In recent years, there’s been a resurgence of activity among White Supremacists and their allies who have attacked marginalized communities. These newly emboldened bigots murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Blaze Bernstein in Southern California, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Rick Best in Portland.

White Supremacist groups have been known to use conservative/patriotic events as predatory recruiting grounds for their cause. In the Pacific Northwest, Cascade Legion, Atomwaffen Division, Identity Europa, and Vanguard America/Patriot Front are some of the most dangerous of these organizations.

It’s the inherent right of each individual and community to defend ourselves against those who would harm, persecute, or terrorize us and PSJBGC believes in using any and all means at our disposal to defend against this violence. It is with this understanding that we engage in community defense by empowering one another to participate in the defense of our communities with the knowledge and equipment to do so.

We’re willing to take on the risk to defend those of us who live under the threat of violence because of skin color, gender identity, sexuality, religion, or birth country. For us, that means that we meet our neighbors face-to-face, and stand alongside them to face threats. We understand this means that we may also become targets ourselves and become known to their enemies, but we act always with the understanding that those who oppose liberty for all people are already our shared enemies.

A Brief History of McGraw Square

McGraw Square Plaza is named after Washington Governor John McGraw. Governor McGraw had three terms as the sheriff of King County and considered his “proudest moment” his standoff as sheriff with the anti-Chinese mobs of 1886. It was also his luckiest.

After the sheriff took three bullets — one through his hat, two through his coat — the vigilantes scattered. While we may not care to recognize his positions as Governor or Sheriff, today seems an opportune moment to note that standing up against armed racists should be the Puget Sound tradition we want to remember.