Seattle’s Kshama Sawant arraigned on disorderly conduct charge stemming from wage protest

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SEATAC, Wash. — Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, charged with disorderly conduct for blocking a road during a protest over the minimum wage, told a judge Thursday she does not need a lawyer at her trial and will represent herself.

In December, police arrested Sawant and several other minimum wage supporters for blocking a road during a protest outside Alaska Airlines headquarters.

“This is not about disorderly conduct, it’s about minimum wage,” Sawant told the judge.

Seatac voters approved a $15 minimum wage, but a judge ruled the minimum wage does not apply to airport workers.

“Alaska Airlines should be on trial, not us,” Sawant said.

Data pix.

Alaska Airlines said most of their vendors already make $12 an hour. That policy was put in place before the minimum wage movement.

The company released this statement on Thursday:

“Alaska Airlines supports fair-wage jobs and voluntarily increased wages last April for more than 1,000 vendor employees at the airport, prior to the Port of Seattle or the City of Seattle taking action.

"In addition to these substantial voluntarily wage increases, Alaska has invested millions of dollars in the SeaTac community focusing on career development, education and community wellness.

"With more than 6,000 employees in the Puget Sound area, Alaska is committed to playing an active role in improving the communities in which our families live and work.”

Minimum wage supporters say they don’t regret getting arrested.

But on Twitter some expressed frustration, saying Sawant is wasting tax dollars on special interests.

When Sawant was asked if it was appropriate for a City Council member to get arrested, she replied, “When workers and faith leaders and community activists are putting their own lives on the line to fight for the rights of workers, it’s appropriate for me as an elected public figure to join them in the struggles.”

Q13 FOX News posed the same question to other City Council members and the Mayor’s Office. No one commented about Sawant’s arrest.

“We need workers to get at least $15 an hour and it’s just the beginning of our struggle," she said.

Sawant, if convicted, could face up to a maximum of 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.

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  • dg54321

    Yep, she’s nuts. Good job Seattle, electing someone who belongs in Western State to your city council. Hope she ends up in jail, which, if she’s representing herself, seems like a distinct possibility.

  • wowjustwow

    “When workers and faith leaders and community activists are putting their own lives on the line to fight for the rights of workers, it’s appropriate for me as an elected public figure to join them in the struggles.”
    …………….Now she thinks she’s Gandhi! LOL! Her life is on the line? Oh brother.

  • Jim E Rotten

    The kind of cellphone-in-hand protests that this woman and those like her lead take neither intelligence nor courage. Why doesn’t she go run a business and pay and treat her employees to the standards she so casually demands?

    Having said that, she’s really no different than the other knuckleheads on the council, so I’m happy that she’s no longer teaching (brainwashing students) at Seattle Central. Seattle Central’s economics department is now once again respectable and logic-driven; James Hubert is a great professor.

    • dg54321

      Like many such things, because a judge said so. Make sure you vote appropriately in the next election where that judge is on the ballot. What you don’t have the right to do is block traffic and violate the law yourself in protest. Telling that you see nothing wrong with that, Petey.

  • Dallas Covington

    Shams lama ding dong is in court for the act of disorderly conduct by blocking the street. Don’t play the blame game and drag Alaska air into it. Grow up and now take your licks. You chose to put yourself in that situation. Sheesh!

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