Friday at 5:30 pm Pacific time, rival gangs will come together in Seattle, Washington for a march against violence and police brutality. The United Hood March will begin at the Seattle Police Department Headquarters, proceed to City Hall, and end with a memorial at Myrtle Edwards Park for those lost to violence.
“United Gang Members (active/inactive/affiliated) of Seattle have came [sic] together, and decided that they will peacefully march in solidarity with our brothers, and sisters, and other black organizations across the nation. We are tired of waking up to black men, women, children dead because of violence in our community, or police brutality. Join us, and let’s let our voices be heard! United WE stand, divided WE fall!”
— Slog (@SlogFirehose) June 19, 2015
The demonstration echoes the peaceful show of unity in Baltimore after the murder of Freddie Gray by the hands of police. Three rival Baltimore gangs called a truce, realizing that violence and police brutality are bigger than their differences.
The Seattle Police Department has gained a reputation in recent years for excessive force, gaining so much attention that the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation and confirmed what was already obvious.
While police brutality is a major issue in Seattle, the United Hood March is about more than cops. Gang violence has also risen, and communities are tired of seeing so many of their family members and neighbors gunned down.
Amir Islam, an event organizer, describes some of the things they have done already to promote peace and unity, and the goals of the United Hood March.
“So, I’m from 2-0 and Yesler, gang affiliated all my life pretty much. Myself and another brother who’s from the Southend, had gotten together around the time of the Baltimore situation, and we’ve just been thinking about the big picture.There’s been barbecues, trying to feed folks, local kids, homeless people—there’s basketball events (between rival hoods), we’re gonna keep it going; we feel like it’s a movement, the United Hood Movement. We can’t ignore that the police have been killing us, but we also can’t ignore that a 2 year old had just got killed in Kent. We care about Black people.”
This coming together of former enemies shows that people are tired of the culture of violence in America today. Share this story with your friends and family to show that it’s possible to look past our differences and unite together as humans in search of a peaceful existence. In all of the darkness, the world can certainly use this light.