During Viking Lobby Day, a Martin Luther King Jr. Day legislative rally, sponsored by the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, occurred in the middle of the Washington State Capitol Building, on Jan. 18.
Around 200 protesters crowded the building with #blacklivesmatter banners and had speakers talk about the importance of King’s message. No Western students were confirmed to be apart of the protest.
Sen. Bruce Dammeier was one of the speakers the organization had speak at the rally. He discussed the general condition of black youth and their access to education in the United States.
“Your access to education should not matter on your zip code,” Dammeier said. “[King] had a dream not only for his children, but for my children and your children.”
The rally got loud when the microphones weren’t working properly — speakers were having to shout.
“I heard people yelling from outside the Legislative building.”
“I heard people yelling from outside the Legislative building,” said Western junior Mikayla Nicholson.
However the protesters were commended for their perseverance despite their technical difficulties by Sen. Dammeier.
The rally started at Greater Mt. Baker Baptist Church. The group went down I-5 together and met in the Capitol. In addition to Sen. Dammeier, Warren Ballentine, a syndicated radio talk show host, was the keynote speaker.
The protest had been previously approved by the Capitol and added to the daily agenda, according to the state’s website. The protest lasted from 12 -2 p.m.