• Kshama Sawant calls for rally on International Women's Day


    People gathered Wednesday night at Westlake Park for a rally organized, in part, by socialist Seattle councilwoman Kshama Sawant. 

    People who spoke at the event include Russian feminist punk rock group Pussy Riot, journalist and Black Lives Matter Activist Shaun King, and local activist Nikkita Oliver.

    >> Related: Read how Nikkita Oliver is planning to run against Mayor Ed Murray 





    International Women’s Day, which has been celebrated since in 1908, has inspired activists across the country this year to organize events with a different twist.

    >> ‘Day Without a Woman,' ‘International Woman's Strike' is Wednesday; some school systems closing

    Two other organizations nationwide — the International Women’s Strike and “Day Without A Woman” —
    are encouraging women to step away from their jobs and take to the streets in a sign of solidarity.

    In Seattle, Sawant's rally builds off momentum from the historic Women’s March in January. More than 200,000 people took to Seattle's streets in solidarity with rallies around the world the day after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president.

    >> What to know: Seattle women's march estimates 50,000 attendees

    During Wednesday night's rally, Sawant talked about protest action for the upcoming demonstration on May 1. Sawant is targeting May Day – a day known for protests in Seattle – as the next massive anti-Trump protest.

    In a Feb. 21 column that Sawant wrote for the Socialist publication Jacobin Magazine, titled “Why We Should Strike on May Day,” the councilmember calls for a “wave of protests and strikes” to counter “bigoted” actions by Trump.

    “The ‘chaos’ we created at the nation’s airports gives a hint of what’s possible,” Sawant wrote in reference to the protests that immediately followed Trump’s first travel ban executive order. “We need to think deeply about where our strength lies and how to create disruption on an even greater scale.”

    May Day is already a day of mass demonstrations in cities across the United States. In Seattle, however, it has become a day known for violent and destructive marches through downtown.

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