In response to a violent assault that occurred at the end of July in the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle, court employees and supporters held a rally and march on Fri., Aug. 6.
The ‘March for a Safe Workplace’ served to highlight the ongoing safety issues in and around the courthouse, and to demand a safe environment for all people.
PROTEC17 members from both King County and the City of Seattle who work at the courthouse have seen a dramatic rise in harassment and assault incidents in the last several years. They want the Courthouse to be a safe space, not just for themselves, but for all members of the public who use and rely on services in the courthouse, including jurors, witnesses, people who need protection orders, people who are using the legal system or social services in the building, and others, who deserve a public space free from violence.
After the recent incident, employees were upset to see the County’s initial response was to remind people who enter the courthouse to be “aware of their surroundings”, which prompted blowback about victim blaming.
At the rally, which started at the King County Administration building, nearly 300 attendees – many of whom wore teal t-shirts to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence – listened to speakers who talked about the need for more security, more targeted resources, and more mental health services to address the needs of the community using the courthouse and those surrounding it. After the rally, attendees walked down the street and around the Courthouse.
PROTEC17 continues to advocate for a safe workplace for all members. If you have concerns about your safety in the workplace, please contact your Union Representative.