An Open Letter To Safe Seattle & David Preston

Matt “Spek” Watson
Jun 19 · 4 min read

Dear Safe Seattle & David Preston,

On Monday afternoon, while I was giving my toddler a bath and rocking my 9-month old daughter to sleep, two Secret Service agents showed up at my door. These armed federal agents were sent there by your readers, through a coordinated week-long campaign carried out across multiple platforms and pages, attempting to paint me as a violent threat to the President of the United States. This campaign involved digging up years-old facebook posts, ambiguous non-threats, and tweets about Israeli foreign policy. All of this was done to discredit the work I have been doing to ensure that your candidate, Ari Hoffman, is not elected to represent my district on Seattle’s city council. This is not the first time you have misled your readers in an attempt to slander me and the work I do… Just two months ago you publicly accused me of stalking a young woman and trying to murder her with my car, and a couple weeks ago you publicly accused me of spray-painting graffiti on the houses of Safe Seattle members (both of these claims offered without the slightest hint of evidence).

But Monday’s events were an escalation, even for a group like yours, which has mapped homeless encampments, concocted hoaxes about drug-fueled beheadings, stalked and harassed women, and supported candidates and policies that seek to drag us back decades. You sent armed federal agents to my home, when I was home alone with my children. You fed those agents lies about my intentions and the context of my online activity, putting me and my children in danger. I am lucky to be privileged enough to not only have survived the encounter, but to have had a chance to show them your many posts about me, and even get a laugh out of them at the absurdity of the situation. Let me repeat that: they laughed at you. And when they called my entire family yesterday to conduct their obligatory follow-up interviews, they made sure to let my mom know how nice I am. Not quite the outcome you were going for, was it?

Despite the almost-comical end to their visit, I need you to know how seriously I take this. Your members have publicly expressed that they hope this visit from federal agents will cause me to tone down my rhetoric, to dial back the pressure on your candidates, and to stop shining a spotlight on your awful behavior and ideas. I’m writing this letter to regretfully inform you that none of that will be happening. You have made this wildly personal, but more than that, you have shown how disastrous it would be to allow you to wield any political power in this city. This incident, coupled with Ari Hoffman’s many attempts to falsely accuse people of bias crimes and theft, prove beyond a doubt that were you to hold any power in this city, you would use that power to weaponize law enforcement against your political opponents.

You and your candidates have brought in tens of thousands of dollars from outside this city in order to wage rightwing campaigns against the progressive ideals that have defined this city for decades. You have appeared on national conservative media, produced “documentaries” aimed at criminalizing poverty, and hosted forums designed to present your ideas as anything but the outdated failures that they are. From here on out, I’m making it my goal to ensure that every last penny of that money is squandered, that every candidate is mocked into obscurity, and that any individual who associates with you in any capacity is rightly labeled a bigot and pays the highest possible social cost for their decisions.

Thank you for showing me how high the stakes really are.


Written by

nerd rager and maker of internet things

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