Protesters

Protesters say they will continue to be a steady presence on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street until they see changes are being made.

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Many Ellensburg locals likely have seen the protesters on Main Street by the Kittitas County courthouse. They have signs and are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and have been in that spot every day for close to three weeks.

Organizer Sara Omrani said there is a core group of about eight to 10 people who try to go as often as possible. Another five to 10 usually show up. On weekends they usually get more people. They arrive at the location around 2 p.m. and stay for as long as they can, usually until 6-7 p.m.

“I think it is important that we are out here,” Omrani said. “Having a sign out here isn’t going to change the world, but little things do create cultural change.”

She said the town response has been overwhelmingly positive, although they do get the occasional death/rape/murder threat. This is why Omrani and the others go out each day, they see threats like these once or twice a protest, she said people of color have to face these threats every day.

Jacob Dolan-Fear has been with the group as often as possible. He is an anthropology student at CWU and has been learning about the history of racism in the U.S. and decided he needed to do something.

“Just learning about that, especially me being a white person, I just feel as though it is my responsibility to speak up for people who can’t,” Dolan-Fear said.

Omrani said most people are in support of what they are doing. They have people drive by and honk their support, wave or even bring food and supplies. Some local restaurants have supported the movement by bringing them food for free.

There are endgame plans for these protesters, they want to work closer with the town leadership, and there are talks of a mural of some sort, although these are still just talks.

Omrani would like to see the town start supporting the movement, which she said is starting to happen. She believes Mayor Bruce Tabb has shown his support, and she would like the police to start collaborating with them. She doesn’t want to have to be on the corner every day, which she said will happen when it is obvious that in Ellensburg, black lives matter.

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