15 Now and Black Lives Matter Converge in Seattle on May Day

Hundreds of workers march in Seattle on May Day 2015
Hundreds of workers march in Seattle on May Day 2015. Photo by Alex Garland

This post is part of our solidarity series featuring exciting work by social justice movements outside of Oregon.

By Emily Davis

On May 1st, 2015, hundreds of people gathered in the streets of Seattle, Washington to march for racial, social and economic justice. A mutual alliance for justice was formed between activist organizations from many different groups: students, fast food workers, community groups, adjunct faculty, religious organizations, and union members.  Together they protested the inequalities that all of us not part of the one percent corporate agenda are subjected to. Within this solidarity, Black Lives Matter and 15 Now Seattle established a coalition and walked from Judkins Park to the Federal Courthouse together in support of racial equity and raising the minimum wage.

Black Lives Matter began in 2012 after Trayvon Martin was murdered, and has been fighting to rebuild the Black liberation movement ever since. The movement aims to decrease the overwhelming amount of police violence towards people of color while also bringing to attention the marginalization of different social groups. Black Lives Matter activists, and their allies in support of positive societal change, rallied at 10:30 am in Seattle at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, and protested at 2:30 pm at the intersection of 20th and Jackson to demand justice for the victims of police brutality and those who have been unjustly profiled for their skin color.

Afterwards, participants in the Black liberation rallies joined the International Workers and Immigrants Day March to advocate raising the minimum wage. Even though Seattle has already won a $15/hr dollar minimum wage, the activists of 15 Now Seattle and their allies continue to organize and agitate for a national revolution which will hopefully encourage others across the country to stand up for their social and economic rights. When activists who have different means to the same end (a better life and equality for all) work together to reach their goals, despite the obstacles, positive change can transpire.

Emily Davis is an intern for 15 Now Southern Oregon and a student at Ashland High School.

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