Anti-gentrification protesters in Seattle’s Central Area are plastering “Karmic Infraction Notices” on small businesses in the area.
Protesting the increasing number of small artisan businesses in the neighborhood, Central Area locals Emnet Getahun and Yeni Lopez Sleidi taped posters to the businesses doors with the word “Notice” printed in bold letters across. The posters further listed the “karmic infractions” that the shops had committed simply by running their business in lower income areas.
The infractions include: “Being an unapologetic gentrifier, unchecked white class/privilege, destroying black and brown communities, making mortgages/rent unaffordable, exasperating income segregation and stealing black culture while displacing black people.”
“My parents were able to build a life for themselves and start a small business in the 90s,” Getahun told The Guardian. “If they moved here today, that would not have happened. My entire economic foundation was because there was affordable housing in Seattle.”
However, Chris Joyner, owner of local business CommuniTea Kombucha, doesn’t agree, saying, “I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, wealthy, pointing it at me is a little silly because of who I am and what I’m doing, but I realize it’s symbolic.” Many others agree with Joyner that this supposed gentrification is not a bad thing and has in fact had positive effects on the area.
Amelework Chalachew, who runs a café in Salem with her mother and an Ethiopian restaurant for the past 14 years, said, “There’s less crime. We don’t see as many crazy people walking around all the time. We feel a little safer taking the garbage out at night.”
Lucas Nolan is a conservative who regularly contributes articles on censorship and free speech to Breitbart. Follow him on Twitter@LucasNolan_ or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org