There has been a noticeable change in tactics by the Seattle Police Department in the past month, beginning shortly after the city council voted to cut the police budget by a mere 1%. This is a comprehensive look at the unrepentant violence they’ve committed in just the past month…

On August 12th, Seattle Police use an unmarked GMC Yukon to attempt to hit people on the sidewalk near Cal Anderson park. The officer admits to driving on the sidewalk, then brags about getting paid $200,000 a year to “babysit.”

Later that night, the Yukon is involved in a…


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…


The most surreal thing happened yesterday. A consultant for Ari Hoffman’s campaign (Safe Seattle’s conservative candidate for the District 2 city council race) stumbled onto a public post on my Facebook page and proceeded to comment on several threads, insisting that despite all the evidence to the contrary, Ari Hoffman is actually working to provide progressive solutions to Seattle’s homelessness crisis. The consultant, Mario Brown, is well-known in local progressive circles (he formerly worked on the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016) and his decision to join the Hoffman campaign came as a disappointment to many. It is a bold and…


As city council races heat up, so have the debates around safe-consumption sites here in Seattle, with conservative candidates like Ari Hoffman making it a central part of their campaigns. Hoffman even made the trip up to Vancouver this past week to see their safe-consumption system in action. Upon returning to Seattle, he posted a photo to his campaign’s Facebook page with the caption, “I went to 2 injection sites in Vancouver, and all I got was Narcan and a crack pipe.” It is unclear what Hoffman expected to find on his trip, but his photo illustrates how little he…


Conservative candidate, Christopher Rufo, dropped out of Seattle’s city council race last year after someone made fun of him on the internet. At the time, he told reporters he was leaving the race to direct a documentary for PBS, but at the time we didn’t know the focus of the film, who was funding it, or how it played into Rufo’s strategy of demonizing the poor in order to elevate himself in the larger, national conservative movement. A few months later, we finally have answers to all those questions… The film is about poverty in America, it is funded by…


<dramatic reenactment>

You probably saw the viral video making the rounds this past week, the one that purported to show members of the Seattle City Council ignoring a citizen giving public comment. Local rightwing media immediately seized on the clip, plastering it across the airwaves on Q13, KIRO and MyNorthwest, using it to support their claims that our leftwing political leaders view their constituents with contempt. The video was also shared by thousands of regular people who probably don’t consider themselves partisan at all, people who felt this video perfectly encapsulated their disillusionment with local government. …


After spending the week denying mounting evidence that their group is little more than a cynical rebranding of existing anti-homeless groups like Safe Seattle, Speak Out Seattle held their first candidate forum last night, hosting all the candidates from Seattle’s District 1 city council race. The forum was moderated by KIRO’s Mike Lewis, with questions submitted on the group’s website, and was livestreamed on Youtube, which is where I watched (most of) it this morning. Unlike most candidate forums, it was immediately obvious that the aim here was not to get to know the wide range of candidates running for…


On January 5, 2017, David Preston and Harley Lever, the founders of the anti-homeless group, Safe Seattle, joined together with Elisabeth James, a Safe Seattle contributor, to form Speak Out Seattle. The group is a self-described “coalition of individuals, business people and neighborhood groups” aimed at pressuring local leaders into adopting new solutions to the city’s homelessness crisis. A few days after forming the group, Safe Seattle shared the news on their Facebook page in a post signed by all three founders. A couple weeks later, Harley Lever gave a lengthy interview to Westside Seattle News in which he detailed…


After being legitimized in a softball interview on KUOW last week, anti-homeless “activist” Christopher Rufo is back on scene with more hard-hitting statistical analysis that proves he isn’t even qualified to teach an elementary school math class. It’s sunny and my kids want to play outside so I don’t have time to refute everything in his ridiculous post, so I’ll just focus on this one funny piece that proves he shouldn’t be taken seriously (you can read the rest of his nonsense over on his facebook page, complete with a comment section full of fawning morons).


This past week felt like a tipping point for Seattle, the moment when the collapsing economics of local journalism and the relentless flood of anti-homeless hysteria came to a head, and it’s a moment from which our city won’t soon recover. Three stories highlight this perfect storm, and demonstrate how ill-equipped we are to combat misinformation in the age of social media.

The Beheading Hoax:

The week started with Safe Seattle, an anti-homeless facebook group with almost 10,000 members, concocting a gruesome hoax about a homeless drug addict beheading people and hiding in homeless camps across the city. The story…

Matt “Spek” Watson

nerd rager and maker of internet things

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