Self-proclaimed Socialist Alternative Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant has taken one more swing at departing Police Chief Carmen Best, declaring the 28-year law enforcement veteran “has repeatedly lashed out at the movement and its demands, calling the protests a ‘riot’ and blaming activists for police violence.”
There are enough people living in and around Seattle to tell the firebrand—some complain she is constantly angry—councilwoman that what has happened in the city actually were riots on more than one occasion.
Peaceful demonstrations do not include looting, property destruction or arson, critics contend. Spray paint vandalism isn’t protected by the First Amendment, they argue. Yet Sawant wants offenders released from jail without criminal charges.
In her lengthy statement, which some are calling a “rant,” Sawant engaged in familiar rhetoric when alluding to the disappointment President Trump and Attorney General William Barr expressed over Best’s upcoming retirement.
“They recognize the service [Best] has provided the capitalist class in pushing back against the Black Lives Matter movement at the height of its power,” Sawant wrote.
She has carried her arguments against Best and capitalism to Twitter.
Best’s actions, like most police chiefs, & supported by most politicians, were guided at all times by loyalty to the status quo & willingness to do the role of police under capitalism: defend deep inequality through ongoing repression of poor, marginalized, communities of color.
— Kshama Sawant (@cmkshama) August 14, 2020
Were it not for capitalism, it has been observed, Sawant wouldn’t have a paying job because capitalists pay the taxes that finance Seattle’s municipal government, including her six-figure salary. She wouldn’t be able to donate much of her income to an ostensibly charitable cause.
Best is Black, but apparently Sawant’s sympathies don’t extend to her.
The situation in Seattle appears to be deteriorating to the point that AmmoLand News wondered whether anarchy is on the horizon.
Sawant also wants to create a “community oversight board” with full powers to hire and fire. Isn’t that what the city council and city government are supposed to do, some critics wonder? Why set up a new bureaucracy?
Sawant’s open letter was published by KIRO News, the local CBS affiliate. There is an interesting passage near the end in which Sawant notes, “Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal wrote: ‘In the name of Black Lives Matter, the progressives in Seattle have now pushed out a black police chief. In so doing, they have revealed that their efforts are not an attempt to correct police abuses, but an attack on policing itself.’
“It is no accident that the Trump administration or corporate establishment should seek to lionize Best – they recognize the service she has provided the capitalist class in pushing back against the Black Lives Matter movement at the height of its power,” Sawant complains.
“We cannot allow ourselves to be distracted, and must keep our focus on the key demands we are fighting for:
- Defund the police by at least 50 percent and fund restorative justice, affordable housing, and other community services.
- Release all protestors without charges.
- Create an elected community oversight board, with full powers of policy and procedure, hiring and firing.
- Build on the historic Amazon Tax victory to fund a massive expansion of high-quality permanently-affordable housing and public education.”
Sawant’s open letter got national attention from Fox News. It is likely to get more.