SEATTLE - A planned Seattle march with people who claim they are against Sharia law will be met by a counter-march of people who say they are standing with Muslims.
KIRO 7 News will be covering both events: The “Seattle March Against Sharia” plans to hold an event at 10 a.m. at City Hall Plaza, and the “Seattle Stands With Our Muslim Neighbors” plans to hold a counter-event around 9 a.m. at Occidental Park.
We will stream both events live here or in the player above. When we are not live, you will see a picture of the Seattle skyline.
Seattle police are prepared to keep the peace if any aggression arises between the two events, which are less than a half-mile away from each other. A march route has not been provided.
Background on the demonstrations:
ACT for America organized nearly two dozen anti-Sharia rallies on Saturday, including the one in Seattle. The rally in Seattle was first planned in Portland, but it moved after two people were killed on a Rose City light rail. The victims were trying to protect two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab, as a man shouted anti-Islamic slurs.
Organizers with ACT for America maintain that the group condemns bias against religious groups and is "proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with peaceful Western Muslims as well as peaceful Muslims worldwide." But Muslim leaders and others are concerned about anti-Sharia, saying the marches are anti-Muslim.
To counter the anti-Sharia demonstration, a group of people are organizing the Seattle Stands with our Muslim Neighbors event. To read about both sides in detail, click here.
KIRO 7 News will provide real-time updates in this section once events are underway.
[9 a.m.] The “Seattle Stands with our Muslim Neighbors” event is expected to begin at Occidental Park in the Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Hundreds are expected to attend, according to the Facebook event page.
[10 a.m.] The "Seattle March Against Sharia" is underway at City Hall Plaza.
[11:40 a.m.] Counter-protesters are marching through Seattle to confront a few dozen people claiming Sharia is incompatible with Western freedoms. Local activists set up an "Ask an American Muslim" booth where attendees can meet and learn about their Muslim neighbors.
[12:20 p.m.] 4th avenue, Cherry St., and James St. are now reopened to traffic according to Seattle's Department of Transportation.
[1:20 p.m.] Seattle Police deployed pepper spray and arrested several protesters for assault in Occidental Park as the protest/march was wrapping up.
[2:43 p.m.] Seattle Police confirmed they arrested three people, one woman and two men, after a fight near Occidental Park following the protests. They were charged with obstructing and were later booked into King County Jail.
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