Last Friday, community leader “Uncle” Bob Santos led a rally against hookah bars in the International District neighborhood. The rally was partly in response to the murder of Donnie Chin, director of International District Emergency Center (IDEC), who had been vocal in his opinion that hookah bars brought undesired elements to the neighborhood.
Santos will be leading a second rally on Friday, July 31 at 10:30 p.m. starting at the Bush Garden parking lot.
“After a successful rally last week, we’ve decided to take to the streets again in protest of hookah bar,” organizers said in a statement. “Hookah bars make the neighborhood unsafe. Unsavory people gather outside of them, park their cars in the middle of the street, and act aggressively toward community members passing by. We want them out of the ID.”
Organizers said the Seattle Police Department will have a presence to protect residents and protestors.
Neighborhood residents have complained about late night noise, litter, and street racing from patrons of a hookah bar situated near senior housing in the area. In a community meeting in June, the hookah bar owner and representatives of the senior housing talked about ways to address concerns. That dialogue is ongoing.
Developing: Donnie Chin of International District Emergency Center shot and killed