Greg Nickels, Mayor
Julie Nelson, Acting Director
810 Third Avenue, Suite 750, Seattle WA 98104-1627
Hate Free Zone
The Seattle Office for Civil Rights maintains this web site to enhance public access to information in the wake of our national tragedy of September 11. While many of us feel confused and angry about the September 11 attack, our commitment to civil rights remains unchallenged. We remember that our country was founded on ethnic and religious freedom for everyone. We know that our strength lies in unity, harmony and a strong commitment to human and civil rights.
This web site is a service that is continually under development. While we try to keep the information timely and accurate, we make no guarantees. We will make an effort to correct errors brought to our attention. Users should be aware that the information available on this web site may not reflect official positions of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. To read the complete disclaimer.[Return to Top of Page]
The City of Seattle has responded to hate crimes that target perceived Arab Americans and Muslims. Attached are three messages to share with your staff and the people you serve. Please use them in your mailings to the general public, and post them where people can see them. At a press conference on September 18, Governor Gary Locke and other community leaders declared Washington State a Hate Free Zone. Join the effort to protect everyone's civil rights!
Hate Crimes, September 14, 2001 (PDF format)
Letter by Mayor Schell (PDF format)
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck Resolution (PDF format)[Return to Top of Page]
The Seattle Office for Civil Rights has prepared a flyer urging Seattle residents to report hate crimes to the Police Department. The flyer has been translated into the following languages:Return to Top of Page]
Protection of civil rights involving U.S. airports and airlines falls under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. If an allegation of illegal discrimination involves airport personnel or programs, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has jurisdiction. If it involves an airline, the U.S. Department of Transportation has jurisdiction.
The Seattle-area FAA office advises people to contact it as soon as possible concerning any allegation of a civil rights violation involving an airport. If you are uncertain who has jurisdiction in your specific case, or if you prefer to talk to someone locally, contact:
If an allegation is clearly against an airline, individuals can contact:
When an allegation is clearly against an airline, DOT and FAA also encourage individuals to notify the airline representatives found at the website at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/customerservice.htm
For more information, check the web at
The Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights has directed the Civil Rights
Division's National Origin Working Group to help combat violations of federal civil
rights laws affecting individuals perceived to be of Middle Eastern descent. For more information
check the site at
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Fact Sheet on:
"Employment Discrimination Based on Religion, Ethnicity, or Country of Origin." Design to help Employers and Labor Unions guard against unlawful discrimination. To download the PDF format file
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) document site is: http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/fs-relig_ethnic.html[Return to Top of Page]
The Hate Free Zone Campaign is dedicated to establishing Washington State as a place where all individuals can feel safe, secure and welcome, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity, and where acts of hatred and discrimination will not be tolerated.
If you are in immediate danger, Call 911
For non-emergencies, call the Hate Free Zone Helpline to report a hate incident or crime, and to receive confidential support in your own language and referral services to appropriate community based organizations in your local area. . .
Call at the Toll Free number 1-866-HFZONE1
To learn more or download a pdf file.[Return to Top of Page]
Hate--not in our backyard. Hate has no place in our hearts or in our neighborhoods.
Retaliation against members of our community is illegal and wrong. King
County Office for Civil Rights Enforcement
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING FBI INTERVIEWS: PROCEDURES FOR IRAQIS AND OTHERS CONTACTED BY THE FBI
Again, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is for individuals who are approached for interviews to have an attorney present. Please spread the word and forward on to people who may be affected or to appropriate groups.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the staff at HFZ Campaign at (206) 723-2203 or toll-free at 1-866-439-6631.[Return to Top of Page]
After September 11, 2001, hundreds of people of color including Sikh Americans, Arab Americans, East Africans and Muslims of all ethnic backgrounds experienced personal attacks and harassment across the nation. Their attackers lashed out because of confusion, prejudice, ignorance, and lack of emotional awareness.
According to the American Red Cross, the "anniversary effect" can cause intense feelings and reactions. People may experience a resurfacing of emotions, the intensity and nature of which will vary. Some may feel no change in emotion or behavior while others will re-experience feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, or grief like those felt a year ago. Not only will victims of abuse potentially suffer from this effect, but the risk of repeat attacks rises as the general population, aided by mass media, re-lives the experiences of September 11.
Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington does not wish to exacerbate the fear already felt by so many targeted communities. We are urging caution, not anxiety. However we are aware that risks are heightened at this time. We are therefore distributing a list of commonsense precautionary safety measures. We hope you will find them helpful.
A hate crime is targeted criminal activity, usually motivated by prejudice based on perceived personal characteristics of the victims. Hostile or hateful speech and actions motivated by prejudice are termed hate or bias incidents. These motivations may include race, religion, ethnicity or national origin, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation. Hate incidents become crimes only when they directly incite perpetrators to commit violence against persons or property, or if they place a potential victim in reasonable fear of physical injury. However, we must thoroughly document evidence in all hate incidents. Together, all of us - law enforcement, schools, businesses, religious institutions, citizens - can defuse potentially dangerous situations and prevent hate-motivated criminal behavior by responding to and documenting all hate incidents and behavior.
Be aware of your surroundings, the people and activity around you. Awareness is your best self-defense. Carry a cell phone with you.
Avoid trouble: try not to walk alone at night. Use well-lit, busy streets. Walk with friends or in a group or call your community service offices for an escort. If necessary, request police patrol of your building when working after hours. If you do go out alone, let someone know where you will be going and when you will return. Avoid shortcuts, dark alleys, deserted streets and wooded areas.
Trust Your Instincts
Don't assume a false sense of security because you are either surrounded by people or in a remote area. If you think something is wrong, remove yourself from the situation. Trust your gut - if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
Walk as if you know where you're going. Stand tall. Walk in a confident manner, and hold your head up. Keep your hands free and keep them chest high in heavy crowds.
Carry a Whistle
If you feel threatened, blow your whistle, bang garbage cans, honk your horn, or shout "fire!" to attract attention.
Have Everything You Need Ready
Hold your keys when going to and from your car, home and business. This will save time and give you some security in having protection. Any device you carry for protection may be used against you. Select such security devices carefully. Don't carry more money than you will need, but always have emergency change for a phone call. When parking, park in a well-lit area and lock your car. Look around before you exit your car. When returning to your car, have your keys ready to open the door, and look inside before sitting down.
When taking public transportation, time your arrival at the bus stop so that your wait is short. Wait in a well-lit area. Try to sit close to the driver, and watch who gets off the bus with you.
If You Feel Threatened
Cross the street, change direction, go to a place where there are other people, or walk closer to traffic. Step out in the street on the other side of parked cars. If you think a car is following you, turn around and walk quickly in the opposite direction. Try to memorize the license plate number and description. If you think you are being followed on foot, turn around to let the person know that you have seen them. Immediately cross the street or go quickly toward a place where a number of people will be.
Do Not Open The Door To Strangers Without Verifying Their Identity
Make strangers show you a picture ID and make police officers, INS or FBI show you formal identification. You do not have to allow them inside unless they have a warrant and they show it to you. Check locks on all doors and windows.
Do Not Give Personal Information Over The Phone Or To "Wrong Number" Callers
Instruct children, visitors, and/or extended family members to do the same.
If you are insulted or challenged to a fight, respond in a peaceful manner and contact police immediately. Do not resort to physical or verbal abuse. Ensure that your children know what steps to take to avoid confrontation. Make sure your child's school has implemented an anti-discrimination policy.
Change The World
Make your home and your neighborhood a safe haven. Talk to your children, and listen to them. Reach out to anyone who may be targeted. Let them know you are available to help. If you feel you may be a target, talk to your neighbor or workmate about it. Get to know your neighbors: a simple smile and a chat can go a long way to make everyone feel more at home in their neighborhood. Many Mosques, Gurudwaras, Synagogues and Churches have established committees and developed plans to safeguard their members since September 11. Familiarize yourself and your family with these plans and people.
If you feel you may be a target, call us on the Washington State HATE FREE ZONE Helpline: 1-866-HFZONE1 (1-866-439-6631). We may be able to help you organize support or a safety plan.
Post HATE FREE ZONE signs in your home and workplace, particularly up to and including the week of September 11, 2002. You can pick up the signs for posting and distribution from:
King County Labor Council Suite 206
If You Are The Victim of An Attack:
DIAL 911 for emergency assistance or if your life is in danger.
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