Seattle Council Member Expresses Feeling Physically Threatened as Protesters Advocate for Refugee Assistance

Credits: CBC

Protesters gathered outside Seattle City Hall on Tuesday, where activists and asylum seekers voiced their frustrations over housing insecurity. Many asylum seekers who recently arrived in King County are struggling to find stable housing, leading to makeshift camps and temporary stays in hotels.

The demonstrators, banging on windows, drew attention to their plight, highlighting the challenges these new arrivals face. Some asylum seekers have found temporary housing in hotels, but even these arrangements are precarious, with only short-term stays guaranteed.

Recently, a nonprofit’s credit card maxed out, leaving refugees at risk of eviction until the City of Seattle stepped in to pay the bill despite the hotel being outside city limits.

Seattle Council Members (Credits: The Seattle Times)

The protesters argued that funding allocated for police technology, such as ShotSpotter, should instead be used to address the housing crisis. This sentiment was echoed inside the City Hall chambers, where the council was meeting to honor the late George Fleming, a champion of low-income housing.

The situation escalated when six protesters were arrested for criminal trespass after refusing to leave the chambers. Councilmember Cathy Moore expressed safety concerns, stating that the protesters’ actions could lead to a “mob scene.” Councilmember Sara Nelson noted the irony of the empty chambers and suggested continuing the meeting.

In response to the disturbance, the Seattle City Council issued a statement clarifying that the disruption was caused by protesters, not the refugees, with whom the city has been working to provide shelter. The incident underscores the urgent need to address housing insecurity and support asylum seekers in the region.

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