Participants listen to post-march speeches at the Federal Building in downtown Seattle.

 Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren Thousands gathered peacefully in Seattle streets Monday both

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Thousands gathered peacefully in Seattle streets Monday both to honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and to protest police abuse and racism in the criminal justice system.

Signs honoring the late Dr. King were juxtaposed to others alleging police brutality and discrimination aimed at the African American community. Slogans such as “Same story every time, being black is not a crime,” and “Hands up, don’t shoot” wafted over the march, which stretched for blocks at its height.

The nearly two-hour long march made several stops. The first was to the King County Youth Detention Facility, where City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant decried a planned expansion of the property. The center has been the subject of a heated debate over the past several years.

Other stops included the Seattle Police Department’s downtown headquarters and the King County jail, also downtown.

A number of speakers were present, in particular Jelani Brown, a community activist and organizer who has played a significant role in events in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown spoke at length about institutional racism and its effects on the African American community, admonishing the crowd to take action and noting that he felt the pent-up frustration of the people in Seattle.

Appearances were made by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Governor Jay Inslee at a pre-march rally. Neither spoke nor marched, unlike politicians in several other states, including Colorado.

View the full slide-show of Monday’s march here.

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Governor Inslee poses for a selfie with a young marcher. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren


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Activist and Ferguson-based organizer Jelani Brown speaks to the crowd at Garfield High School before the march.

Speakers rally the crowd inside Garfield High’s gymnasium.

People cheer a speaker during a pre-march rally.

Members of the crowd listen to pre-march speakers outside Garfield High.

A girl takes a selfie with Governor Jay Inslee at a pre-march rally.

A young boy holds up a sign protesting the planned expansion and renovation of the King Couty Youth Detention Center.

Monique Taylor-Swan, with SEIU 775, makes a speech before the march.

People listen to pre-march speakers at a rally outside Garfield High.

Marchers cheer as a speaker inspires the crowd prior to the march.

Shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” marchers make their way through the Central District.

Shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” marchers make their way through the Central District.

Shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” marchers make their way through the Central District.

Shouting “Hands up, don’t shoot!” marchers make their way through the Central District.

Marchers cry out “Same story every time: being black is not a crime!” while taking part in an MLK Day march in Seattle.

The march stretches for multiple blocks as it winds its way down Yesler Way.

City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant speaks out against the King County Youth Detention Center in front of the building.

Marchers pass by the King County Youth Detention facility.

A speaker talks about the justice system in the shadow of the King County Detention Center.

A speaker talks about the justice system in the shadow of the King County Detention Center.

A speaker talks about the justice system in the shadow of the King County Detention Center.

Marchers listen to speakers in front of the King County Detention Center.

Marchers listen to speakers in front of the King County Detention Center.

Thousands pause in front of the Seattle Police headquarters in downtown.

Thousands pause in front of the Seattle Police headquarters in downtown.

Thousands pause in front of the Seattle Police headquarters in downtown.

Thousands pause in front of the Seattle Police headquarters in downtown.

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