Between 300 to 400 people attended the MLT Black Lives Matter Silent March Friday, which began at Mountlake Terrace Elementary and ended about a mile away at Terrace Park School.
The march was held as part of a statewide “day of action,” which consisted of local protests, silent marches, strikes, or taking other steps to support all Black lives.
Starting at 4 p.m., the crowd slowly and solemnly made its way along 52nd Avenue West, then onto 56th Ave West.
Passing cars honked in support, as many walkers held signs saying, “Black Lives Matter,” and “I Can’t Breathe.”
Colin from Mountlake Terrace was asked what he was trying to say to the world by participating in this march. “That it’s time for change,” he responded. “It’s time to do something positive. We’ve waited too long as it is, and it’s time to make sure that things get better for the people of her generation.” He then looked at his young daughter, who buried her face in her mom’s arms.
As people reached Terrace Park School, the clouds and rain that soaked most of the day parted to let the sun shine bright.
Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Steve Woodard spoke at the end of the route. “Look around you right now,” he said to the crowd. “You are looking at Mountlake Terrace.” Upon hearing this, the crowd of many ethnicities and races clapped loudly and enthusiastically.
“Keep in mind you come from a history,” Woodard said. “Those of us who have been here a long time are familiar with that history. There may be some people turning over in their graves. But for the right reason. Because this is what this country is supposed to look like. Please look at yourselves. Actually do that. Turn around. Look!”
People did just that, and gave another round of applause.
Woodard said there’s a lot of work to be done, but he’s confident Mountlake Terrace residents are ready.
“I see commissioners out here. I see educators out here. More importantly, I see little ones out here,” he continued.
Asked if he thought there would be a lasting effect from these rallies and marches, co-organizer Dustin DeKoekkoek said, “People of color and some allies have been doing the difficult work of dismantling systemic racism for a very long time. Obviously, now we are seeing a groundswell of support for anti-racism efforts not only in Mountlake Terrace but around the country. As long as those of us who are new to this work listen and learn from those already in it, there is real potential for this recent movement to advance the work already being done.”
— Story and photos by David Carlos