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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Teacher Tom: Circles of Women

Teacher Tom: Circles of Women

Circles of Women

On Thursday, I walked up to Capitol Hill where the Black Lives Matter protests have taken an expected turn. When the Seattle police abandoned the East Precinct, the protesters turned a six block area of this densely populated neighborhood into a peaceful, educational, police-free zone that is being called the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP). 

As I entered the area, a man asked me to cross the street because "there's someone here having a mental health crisis." Sadly, it's not a rare thing in our city. More often than not, when someone is yelling and behaving erratically, the police are called in, but CHOP has become a kind of radical experiment in self-organized community, one that is also self-policing. So instead of police there was a circle of women standing around the ranting man, listening, and gently responding to him. He was pacing about inside the circle, not apparently seeking to break through, but waving his arms wildly and shouting invective.

I was making my way to the intersection in front of the boarded up and graffiti-cover, but otherwise intact, police station where organizational meetings, teach-ins, speeches, and performances take place, but wanted to first check on the progress of the block long street mural that spells out B-L-A-C-K L-I-V-E-S M-A-T-T-E-R. The artificial turf sports fields were dotted with people taking breaks and beyond them was the growing tent encampment and impromptu community gardens. The No Cop Co-op was incredibly well stocked with CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Circles of Women