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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Charges Filed for the May Day Vandalism

Posted by on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg has filed charges against five individuals for participating in the May Day smashup. Charging documents accuse five of riot, fourth-degree assault, and malicious mischief "against the peace and dignity of the state of Washington."

The accused are: Phillip Neel, Kellen Linnell, Meaghnn Gonzales, Matthew Erickson, and Jason Michaels. Two have priors for crimes such as marijuana possession, obstructing a police officer, and harassment. Three have no known priors.

Police identified the suspects by articles of clothing and tattoos that showed up on camera footage, officers' reports from May Day, and search warrants of the suspects' homes. Officers also received some anonymous tips and say they recognized some of the suspects from Occupy protests. Officers also say they gleaned information from cell phones and other electronic devices that were taken and searched.

These charges are not part of the current federal grand jury that is ostensibly looking into May Day, and Emily Langlie from the US Attorney's office says she has "no idea" whether the five might be called before the grand jury.

It has also come out, in documents filed in October, that FBI agents followed some Portland activists up to Seattle where they participated in May Day demonstrations.

 

Comments (54) RSS

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54
@50

That's a very forgiving interpretation of events, Phil, but the material the SPD seized (after McGinn's emergency order) included dozens of identical improvised bolt-tipped truncheons loosely (and, in my own worthless opinion, comically) disguised as "flag poles."

How does this fact fit into your "just ordinary citizens randomly caught up in the excitement" narrative, Phil?
Posted by robotslave on December 1, 2012 at 3:24 AM · Report this
53
@48

... I'm thinking masked police informants participated in the thing themselves to keep that paycheck acommin'.


OK, but if that's where you're coming from, then you'll never consider an argument plausible, if it's based on the assumption that the may-day Smashists (and many others who have exhibited comparable bahavior) are real, sincere, ideologically-correct anarchists.

Right?

Posted by robotslave on December 1, 2012 at 3:13 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 52
@15- "No one weeps for an asshole except the other assholes."

Of course, everyone thinks the other people are the assholes.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings http://www.reddit.com/r/spaceclop on November 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM · Report this
51
Look, i got a good idea. Why not we just put microchips in everyone's arm, so that way we can track them and then if they smash out a window, BAM, our good ol boys in blue will let off a few rounds and put em the ground. That's how we used to do it 100 years ago when I was a lad
Posted by 126yearcaphillresident on November 29, 2012 at 11:31 AM · Report this
50
@44, Robotslave wrote, " I'll grant you the response to the vandalism might have a political component if you'll in turn acknowledge the perfectly obvious fact that the vandalism itself was entirely politically motivated. Deal?"

No, I do not think that it is perfectly obvious that the vandalism was entirely politically motivated. I suspect that some of it was perpetrated by people who got caught up in the excitement and took advantage of their near-anonymity to raise a ruckus for the sheer thrill of it. And I don't think the average cop who was sent out to deal with the situation knew or cared about the difference. I believe that at a higher level, there's more concern about the political component than about the violation of law, and I find that institutional stifling of dissent to be far more concerning than poor little Niketown and their broken window.

Whether you march in the public streets, pitch a tent in a public park, or smash windows of stores owned by rapacious mega-corporations, agents of the state are likely to come down on you hard as soon as somebody calling the shots thinks your message and expression thereof in some way threatens the position of those in power. If your action is simply to, say, steal from me an object of similar value to Niketown's window, not as an act of political of expression, but out of sheer greed, police will do the bare minimum in response to your crime.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 29, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
49
@41 So they planned to do something, that something happened, but yet there is no way they could plan to do something. Look I agree it was never going to start a revolution, life is way to good for that, but it was still a planned attempt to cause trouble.

@48 Well yes, the cops are more concerned about law breaking than gardening.
Posted by giffy on November 29, 2012 at 7:43 AM · Report this
pdonahue 48
Of all the things done by Anarchists to address inequality in their lives, smashing windows seems to have struck a nerve with cops and their unpaid reserve auxiliary punditry. Never mind the community gardens, the free food programs, the volunteer library projects, all of that makes us low rent social workers doing the job of the state they have abrogated.
Just like Hell's angles, blac bloc fucks have found a winning formula for getting attention; dress up scary, talk ominously about destruction, hit a few hi-vis targets, go back to your anonymous 9-5 job. The cops need people like this justify their existence, hell, I'm thinking masked police informants participated in the thing themselves to keep that paycheck acommin'. Don't underestimate the power of overtime, note that despite there being no Occupy encampment this winter, the mayor authorized more uniformed patrols downtown, bet the police guild really misses us.
Posted by pdonahue on November 29, 2012 at 5:15 AM · Report this
47
Gosh. I guess people get mad when confronted with the reality of their lives. Some seem to get angry about a few smashed windows so they may continue to ignore and be complacent with the destruction of the natural world and violently enforced inequality. Others take their anger out on the visible representations and manifestations of alienation and illegitimate hierarchy, and while their tactics are certainly debatable and ripe for critique, I have more respect for them than those who plead ignorance to the crimes the state and capitalism make them complicit in.
Posted by Bigbutterandeggman on November 29, 2012 at 1:54 AM · Report this
46
Gosh. I guess people get mad when confronted with the reality of their lives. Some seem to get angry about a few smashed windows so they may continue to ignore and be complacent with the destruction of the natural world and violently enforced inequality. Others take their anger out on the visible representations and manifestations of alienation and illigitimate heirarchy, and while their tactics are certainly debatble and rife for critique, I have more respect for them than those who plead ignorance to the crimes the state and capitalism make them complicit in.
Posted by theoz on November 29, 2012 at 1:53 AM · Report this
seandr 45
@43: The response to this vandalism appears to be politically motivated.

Kind of, but not in the way you suggest.

Thanks to Bush, we have an enormous homeland security bureaucracy that is charged with fighting terrorism, or, in other words, politically motivated violence. I don't think they give a shit whether it's left-wing anarchists, right-wing militias, or middle-eastern jihads - their main concern is to justify their existence.

Even so, I'm not sure this was an overreaction, and I can't help but wonder if your assessment of the significance of these crimes has been softened by your own politics.

The one point I would allow - cops will spend a lot more time/resources tracking down people who commit crimes against cops. They're no different than any other human beings, in that regard.
Posted by seandr on November 28, 2012 at 11:25 PM · Report this
44
@43

I'll grant you the response to the vandalism might have a political component if you'll in turn acknowledge the perfectly obvious fact that the vandalism itself was entirely politically motivated. Deal?

I don't know if you were anywhere near the ninja-costume people on may day, Phil, but when they were gathered together (as in their "spontaneous" parade through Belltown) there were clearly more than "a couple dozen" of them; hell, there were more than that just playing in their (totally unplanned!) marching band. I'd put the figure at 150, with no idea at all how many of those might have been locals, and how many from out of state.

If there were 100 car prowlers downtown, I wouldn't expect more than a few dozen of them to actually get just the right opportunity prowl a car, either; and of those, I'd expect no more than half to get caught. And I'd expect both the community and the police to be mad as hell about it, particularly if all the car prowlers had been dressed up in matching Snidely Whiplash masks and capes so everyone would know they had, like, solidarity (but no advance coordination of any sort!).
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 10:36 PM · Report this
43
@37, Robotslave wrote, " If 100 car prowlers from several states all got together and organized and executed a mass car prowl in downtown Seattle in the midst of an otherwise peaceful demonstration, I'm guessing a lot of time, money, and energy would be spent to track them down, prosecute them, and try to prevent it from happening again."

You're implying a comparison of a couple dozen people breaking maybe eight windows, ostensibly as an act of political expression (if an ineffective and felonious one), to 100 thieves prowling cars for profit?

Andrew hit the nail on the head @36. The response to this vandalism appears to be politically motivated. When my car was stolen, the police could barely be bothered to take a report, and eventually ticketed the car for over-time parking even though it had been reported stolen. Car thefts are widespread in Seattle. Breakage of a few windows of similar value to my car resulted in a multi-month investigation.

Anarchists' political ideology threatens the status quo. Doing something about auto theft doesn't provide the opportunity for our roid-head "Anti-Crime Team" to break out the DHS-funded paramilitary boy toys.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 10:21 PM · Report this
42
I find myself resentful of all the attention paid to a couple of dopes who showed up for the day from the 'burbs to fuck shit up, and go home


That's pretty rich, coming from someone who has spent so much time defending them.

But since you seem to have come around, have you done any thinking about how to prevent them from getting all the attention in the future?

Thanks for taking a huge step back from that ridiculous "oh gosh none of this black bloc stuff is planned" position, it really doesn't do you or your cause any credit.

I guess I'll stop reading anarchist blogs when the anarchists stop putting on ninja costumes and playing Urban Guerrilla Fighters vs. the Bankster Starbucks Oppressors.

As to finding it "creepy," I think you've maybe got a bit of a hangup yourself, there. What's creepy about reading public blogs? If it's creepy for an outsider* to read that stuff, then why aren't those posts happening in a private forum?

 

* and what sort of intellectual or social autonomy are you in favor of, exactly, when you think only The Right Sort Of People ought to be reading your team's newsletters?
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 9:47 PM · Report this
pdonahue 41
#40 dude, you seriously need to get a hobby. Those people on PS Anarchists couldn't organize a good pot luck, I know, I've been to a few. They talk, and dress, a good game but no, they really didn't plan anything other than showing up on MayDay and seeing what kind of mischief they could get away with. Scattered, disorganized, bickering, and splintering; endlessly arguing over details, divided by regionalism, cliquey and petty.
As someone who spent a good amount of time doing the backstage work for MayDay, I find myself resentful of all the attention paid to a couple of dopes who showed up for the day from the 'burbs to fuck shit up, and go home. While hundreds of people were engaged in bringing food, setting up a stage and marching around Pike Place market, a high ranking SPD officer decided to wade into the crowd and do a snatch 'n grab, prompting the robocops to extract him. While all this was happening the blac bloc chickenshits ran a zig zag around the courthouse randomly breaking things and went home. Nobodys getting a revolution off the ground, it's just a mob thing, kind of like Mardi Grais or soccer hooliganism.
Please stop lurking in Anarchist chat rooms for your information, it's creepy and obsessive and bears no relation of real anarchist life or events.
Posted by pdonahue on November 28, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this
40
@39

Hahaha

God, you really think nobody is paying attention, don't you.

Sure, so a couple hundred people turned up for a peaceful protest and they all just happened to be wearing ninja costumes, carrying a change of clothes, bearing identical bolt-tipped truncheon "flag poles," and then they all just happened to find themselves in front of the same plate glass windows at the same time, working autonomously and with no prior planning to smash them together as a group!

You're not going to get your revolution off the ground by talking to your oppressed peoples as if they're utter morons who will credulously swallow bald-faced lies for your political convenience.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
pdonahue 39
Oh, RS always giving the anarchists such credit for organizing and implementing their nefarious deeds, still looking for a Moriarty for your Homes? No evil cabal from the tri-state area got together to plot and execute MayDay window breaking. Real cops call it a MOM; motive, opportunity, method. Dick Tracy cops track cell phone logs, serve search warrents with a battering ram and tactical team, watch endless hours of video surveillance footage, infiltrate boring consensus meetings and lurk on facebook. Please stop reading comic books about anarchists and drawing the same conclusions as the task force studying this issue 6 months.
I keep telling people about the broken windows at my daughter's middle school, keeps happening, same windows, I dunno, looks like a premeditated crime to me. I guess some broken windows are more important than others.
Posted by pdonahue on November 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 38
1 - 37 (almost all)

God, I love it. Doesn't this prove all the studies about people making judgement about those who look like them versus those who don't?

Leave it to the phonies and hypocrites of Seattle to turn all soft when thugs who vandalize poor Vietnamese girls working for scale at American Apparel just happen to be the same pasty faced Ballard hipsters that they are...
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on November 28, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
37
@36

If 100 car prowlers from several states all got together and organized and executed a mass car prowl in downtown Seattle in the midst of an otherwise peaceful demonstration, I'm guessing a lot of time, money, and energy would be spent to track them down, prosecute them, and try to prevent it from happening again.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM · Report this
36
I don't like thugs who break shit and hide in crowds. I think they're cowards and probably give all the other protestors a bad name. If they can be *easily* caught, I'm fine with that, go ahead and prosecute. BUT... what bothers me is the amount of time, effort and resources the police have put into catching people who did some minor property crimes. Do they put the same effort into catching the guy who smashed a car window during a car prowl? Of course not. I'm all for catching car prowlers too if we can do it reasonably. But devoting thousands of hours trying to catch a car prowler would be an idiotic waste of resources. Likewise, this is an idiotic waste of resources too. Why don't they pour this kind of effort into catching rapists and murders? SPD has done a good job at catching some killers, like the thug on Union who shot an innocent father. That was good police work and a worthy investment of hours and resources. Let's see more results like that, there's still dozens of unsolved shootings and murders out there. Clearly, all this effort to catch a few vandals is politically motivated. And if I'm on their jury I might think twice about convicting based on the government's politically motivated misuse of excessive amounts of law enforcement resources. Let's put all that time, effort and technology into catching the people who shot the college student female in Pioneer Square instead of wasting it to catch a couple thug vandals.
Posted by hifiandrew on November 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
TotesFierce 35
Execute all straight people.
Posted by TotesFierce http://fag4life.com on November 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM · Report this
34
@33

OK, so yes, we have taken it out of context, or otherwise misinterpreted it.

I'm glad you agree that people willingly borrowed money during the real-estate bubble, and were not forced to do so by an evil "the banksters" cabal somewhere within the financial services industry.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
33
@29: No, you've not taken it out of context. No, I did not say that the too-powerful-to-face-consequences banks bear any responsibility for forcing people to take out loans, or anything about anyone forcing anyone else to borrow money.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
32
Remember the "liberal" MLK? He and his supporters *were* willing to do the time for the crime, and pay their dues for civil disobedience. They were willing because they were morally consistent. Even they felt that one could break the law, and by taking the punishment that society had already decided could be doled out for disturbing the peace, garner sympathy even from white middle class fucks. By being subjected to excesses, even more so.

Today's "insurrectionist" or other hyphenated anarchists? They don't have the balls. They feel they are entitled to trample on every convention in the book, and then be able to duck into the night, and not give a care if anything was actually accomplished. Most of them hate unions anyway, for being "structured", showing that their May Day escapades are no more than a political rationalization/cover for anti-social behavior.
Posted by hmmmmm on November 28, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
SPG 31
Isn't May Day supposed to be about the Unions and Labor? Maybe we should turn these kids over to the Teamsters for punishment.
Posted by SPG on November 28, 2012 at 4:11 PM · Report this
30
Don't commit the crime if you can't serve the time...
Posted by Joel_are on November 28, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Report this
29
@28

OK, now I'm not even sure you know what the non-argument "Straw Man" is meant to indicate. You said:

banksters who have ruined the lives of many thousands of people


Have we taken this quote out of context? Are you not, in fact, saying there is a group of "the banksters" who bear primary responsibility for forcing people to take out loans during the real estate bubble?
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
28
@24: You're erecting more straw men. I made no such case. If you want to tell us that Chase, Bank of America, and the rest of them have not engaged in widespread mortgage fraud, or that they have not paid lobbyists to have our government declare them above the law (i.e., too big to be allowed to fail) then make your case.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 2:58 PM · Report this
seandr 27
@18: Yes, the cops should have waited for the vandalism movement to grow to Enron/Madoff proportions before making a priority of it.
Posted by seandr on November 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM · Report this
26
@14

I believe @23 makes a point you'd agree with, i.e. that there is quite a difference between feeling threatened by a person's actions, vs. feeling threatened by that person's appearance.

And I think I really, really need to see some supporting argument for your claim that the police intended to harm people on may day. I see no more evidence for that claim than for the notion (which I did not advance) that the may day protesters intended to harm people directly, rather than threaten people* indirectly.

 

* only a certain group of people, I should think, or rather a certain stereotype, such as "the banksters" or "the state" or what have you.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 25
Phil, it's not just a "counterproductive tactic" (although it is), it's also a felony. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on November 28, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
24
@22

That's not an argument.

If you want to tell us that nobody voluntarily took out loans while the real estate bubble was inflating, and that there is, as you imply, a "the banksters" that is ruining people's lives just for the sheer hell of it, then make your damned case.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
23
@14 Right because a racist old woman is the same as a legitimate fear of people wielding sticks and smashing things.

This is not the crime of the century, but it is a crime, a serious one, and I hope these fuckers get some jail time.
Posted by giffy on November 28, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
22
@19: straw man
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 21
Why can't we just declare Portland a "No Fly Zone". Or cut off their MJ supply?
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on November 28, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
20
Wasn't a cop assaulted and didn't they beat the crap out of a news photographer? Add this to physically threatening the poor minimum wage sales clerks that work at the stores these idiots so bravely smashed.
Posted by Senor Guy on November 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
seandr 19
@17: banksters who have ruined the lives of many thousands of people.

Right, those monocle-wearing banksters pretty much forced all of those 100k millionaires to buy sprawling suburban homes, along with 2nd and 3rd investment properties, at prices they couldn't afford and that couldn't possibly be sustained.
Posted by seandr on November 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM · Report this
18
@16: Perhaps I have overgeneralized. Punching someone in the face is probably not as serious as defrauding thousands of people out of their homes.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
17
@13: I argued that crimes against persons should be treated more seriously than property crime, and that property crime should be treated more seriously than victimless crime, not that I am unconcerned about property crime.

I'm comfortable with property rights (I can't really imagine a world without them) and think breaking other people's property is a counterproductive tactic, even if those property owners are banksters who have ruined the lives of many thousands of people.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
seandr 16
@5: crimes against people should be taken more seriously than property crime is taken.

Good point. I always thought the Feds blew that whole Enron thing way out of proportion.

And why are we wasting time prosecuting Bernie Madoff??

Free the Greenwood Arsonist!!
Posted by seandr on November 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Kinison 15
@11

As long as the radicals plan is to stir up a shit storm and take advantage of the chaos, by all means, keep tabs on them. Nobody weeps for an asshole, except for other assholes.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on November 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
14
@9: Yes, I think a threat of violence against people should be taken seriously. No, I am not prepared to argue that no people felt threatened by the May Day vandalism. Nor am I prepared to argue that your aunt from Lynntucky does not feel threatened by a black man walking down the street.

Are you prepared to argue that any of the people involved in the May Day incident other than police intended to cause physical harm to people?
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 13
Hey, I'm sure ol' Phildo would be OK if we all showed up and busted-up his house. As long as, you know, we felt a strong moral obligation to do it.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on November 28, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
seandr 12
Seattle PI has a great slideshow of the event.

Note - they vandalized personal as well as commercial property.

Photo 82 nicely captures the irony, hypocrisy, and ignorance of the "politics" these children used to justify adding some drama to their boring lives.

Oh, and it seems one of these disadvantaged 99-percenters came all the way down from the slums of Shoreline to fight the power.
Posted by seandr on November 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
11
@8

They of course do keep tabs on muslim radicals and communist radicals, just as they keep tabs on white supremicist radicals, christian separatist radicals, anarchist radicals, radical anti-immigration vigilantes, radical klansmen, etc.

Whether or not they ought to keep an eye on radicals is a matter of opinion, but I don't think you've got a really convincing moral argument going on, there.
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Rotten666 10
@4 Hey dipshit, where is the Jennifer Fox "miscarriage" evidence that you promised us all those months ago?

Still waiting to see if you are a straight up liar or just a gullible schmuck.

I'm gonna go with liar.
Posted by Rotten666 on November 28, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
9
@5

Should a threat of violence against people be taken seriously, then?

And are you prepared to argue that no people felt threatened by the may day vandalism?
Posted by robotslave on November 28, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
Kinison 8
This is a peaceful protest *SMASH* ... We only want to exercise *PUSH* our first amendment *PUNCH* right to express *CRASH* ourselves!! Join us and help us *LIGHTS FIRE* usher in a new era of responsibility *KICK* and transparency in government. We are the 99%... fizzle.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on November 28, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
7
@6: Ken, they should keep tabs on the reds and on the Muslims also, huh?
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
6
The cops need to know who the anarchists are, where they hang, and who they run with. That way when the Black Blockers get together for a smash fest or, heaven forbid, to build bombs, the authorities can shut them down before anybody gets hurt. The federal grand jury subpoenas and FBI surveillance referenced in this blog post serve a perfectly legitimate law enforcement purpose.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on November 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM · Report this
5
@2: I've never heard anyone---anarchists or people of other political persuasions---argue that property damage is not crime. Other people and I have argued that property damage is not violence, and that crimes against people should be taken more seriously than property crime is taken.

crimes against people (e.g., murder, rape, assault) > property crime (e.g., theft, vandalism) > victimless crime (e.g., unpermitted possession of controlled substance, sex between consenting adults for money, gambling without a cut for the state or tribe)
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on November 28, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
Ian Awesome 4
What? liberals on the swallowing whole every line the SPD feeds them? crazy
Posted by Ian Awesome http://oneangryqueer.blogspot.com on November 28, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
3
Cue the liberals supporting police repression in three... two... oh wait
Posted by blackflags http://seattlefreepress.org on November 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Report this
2
Cue the anarchists whining about "property damage isn't a real crime" in three, two, one...
Posted by Tyler Pierce on November 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 1
Good. Vandalism is a crime, you know.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on November 28, 2012 at 12:36 PM · Report this

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