A rally and march to protest Amazon, led by Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant and the Affordable Housing Alliance, took to the city streets Saturday.
About 100 demonstrators rallied in front of Seattle Central College before marching to Amazon's headquarters in South Lake Union.
According to their Facebook page, the group claims Amazon "threatened to halt construction of a skyscraper if our movement succeeds in forcing the Mayor and City Council to tax big business to build affordable housing. This is extortion, and we must stand up to Bezos' bullying."
That move, which halted work on two projects, frustrated Tiffani McCoy.
"It's clear extortion, and what they are doing is a tried and true tactic of the bosses," she said. "It's pitting workers against workers, against their own class interests."
Keith Steinke attended the rally, but not in support.
"I think it's ridiculous," he said.
"If they keep pushing companies like Amazon, they could leave, and I wouldn't take that chance," he said.
KING 5 reporter Michael Crowe and photojournalist Tim Hahn covered the rally and tweeted the latest updates:
The march came two days before the Seattle City Council will vote on the proposed and controversial $500 per worker Seattle head tax. The city council says the head tax will mainly apply to businesses making over $20 million per year -- about three percent in Seattle. Those businesses would pay 26 cents per hour, per employee working in the city. Seventy-five percent of the money would go toward building affordable housing, with most of the remaining funds aimed at helping the homeless.
On Friday, the original proposal narrowly passed out of a city council committee by a 5-4 vote, setting the state for final approval on Monday and possible veto by Mayor Jenny Durkan.
Durkan on Thursday offered an alternate plan, cutting the tax in half from to $250 per employee per year. Durkan said in a statement Friday she would sign the alternate plan, but she still was not behind the proposal the committee passed.
Then Sawant suggested doubling Seattle’s proposed employee head tax during the city council committee meeting Friday morning.
On Saturday, Washington Governor Jay Inslee sent the City of Seattle a letter, indicating $40 million in additional funding to King County could result from the Washington budget. Durkan's office had asked about state funding for the city's homelessness crisis.
KING 5's Michael Crowe, Tim Hahn, Liza Javier and Travis Pittman contributed to this report.