From Kentucky to Washington, the Legal System is Not on Our Side

Posted on September 29th, 2020

Our movements are under attack everywhere, not just in Seattle. After months of protest, working people finally received a verdict about Breonna Taylor’s murder last week. A grand jury ruled that none of the officers would be charged with the murder of Breonna Taylor. The only charges the judges upheld were for endangering neighbors by the shots fired through the wall of Taylor’s apartment. This sends a clear message that for the political establishment and the courts, Black lives don’t matter.

The case of Breonna Taylor demonstrates yet again something that’s becoming increasingly clear: it’s not just the police that aren’t on the side of working people, but the legal system as well. We can’t rely on the courts to serve justice, because at the end of the day they serve those who shape the laws — the super rich. 

This is why, if we want to see any sort of real justice, it’s going to be thanks to the strength of working and oppressed people getting organized and demanding change. In Seattle, we need to continue to build our movement to defund the police and to win an elected community oversight board with full powers over the police. That’s something that Councilmember Sawant’s office continues to fight for and will bring into the upcoming People’s Budget fight for the 2021 budget. 

As a result of the historic victories we’ve won, from the Amazon Tax to the $15 minimum wage, Kshama and our movement are facing severe backlash in the form of this recall campaign. Again the courts, despite the evidence being heavily stacked in favor of Kshama and our movement, have ruled in the favor of the political establishment. The right-wing and big business weren’t able to defeat Kshama in last year’s election, and now the courts are helping their effort to overturn last year’s election result and our movements’ victories.

It’s amazing that we’ve already canceled out the recall campaign’s $50,000, but we know how deep the recall campaign’s pockets are. We have to keep up our grassroots fundraising. We know that the recall effort already has billionaire landlord Martin Selig’s support, we saw the unprecedented sums of corporate money spent last year by Amazon and the Chamber of Commerce, and we know that the billionaire class is ruthless. 

That’s why we’ve set a goal of raising $100,000 by October 31st, the end of our first full month of fundraising. We need to make abundantly clear to our opposition that working people won’t stand by while our movement is under threat. Defending Kshama’s city council seat is critical for continuing to build the movement to defund the Seattle Police Department by at least 50%, to win progressive funding for community programs and affordable housing, for community oversight and control of the police, and for working people to continue to have our voice in City Hall.