Thursday, August 5th, 3:31 PM – Unbeknownst to us the story appears on Stormfront.
We woke up on Thursday to a new landscape, one in which the story had been picked up by Seattle news outlet King 5. One in which the right wing reaction had already gone far beyond what we had originally expected. Not expecting any announcement of our little protest on air, we were excited to see a major outlet like King 5 provide exposure to the story.
Thursday, August 5th, 3:31 PM – CRMAN Facebook:
UPDATE – We have been informed that KING 5 will be airing a segment covering this developing story at 4 PM. Please consider turning up to watch the broadcast and share this story as widely as you can.
Thursday, August 5th, 4:00 PM – King 5 aired their segment live on air, mentioning the grassroots calls for action inaccurately as a protest planned BY Tiesa in a move that can only be called irresponsible. WATCH KING 5 COVERAGE HERE. A short while later a corresponding article and Facebook post was made. Both went viral immediately.
Thursday, August 5th, 4:52pm – We were made aware of and shared the moving and brave story of a woman who had survived years of abuse at the hands of this man, as a runaway, and growing up into adulthood. This story was the watershed moment of us receiving many tips from all over town about Don’s storied past. We posted:
CRMAN: An incredible show of strength from this survivor of abuse at the hands of Don Sucher at Sucher & Sons Star Wars Shop . Thank you for sharing your story, this is clearly an individual with a HISTORY of abusive behavior.
I have known the owner of Sucher & Sons Star Wars Shop since I was a young child, because my mom would take my brothers and I to the store as kids.When I was a teenager I began working for him at the store. I even started a Facebook page for the shop. I was thrilled because it was my first ever social media client.As an adult, knowing what sexual harassment and exploitation is, I see how Don groomed me. I believed he was just an old man, who loved Star Wars and was a little cooky.But he isn’t just a cooky old man. He is a grooming, transphobic, racist man.Like I said before, I started working for Don when I was 16 years old. I’d come to work and he’d make constant statements about my appearance… Calling me a “ripe tomato” and telling me how disappointed he was that I wasn’t 18 yet. If I ever wore my hair up, he would touch my neck – so I stopped wearing my hair up around him.I felt like I owed him. I was a 16 year old runaway who had a job that paid me cash daily. I would’ve done just about anything to stay employed. Including wearing the Leia costume, and dealing with his constant harassment. He’d tell me about his sexual exploits and talk about women in disgusting ways.After I turned 18, he proceeded to tell me repeatedly over the years that he’d pay me to have sex with him. I’d laugh it off. He was an innocent old man. He wasn’t serious. I thought…Then when I was 20, he asked me if he could take a picture of my vagina with his digital camera. I told him no repeatedly, and finally told him I’d take pictures in Star Wars underwear at home… Which I did and they are still in the store to this day even though I have asked him to take it down.
Over the course of the last 9 years I have been much less involved with the Star Wars Shop, but have still been recommending that fans and friends go to the store for an incredible experience.I was blinded, groomed and manipulated.Don’t go there.Don’t support this store.If you love Star Wars, find another person to support. Not this person who exploits teenagers and abuses women.I’m sorry that I didn’t open my eyes earlier and stand up against him.
**(youtube video links redacted, see above)**(Trans women are women and it shouldn’t need to be affirmed in this statement, but here it is clear as day.)
The response to all these events on social media was, unsurprisingly, toxic and disgusting. Many of the usual white nationalists, holocaust deniers, TERFs, and other reactionaries showed up to attach themselves to this situation. We do not engage in such conversations and these cowards were silenced by our moderators. Although we certainly were not surprised by the reaction online nor the possibility of some local assholes showing up armed again, as we have seen in the past, we never expected what happened next.
Even with the low level of risk presenting itself as Thursday drew to a close CRMAN tried to impress upon those calling for actions the importance of transparency and that we felt the situation called for a full cancellation in the name of safety. It may have felt like a bit of an overreaction at the time but come midday Friday we would all agree that canceling, as best we could, was the only safe move. We at CRMAN also realized that simply posting a cancellation on our page wasn’t going to reach everyone the original call did, and even if it did some would undoubtedly not take our advice and choose to show up anyway. There was also the danger posed to our unhoused community who were also aware of the situation and seeking justice, but couldn’t simply “avoid the area”. The decision was made internally for a small team of medical responders would show up and observe the crowds, moving in for triage and extraction as best we could if the need arose. We began to coordinate with regional mutual aid and street medics groups to get as much support as possible for the day of.