Originally published at TheStranger.com. Last week, Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant said Seattle Police should block U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers attempting to detain and deport people in Seattle. Mayor Ed Murray called that idea “irresponsible and dangerous.” Below, Sawant responds.
History will not look kindly at politicians who claimed there wasn’t much more they could do than utter platitudes. It is dangerous and irresponsible for elected officials to not shake off business-as-usual, and fully utilize their position in solidarity with the historic movement of the 99 percent against Trump, xenophobia, bigotry, Islamophobia, and racism.
The most immediate threat of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids cannot be defeated on a case-by-case basis. While legal resources are absolutely critical, Trump will only be emboldened if he is not pushed back by a sustained mass movement of peaceful civil disobedience against ICE seizures, detentions, and deportations.
Less than a month into his administration, Trump’s egregious anti-immigrant measures have already sent chills through our community. What Trump can get away with is not a fait accompli, however. The civil disobedience and shutdown of multiple airports delivered a stinging defeat to Trump and his attempted Muslim ban. We need to continue building our movement towards large-scale non-violent civil disobedience and strike actions.
Join me and thousands of activists on the streets on International Working Women’s Day, March 8, and let’s get organized for a massive strike action on International Workers’ and Immigrants’ Rights Day, May 1. Solidarity!
Kshama Sawant is a member of the Seattle City Council.