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Marching for justice: Black Lives Matter silent march draws up to 1,000


Last updated 6/23/2020 at 5:58pm

Brian Soergel

Edmonds Police Cpl. Ryan Speer listens as a Black Lives Matter marcher speaks with him during the peaceful march through town.

Up to 1,000 people marched through downtown Edmonds June 12 in an event promoted as a peaceful, silent march to support Black Lives Matter.

The march was one of more than 35 recognized by Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County. Ilana Balint organized the event.

"I kept going to the Westgate protests every day," said Balint before the march, referring to recent demonstrations on the corner of Edmonds Way and 100th Avenue West. "I thought maybe it wasn't enough."

Balint saw that the Seattle Black Lives Matter chapter made a call to the public to organize in their hometowns. So she organized one in Edmonds.

After the march, Balint – who is white and an event planner by trade – received some criticism on social media for the lack of black representation in planning the event.

"I am saddened that the conversation has turned from the purpose and the cause of this march into something else," she said. "Number one is, I tried, and it was such a rapidly evolving event. It was only announced two days ago. Not that that's an excuse, but I should have. But this was really piggybacking on the Black Lives Matter Seattle event. It was really just a replication of that event here in Edmonds.

"The cause was still the same. How I got there maybe was a little bit flawed, and that's my bad. But we're still saying the same things."

Before the march, held under drizzly conditions, Councilmember Vivian Olson spoke to the gathered marchers. She said she was there as the voice of Edmonds' elected officials, who are "120 percent in caring about this issue."

(Editor's note: Here is Olson's full quote: "I had already planned on attending as a supporter like the rest of you today when there was a call out for somebody to talk of behalf of the elected, which are 120 percent or more in this camp in caring about this issue for all of us.")

Brian Soergel

Black Lives Matters supporters of all ages attended the Edmonds march.

"We're a nation in mourning today," she continued. "Wearing black today not only for the Black Lives Matter movement and for the symbolism of that. We're mourning, and truly jarred by a string of heartbreaks and confronting racism and injustice, which has long plagued our country.

"We are gathered here today ... because the citizens care and recognize their duty to stand up to hate, to prejudice, to racism. The Rev. King famously said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We cannot, will not, rest until there is liberty and justice for all."

The march began at Civic Park and continued west on Edmonds Street, north on Second Avenue North and then south on Sunset Avenue North. It then proceeded east on Bell Street, south on Second and up Main Street.

Edmond Police were on hand to direct traffic.

For more photos, go to the Beacon's Facebook page.


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