Councilmember O’Brien shoved out of Nordic Museum after-party

The Seattle Times is reporting that Councilmember Mike O’Brien was physically removed from an outdoor event at the Pacific Fishermen Shipyard on Friday night. The event was an official after-party of the Nordic Museum’s grand opening.

O’Brien said he was asked to leave, and as he looked for his wife, “someone from behind grabbed me by the shoulders and proceeded to shove me toward the gate and out the gate,” he said. “I was physically thrown out of this event because of the policies I advocate for.”

When Times reporter Daniel Beekman asked shipyard General Manager Doug Dixon what happened, he verified O’Brien’s account.

“We have a conflict with Mike O’Brien because of his efforts to put a bicycle path here and do some other issues that hurt the maritime-industrial area,” he said. Dixon said when O’Brien didn’t leave after he was told he was trespassing, “we had to forcibly remove him.”

Councilmember O’Brien is a polarizing figure in Ballard politics. He’s an outspoken supporter of plans to build the missing link of the Burke Gilman trail along the waterfront, which has been the subject of a long-running legal battle between Old Ballard businesses and the Seattle Department of Transportation. Earlier this year, the city hearing examiner ruled in favor of SDOT.

O’Brien took the brunt of criticism at a raucous town hall over homelessness last week, and a letter to O’Brien from neighbors frustrated with homelessness and crime has nearly 2,500 signatures. There’s a “Recall Mike O’Brien” Facebook group, which took this photo of “Visualize Recall” stickers making the rounds in Ballard.

(File photo above from the City of Seattle.)

84 comments on “Councilmember O’Brien shoved out of Nordic Museum after-party”

  1. > See upcoming events in our Ballard calendar <

  2. @Jonathan
    Haha, yes. Rumor has it O’Brien was going to press charges but after waiting on hold for 2hrs and waiting at the scene for 2 more hours for officers to arrive, he gave up and went home.

    Ballard should file a class action lawsuit against O’Brien for assaulting the entire neighborhood.
    The streets are full of Sawant’s thugs and they freely steal, rob, assault with impunity.

    Pathetic that you would choose these scumbags over your taxpaying neighbors just to “stick it to Trumpers” or whatever.

  3. Wow. Regardless of politics if you are hosting an event for a museum that sits on land paid for with public dollars then perhaps you should bite your feelings and not behave in such a manner. If a private party co-hosted a big event for the Seattle Art Museum should they throw out all Trump supporters in a similar manner. Especially if the party was part of an event that was also being hosted at the museum. No. That would reflect poorly on the museum. This incident is not doing the Nordic Heritage museum any favors. The fishermen do look like fools. And if someone had handled my husband in that manner then I would have done much worse than swear at them.

  4. @CURTIS

    Did you even read the article? This didn’t happen at the museum.


  5. The reporting leaves something to be desired. Was this event open to anyone? Could I have gone? If it was open to anyone, then O’Brien was treated badly. If it was by invitation and he wasn’t invited, then he was totally out of line. You can’t crash a party given by people who believe you’ve treated them badly and expect to be welcome.

    One final thought. City council meetings have deteriorated. Opponents of O’Brien and Sawant get shouted down. That’s a public meeting where ALL citizens are invited. I hope Mr. O’Brien calls out his own supporters on their lack of civility. He’d have the moral high ground if he made it a point to tell HIS followers to be respectful to others. As it is, there’s a bit of: “You can dish it out but you can’t take it” in his complaint.

  6. @Curtis
    Your husband is a lucky man. I wonder how outraged you would be if you were assaulted, robbed, or burglarized by one of the roaming addict felons. Hopefully – god forbid – if that ever happens you can summon up just 10% of your anger and hatred for Trump supporters or O’Brien/Sawant opponents, and channel that into defending your husband against the attacker.

    The rest of us will continue to apply pressure to our incompetent, corrupt leaders for allowing public safety to degenerate and the community to erode. In a city where there is a protest every week and all manner of nude parades, this is very very minor. Hope you can recover.

  7. Mike and Doug have known each other for years. Mike O’Brien knows what Pac Fish, Doug and the maritime industry thinks of him. The party was at Pac Fish for people who donated 100K or more to the Museum. Doug was the host of that party. Doug is much, much closer to the Scandinavian community than Mike O’Brien will ever be.

    Mike showed unbelievably bad judgement showing up there. A place that couldn’t be more anti O’Brien. He could have done the classy thing and passed on going but he didn’t. You really have to wonder what was going through Mike’s head by going to this party. What was he hoping the outcome of his going would be. He knew full well that he would at the very least be a distraction. If you are surprised or upset that he was kicked off private property (at a place where he is loathed) than you need to understand a little bit more of what’s going on in our district.

  8. Could you please pull the plug on Bagwan Shree Sawant. He is RACIST because he equates CM Sawant with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He paints both as negative stereotypes and equates the two (who have no similarities beyond their country of origin).

  9. The point is that regardless of where the incident occurred, the museum is affiliated and unfortunately is therefore painted with the same barbaric brush as Dixon and his goons. Mr. Dixon does not strike me as the type that gives much thought to his actions and their possible repercussions.

  10. @Uncivil Dude
    Sawant is using similar tactics as the Rajneeshis. Their race is irrelevant, but I suggest you do some research before starting up the social justice gestapo routine.

  11. @Civil Dude – I would like to second this request. At least until he is willing to hide behind a non-racist name. I wouldn’t expect him to demonstrate that he has the courage of his convictions and use his actual name, but blatant bigotry should not be acceptable on this site.

  12. Bhagwan, I mean JM98107:








  13. “He is RACIST”

    Don’t forget Civil Dude (love the name!), all white people are racist as we all benefit from white supremacy.

  14. While I do NOT support O’Brien’s position on homelessness, I strongly support completion of the missing link. I have been to several meetings over the past 20 years concerning the trail and there is near unanimous community support for completion of the trail. This section would have been completed years ago if not a small opposition with money, willing to sue the city just to delay. For the most part the opposition has lost in court, but they have been successful in delaying the inevitable trail, all while costing the taxpayers lots and lots of money.

    As far as Dixon, his actions should be criminally investigated, and if appropriate, he should charged with a crime. While I have not personally met him ( I don’t think) I have lost all respect for him and his company due to his childish behavior. Grow up Mr Dixon.

  15. Isn’t Jason Rantz the “journalist” for MyNorthwest that tries to pass opinion as news articles that look like they were written by an angry, hormonal 14 year old boy who just got all his prom proposals rejected by all the girls at his high school?

    And then the commentors on his articles. Woo boy. What a pack of tiny handed sockpuppets that make our resident sockpuppet look sane by comparison. Facts and reason mean nothing over their myopic world view. But hey, whatever gets the page views for their ads hawking testosterone supplements!

  16. I just posted this morning under the name Ballard Boy. Someone else posted using Ballard Boy to try and discredit my post. I assure you I am NOT posting under multiple names, my opinion is my own and original.

    If you do not like my post or disagree, that is fine, please post a reasoned rational argument so all can benefit. Please refrain from unfairly attacking me and using the same name I post under, that does nothing to further the discussion. Whomever posted using my same name needs to grow up, just like Mr. Dixon.

    That being said we need to stop enabling homeless drug users by providing free camping for them. I have picked up numerous needles, including one just this morning while out on my walk.

    We also need to complete the missing link once and for all and stop wasting all our public money on legal fees. The trail does not take or condemn any private property, it will be built all on public land.

  17. Wow, between the church meeting where the O’Brien supporters were screamed at and the after party incident, I think Ballard could use some lessons from Emily Post or Miss Manners. Doesn’t matter which side you are on, try your inside voice, and when saying something terrible, at least add, “Bless his heart.”

  18. I also believe Dixon’s actions should be criminally investigated. O’Brien had a right to be there as he is Dixon’s city councilman as much as mine. I don’t agree with all of O’Brien’s policies but I do not put my hands on him or call him mentally unstable. The missing link reached a compromise – one that is in my opinion, requires a dangerous re-route for the cyclists. It also allows continued private use of public land by the businesses for storage and parking. However, that compromise for Sound Oil and the other waterfront businesses isn’t good enough for Dixon. Frankly, I believe Dixon is a menace to the rest of the community at this point.

  19. @Kip
    Sure, like I said the police will be right there so investigate in 4hrs after O’Brien spends 2hrs waiting on hold.
    Then again, he is a city official, so they might be able to get there in 3hrs.

    Enjoying the property crime, filth and daily assault/harassment shenanigans in our neighborhood?

    Your selective outrage and “demand for justice” is exactly the sort of predictably absurd social justice nonsense that turned Seattle into a dysfunctional cesspool of hypersensitivity, corruption, and twitter virtue signalling.

  20. Glad you could weigh in sockpuppet. I do exhibit selective outrage – as do all the thinking posters. Not every issue is black and white. Except to sockpuppets.

  21. @Kip
    Wasting fund (lots of it!) and poor leadership is black and white, Kip. Ask any business.

    Demanding people subsidize car prowlers, shoplifter and burglars via absurd taxes is black and white. Enforcing the law and, sadly, telling law enforcement to virtually stand down out of fear from litigious activists is black and white, Kip.

    Refusing to listen to your neighbors for years out of some political grudge is black and white,

  22. Demanding people subsidize car prowlers, shoplifter and burglars via absurd taxes is black and white.

    Even for you, this is quite a delusional statement. Do you actually believe this? If so, please seek mental help as quickly as possible, you might be more gone than I thought…

    Refusing to listen to your neighbors for years out of some political grudge is black and white,

    Nothing you have said in your years of sockpuppeting makes me believe you are my neighbor or care about my neighborhood. It’s not political, it’s personal, my anonymous friend.

  23. In several ways two very diverse groups have many similarities, and O’Brien has to deal with both of these groups and this causes him many problems. I am sure he secretly wishes they would both go away as his job would be much easier.

    The Ballard businesses who oppose the trail extension, and the homeless in Ballard have many similarities.

    They both want to use public land as their own without paying any compensation. The trail opposition businesses want to use this public land and have exclusive rights to it and tell everyone else how it should be used. The homeless do much the same and are able to stay in a location for an extended period of time, and then once forced to move do the same thing nearby and the cycle repeats.

    Both are unconcerned about the costs to our community and city as far as quality of life or use of public monetary resources. The homeless (yes, there are exceptions) are unconcerned about the trash they leave, drug needles, hazardous waste etc. that the city and neighbors need to pay for personally or through higher taxes to clean up. The businesses in opposition to completing the missing link cost all the taxpayers in legal defenses that must be paid for by the city. The businesses have generally lost in the courts system even though they have appealed many times. I am unaware that the city has been able to recover court costs from the businesses. The delay in completing the missing link is a loss to Ballard in convenience as well as safety.

    Keep in mind the Ballard businesses that oppose the completion of the missing link are in the minority as far as businesses in general in Ballard and the comparison only refers to businesses in opposition to the trail.

    Everyone wants something for nothing, and as a taxpayer I get tired of supporting others who do not contribute. O’Brien has to deal with groups that have wants based on self interests and taxpayers that rightly so feel they are being taxed to the limit, Good luck Mr. O’Brien, you need it.

  24. @Truth
    I’ve lived in Ballard off and on for for over 20yrs. So whatever you need to tell yourself. Sorry if I’m opposed to subsidized the dregs of society just because some people in Seattle never got over Hillary losing.

    @Ballard Boy
    You’re comparing local, TAXPAYING, industry to feral drug addicts? This gives us some insight into the bass ackwards worldview and how it has led to the clownworld of contemporary Seattle.

  25. @Sockpuppet:

    Sorry if I’m opposed to subsidized the dregs of society just because some people in Seattle never got over Hillary losing.

    Whatever you need to tell your delusional self so you can pat yourself on the back. Just don’t strain your hand! 👍

  26. I can see by so mzny of the comments here that some folk think the ‘Nordic Storage Closet’ is an enclave for the advocacy of white supremacy.
    Shame on your narrow minded self serving and totally embarassing actions and comments.
    The majority of us (as evidenced by our voting record) are much netter than that.

  27. @ Ballardboy

    Excellent analogy! I think most people don’t fully grasp that the small group of businesses has cost the city of Seattle about $12 Million in legal and redundant design fees from their lawsuits. People here on myballard hark on the large amount the city spends on homelessness (as do I). I don’t think folks realize the enormous cost these businesses have been to the taxpayers of Seattle in their endless lawsuits.

    For those who support the businesses, remember that it is city owned land that the city wants to do something with. These are not privately owned parking lots. Another great analogy would be if some homeless person who used to sleep under the ballard bridge sued the city when the fencing went it, claiming it harmed their pan handling business, but offered no evidence of harm.

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