A self-avowed socialist who encouraged unrest during Seattle’s “summer of love” is facing a recall, the Washington Examiner reported.
Councilwoman Kshama Sawant must fight to stay on the city council after Washington’s highest court gave the go-ahead for a petition to start Thursday.
Court greenlights recall effort
Sawant led calls to defund the police by as much as 50% this summer as her city erupted in violence.
Protesters in the city garnered media attention when they set up an “autonomous zone” that turned deadly before getting shut down, and Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) was criticized and mocked for her refusal to crack down on what she called a “summer of love.” But Sawant was too far left even for Durkan.
She angered the mayor by participating in protests at her home (Durkan wasn’t as responsive to the “autonomous zone,” some will recall), and Sawant allowed protesters to stage an overnight protest at City Hall that was another black eye for a city spiraling out of control.
Washington’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously that residents could begin petitioning to remove Sawant from office, partially agreeing with a lower court and petitioner and Capitol Hill resident Ernie Lou that her actions rose to “malfeasance.” But they disagreed that she had threatened Durkan.
“While it is true that protestors defaced and damaged Mayor Durkan’s home, there is no support offered showing that Councilmember Sawant herself threatened to cause bodily injury or physical harm to property; or that she exhorted others to engage in such conduct,” the justices wrote.
Blames “capitalist courts”
The recall campaign now has 180 days to get 10,000 signatures. Sawant and her allies say she is being targeted by big business interests hostile to the working class, which she supposedly represents. She even blamed “capitalist courts.”
“This ruling is completely unjust, but we are not surprised,” Sawant said. “Working people and oppressed communities cannot rely on the capitalist courts for justice anymore than they can on the police.”
Recall Sawant Campaign Manager Henry Bridger says that leaders like Sawant are endangering residents, and they’ve had enough.
“To have it be unanimous, speaks huge volumes, huge volumes,” he said. “She works for us, she’s our employee we’re her boss and it’s time to fire her.”