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2015 in Photos: A historic year for Seattle

In 2015 we saw an explosion of diverse social justice movements. Here are some of my highlights from Seattle since I started documenting these struggles and victories in June.

Let's build on this momentum and make 2016 another historic year in the fight for a just and equitable society.

Osman Osman, a Somali immigrant, celebrates forming a tenants association at his apartment building and winning an initial victory in the struggle against notorious slumlord Carl Haglund.
Hundreds of East African community members, students and supporters came together to unite against racism and Islamophobia and to demand answers about the death of Seattle Central student Hamza Warsame.
Outgoing Council member Nick Licata receives a lifetime achievement award at The Seattle Process, Brett Hamil's political comedy show. Licata's legislative aide Lisa Herbold also receives an award for her recent victory in the Seattle City Council District 1 race.
More than 900 people pack Town Hall Seattle for a June kickoff rally to re-elect Kshama Sawant. Speakers included Chris Hedges, Jill Stein, Pramila Jayapal, David Rolf and others.
Kshama Sawant rides a float in the 2015 Pride Parade, where more than 150 volunteers marched to support her re-election campaign.
Taxi drivers with Teamsters Local 117 collected $20 donations from 210 drivers to help re-elect Kshama Sawant. They presented all $4,200 to Kshama during a visit to the Sea-Tac Airport taxi dispatch center.
Brett Hamil gives opening remarks at the debut of The Seattle Process, his political comedy show featuring local elected officials, writers and artists. Guests at the inaugural show included Kshama Sawant, the writers at Seattlish, Ijeoma Olou, and others.
After 3 years of organizing, displaced tenants from Lockhaven and Theodora held a press conference to announce a settlement with Triad Development that will put $5.5 million dollars towards affordable housing projects. Knoll Lowney, attorney for Displaced Tenants for Accountability and Transparency, says tenants won because they "channeled their experience into a social justice movement."
Sea-Tac Airport workers celebrate the WA State Supreme Court ruling upholding SeaTac Proposition 1, passed by voters in 2013 but blocked by Alaska Airlines' lawsuits. The court ruled that the airport must pay all workers $15/hr, plus paid sick leave, retroactive to January 1, 2014. But the fight is not over yet as Alaska Airlines has since filed additional lawsuits to prevent workers from receiving a living wage.
Space Needle workers with UNITE HERE Local 8 engage in civil disobedience by blocking traffic to the Space Needle. For over a year these courageous workers have been fighting for a fair contract that includes job security and union rights.
Kshama Sawant presents a $500 check from her Solidarity Fund to support the Seattle teacher’s strike. The historic strike by the Seattle Education Association won fair wages, racial equity tools and expanded access to recess for Seattle students.
Last year, Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Native American activists successfully established Indigenous Peoples Day on the same day federally recognized as Columbus Day. This year, activists and tribal members marched to City Hall to support a resolution condemning the cultural genocide perpetuated by the United States Indian Boarding School Policy, which was in effect from 1869 to the 1960s.
David Zirin, political sports editor at The Nation, speaks at The Nation's 150th anniversary celebration at Town Hall Seattle.
Hundreds celebrated the re-election of Councilmember Kshama Sawant with calls for building a new, independent political party representing poor and working people.
Activists with Seattle Housing and Resource Effort packed Kshama Sawant's People's Budget Town Hall to demand the City Council fully funds homeless services. This movement helped win an additional $2.3 million for homeless services, as well as increased funding for a YWCA shelter.
Danni Askini, trans rights activist and executive director of the Gender Justice League, goes over a map of Kshama Sawant's primary election voting results broken down by precinct. The areas of lowest support (green/brown) are among the richest neighborhoods in Seattle with waterfront views on Lake Washington.
After months of campaigning, Taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers pack City Hall as the council passes groundbreaking legislation giving them the right to unionize. Seattle is now the first city in the country where drivers have the right collectively bargain with their employer.
Samira, a tenant living in a building with 225 housing code violations, speaks at a protest outside the office of notorious slumlord Carl Haglund. She urged tenants and supporters to spread the struggle for housing justice to other properties owned by Haglund, and to make sure that initial gains at her building, like a month of free rent, are enforced.