Tomorrow–4/20, the international holiday of doobage–will be tougher than entrepreneur Ian Eisenberg might have hoped. His store Uncle Ike’s, the second-most lucrative legal pot shop in the state, and located in the historically black Central District, will again be the target of an anti-gentrification protest.
Known as “Unity on Union,” the protest is sponsored by the NAACP, Afrikatown, Draze, Mt. Calvary Christian Center, The Black Book Club, Seaspot Media group and Third Level Events, according to a press release, which reads in part, “Uncle Ike’s is the result of an ongoing systemic attack and marginalization of Black community facilitated by government policies, actions and in actions…[O]n 4/20 we gather and unite to send a message to our elected officials and city power brokers that these types of indiscretion towards our young people, systemic practices to push long standing residents out of the neighborhood and blatant violation of the law is not ok and will not be tolerated!”
The protesters’ most specific complaint: that Ike’s is located mere feet from Mt. Calvary Christian Center and across the street from the church’s Joshua Generation Teen Center. Organizers say that the first is an insult and the second is illegal, per state law prohibiting pot stores from establishing near youth centers. (A lawsuit over Ike’s location was dropped last year “without prejudice,” meaning it could be brought back at a later date.)
Sheley Seacrest of the NAACP (and runner-up to John Okamoto for last year’s interim City Council seat) says that the protest is not anti-development. “For the NAACP, we want community development, but with a community-benefits approach,” she says. “If you’re going to build inside our neighborhoods, make sure that you speak with the long-time residents to make sure that that benefit is something that they want to see.
Read the FULL ARTICLE on the Seattle Weekly HERE
Facebook Event Page HERE