On Saturday April 24th, 2021, scores of local residents participated in a march and rally to support the #Stand4Justice demands. The event was in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Protect Trans Youth, and Stop Asian Hate. Speakers included local Black leaders, LGBTQIA+ leaders, and families impacted by police violence. Though it was rainy and slightly chilly, “rain or shine // Black Lives Matter” they chanted as they marched. The demonstration was organized by Renton-King County Alliance for Justice, Renton Residents for Change, and AAPI Against Hate.
In cars, on bikes, or on foot, the march began near Southcenter Mall across from Bahama Breeze around noon. The families impacted by police violence present led the contingent, whom included: Sara Lacy (wife of Cecil Lacy Jr.), Sonia Joseph (mother of Giovonn Joseph-McDade), Elaine Simons (foster mother of Jesse Sarey), Frank Gittens (father of Mi Chance Dunlap Gittens), Maria Giron (mother/aunt of Oscar Perez Giron), Castill Hightower (sister of Herbert Hightower Jr.), and Marilyn Covarrubias (mother of Daniel Covarrubias). All families have been impacted by police in the State of Washington.
Along the route many expected chants were used “Black Lives Matter”, “Stop Asian Hate”, “Whose Streets? // Our Streets!” At points throughout the route specific chants were used to engage on other local issues. Near Red Lion, currently hosting a DESC shelter, residents chanted “You Belong Here!” and “Housing is a Human Right!” in reference to the City of Renton evicting them in a half-year process beginning this May. As the demonstration approached Renton City Hall, chants changed to “Fire Trevor Davidson” and “No Proud Boy Police”. At the end of the route, a rally took place which speakers talked about their personal experiences and urged local government to do more for anti-racist policies.
Protests for racial justice, and justice for other marginalized communities, continue to be seen throughout the nation. Local, state, and the federal government have been pushed to act on these issues as voters, and now even some large companies, push for a more inclusive democracy. The #Stand4Justice demands include an equity commission, more funding for social/human services, the city administration to be more reflective demographically, and the RISE program to build Black home ownership and BIPOC-owned businesses.