Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant arrested in SeaTac during protest
By Tim Clifford
Wednesday night Seattle city council member Kshama Sawant was arrested during a demonstration organized by 15 Now that marched along International Blvd. near SeaTac.
Sawant was arrested with three other protesters, workers for Alaska Airlines, on charges of disorderly conduct and taken to the SCORE jail in Des Moines. All were released just before 10:30 p.m. after posting a bail of $500 each.
Standing before waiting cameras from local news outlets such as KING5 and KOMO Sawant issued a brief statement regarding her arrest:
"It was the courage of SeaTac workers and their victory at the ballot that made $15/hour possible in Seattle. I'm proud to stand with them today against Alaska Airlines' attempted robbery. First Alaska Airlines said the City of SeaTac doesn't have the right to enforce $15/hour for airport workers, only the Port does. Now Alaska Airlines is leading the charge on a federal lawsuit claiming the Port has no authority to raise wages. Which is it? What's clear is they'd rather spend millions trying to overturn democracy than pay low-wage workers what they've earned."
The demonstration was organized to protest a recent lawsuit filed by Airlines for America in Federal court to contest whether or not the Port of Seattle has the authority to enforce the recent minimum wage hike of $15 an hour at the airport. Last year Alaska Airlines along with the Restaurant Association filed a lawsuit against the city to stop the wage increase which failed. On Nov. 10 the new suit was officially filed by the airline lobbying group on behalf of Alaska Airlines.
The first socialist to ever be voted to the city council, Sawant has been an outspoken supporter of the minimum wage hike and an advocate for worker’s rights.