Nacho is a member of the Apache 6 Security Team. This is his perspective of the Aftermath of the Church Protest at Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop.
Well, it’s been about a week since the church protest and roughly two weeks since Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop had its’ grand opening. The church marijuana protest called for a rally everyday at noon and at 5pm, and continue until the pot shop closed down and moved out. With a front row seat every single day, we have witnessed that the church is not that dedicated. Either, they forgot the weed shop protest was at noon and 5pm, or they could only muster five bodies to hold up signs.
From a security company perspective, we respect their point of view. But from a reality/common sense point of view, they need to put aside this anger/hostility towards the pot shop and move on. The shop is not going away. The owner, Ian Eisenberg, has even has reached out to the church and offered to push back the opening hours until after church services are over, or not open Sundays at all. The church refuses to work with the owner.
Recently, the Uncle Ike’s staff went to Starbucks and purchased coffee and coffee cake for the protesters (all 5 of them), and the church members pushed them away with their signs! Luckily someone recorded their behavior and posted it on Facebook. It’s amazing for us to see the strength and numbers when the media is out covering the story, but the minute the video stops rolling, the protesters seem to jump in their cars and drive away. The media recently visited the premises, to do an update, and managed to only gather around eight protesters in front of the camera. That is the largest gathering we have seen since the original protest!
During these protests, or lack thereof, We have seen a fleeing felon on foot, trying to run away from Seattle Police, on 23rd & Union. Three Seattle police officers gave chase. They finally cornered the man within an apartment complex. Even K-9 units were brought in because the suspect was armed and dangerous. So why make note of this when this article is about the church protests? Because, this was in broad day light while the 5 protesters were out flashing their signs! That little corner lot where Uncle Ike’s pot shop is located was, at that time, one of the most secure places to be at the time and the protesters took refuge during this incident. You won’t see that on the media.
The point is, the pot shop is not going away, it’s here to stay. The church needs to find a better way to reach and mentor their youth. The owner didn’t “disrespect” the church, he made a business decision and purchased the land. A member of the church personally told me, on the day of the rally, that ‘they (the church) screwed up by not buying the land when it was available.’ Can you blame a business man for making a business decision? Putting money back into the economy and the community? One person alone is trying to clean up the neighborhood and add security to the lot and you want to protest that? Should we challenge the church to do the same? Why aren’t they protesting the liquor store, or the barbershop, where loiters seem to ‘hang out’ and ‘gather’ well into the night?
I respect the religious values of the protesters and their right to protest, but maybe their is a better way to approach the situation. After all, they appear peaceful and act like victims until you offer them coffee and cake, then they just shove the signs at you! (In one protesters defense, the lady in the video did come over and apologize the next day).
How about we use our strength and numbers, and combine our numbers to fight for the ‘real’ problems? Like the security of everyone in the area? Because, all I see is good honest people walking into Uncle Ike’s pot shop partaking on something the people voted for.