MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Kshama Sawant walks back on calls to disrupt freeways

Apr 28, 2017, 9:48 AM | Updated: 9:49 am

Kshama Sawant, women's day rally, May Day...

Kshama Sawant says the rally and march she is participating in will be peaceful. (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is stepping back from encouraging protesters to block freeways on May Day.

RELATED: Sawant’s call is ‘reckless and irresponsible’

“The march route does not include any freeways and as a movement, we stand together in advocating for peaceful and non-violent protest actions,” Sawant said.

Her comment came as she revealed her march route earlier this week.

Sawant previously called for protesters to disrupt airports and freeways on May Day. She’s also encouraged people to shut down ICE offices and prominent businesses in the past.

Calls to shut down freeways didn’t sit well with law enforcement. Captain Ron Mead with the Washington State Patrol told KIRO Radio’s Josh Kerns, “Any rhetoric like that in calling for the shutting down of freeways is reckless and irresponsible.”

The march Sawant has been promoting, which is focused on working conditions for immigrants, the Trump administration, and more, is planned to start at Judkins Park and end at Seattle Center. Part of the route crosses over I-5.

Sawant may have been “reckless” in telling protesters to shut down freeways, but former Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna says it wasn’t necessarily against the law.

“There is a law against incitement,” he said. “But in the U.S., saying things that might be viewed as incitement could be protected by the First Amendment.”

Of course, things could be very different if Sawant calls for protesters to shut down freeways during the May 1 marches.

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Kshama Sawant walks back on calls to disrupt freeways