May Day is the annual spring festival, a tradition that originated in Europe. There’s the whole Maypole thing that children do, people wear white, etc. It does sound a bit stuffy. It’s also International Workers’ Day, which celebrates workers, unions, and labor movements. Okay, getting closer…
In Seattle this year, May/International Workers’ Day was chosen for a growing series of marches and rallies in support of immigrant workers. From there, the day has taken on a whole litany of meanings, all mostly in protest of the policies of President Donald Trump.
As part of the movement, local music management companies and artist collective organizations, including High Godz Entertainment, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex, and the Northwest Detention Center Resistance, have organized a #BlocTheJuvie block party in protest of the new juvenile detention facility that has been criticized for its design.
The organizers said in a statement: “Youth and children are target by the police to be derailed into the prison system of means of becoming an unrecognized exploited prison labor workforce. As a community we demand alternatives to incarceration that are centered in the experiences of the most marginalized youth, migrants, and artists.”
One of the primary organizers of the event, local rapper Bypolar told the Seattle Times, “Once people get into the [criminal justice] system, it’s so hard to get out.” Bypolar had been considering putting on an event like this for a while and finally decided to do it in conjunction with the day’s other event.
The block party itself promises to have hip-hop performances, food, live-painting and speakers. While Bypolar has confirmed that they have not obtained a permit from the city, they intend to be peaceful and will have people on standby to speak with any law enforcement who intend to shut down the event.
This is an ongoing story, check for live updates at The Seattle Times.
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