that every vote cannot truly count if some people are disenfranchised or killed.
Among attendees at the rally was Katie, who didn’t want to give her last name out of concern that people opposed to recent protests would target her family. She held a photo of Kevin Peterson, who was Black and was killed by Clark County sheriff’s deputies last week.
“It’s voting for people’s voices who were taken away,” she said. “People who wanted to vote, but couldn’t make it to the polls because they were killed. People who are on the streets experiencing homelessness who might not have access to the polls.”
The Rev. Bianca Davis-Lovelace, who leads the Washington State Poor People’s Campaign, spoke during the rally. She told the crowd that counting every vote is “a matter of morality.”
“We also are united in our view that counting every vote and preserving our democracy necessarily includes protecting every person,” she said. “As people of faith, we recognize and appreciate the inherent worth, dignity and sacredness of every human life.”
Leaders of the rally argued in favor of stopping the detention and deportation of immigrants, reducing police funding, and abolishing the Electoral College.
The rally turned into a march that moved through downtown Seattle. Socialist-aligned groups held a separate Seattle rally, titled “Don’t Let Trump Steal the Election.” The Seattle Times reports a person involved in that march on Capitol Hill was taken to the hospital after police moved on the group. Few details were available as of Thursday morning.
A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center said the protester arrived in critical condition. Seattle Police say he was taken in for medical evaluation, following an arrest. At least seven people were arrested in Wednesday’s demonstrations.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story cited information from hospital and fire officials that misgendered the protester who was hospitalized. We regret the error and it has since been corrected.