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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Seattle May Day 2013: From March to Mayhem

Posted by on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Hey, thats our newspaper box youre using as a barricade!
  • Hey, that's our newspaper box you're using as a street barricade!

2:05 pm: Paul Constant says that May Day should not be about "smashing windows or fake 'real life superheroes' who think they deserve public attention because of their dumb wardrobe choices." Instead, Constant says, "May Day should be about treating the most vulnerable with dignity and respect, because we're not just a bunch of animals."

4:32 pm: Ansel Herz sends some pictures, including one of "real life superheroes" in action.

4:59 pm: The peaceful May Day march moves up Fourth Avenue, extending for three blocks. Goldy wonders if it will get any attention.

5:58 pm: Brendan Kiley talks to journalists who are disappointed that "the 'anarchist' and 'political vandalism' question seemed to be looming larger than immigration rights." Kiley then writes: "Maybe. But to that I say three things: (1) That's in your head, pal, not mine. (2) That sounds a little condescending. (3) Some immigration-reform marchers were only too happy to be associated with the other May Day."

6:46 pm: Anna Minard says trouble's brewing at a second march that left earlier from Seattle Central. Goldy adds: "The situation is 'getting tense,' Brendan reports from 8th & Pike as a loud and rowdy crowd [is] heading west."

8:10 pm: Ansel Herz gives us what's been missing from the May Day coverage thus far. That is, "substantial reporting of the actual demands being made by the vast majority of people who took to the streets today."

8:23 pm: The Seattle Central marchers head further downtown, face off with police, and get pushed back up Capitol Hill. Among the things flying through the air: flash-bangs, pepper spray, water bottles, rocks, paintballs, flares, and glass. "It's a street battle," says Ansel.

10:20 pm: Kelly O photographs the broken windows at Bill's Off Broadway and Walgreens, and says: "Last time I checked, Bill's Off Broadway wasn't a 'Big Business Corp, Inc.'"

10:49 pm: Police claim "chunks of asphalt, cement, bottles & other items" were thrown at them. They also report eight officers injured and 18 people arrested. Ansel adds that somehow, amid the mayhem, police also got hold of a pogo stick.

10:54 pm: Christopher Frizzelle watches a young man get arrested in Cal Anderson Park while singing "Bohemian Rhapsody."

1:53 am: Brendan Kiley had hoped things would go differently.


Comments (43) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I hope the police took home some nice OT pay. They sure deserve it.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on May 2, 2013 at 6:28 AM · Report this
Kinison 2
Watching David Ham report from the scene was kinda funny at times. He came off as a world class whiny little bitch, even through the protesters were clearly being world class dicks.
Posted by Kinison on May 2, 2013 at 6:33 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 3
You poor people just need to know your place. I mean as Tom Friedman say's "it's a 401K world!" Just remember to marry into money etc.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on May 2, 2013 at 6:42 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 4
I had a pogo stick when I was a child. It was delightful.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on May 2, 2013 at 6:58 AM · Report this
The SPD, for once, did a damn good job with these assholes who were clearly and obviously looking for a fight.

Anyone arrested for violence should get jail time and it's time to haul some more folks before grand juries to identify those committing violence that were not arrested.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2013 at 7:17 AM · Report this
California Kid 6
Fucking trust fund anarchists.
Posted by California Kid on May 2, 2013 at 7:41 AM · Report this
stonato 7
@5 Yeah! McCarthy for president!
Posted by stonato on May 2, 2013 at 7:46 AM · Report this
How much money did the city spend this year preventing a bunch of kids breaking out windows? I bet it was a lot more than the total damage bill came to last year.
Posted by seven on May 2, 2013 at 7:47 AM · Report this
@7 Don't insult communists and other leftists, or the memory of their actual oppression, by comparing them to asshole vandals and rioters.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2013 at 7:49 AM · Report this
Can someone point me to a few convictions that came out of the multiple charges of assaulting police officers made during demonstrations over the past couple years? As far as I remember, evidence has almost universally shown that the reports were inaccurate. Alex Garland, Maria Morales, and Hudson Williams-Eynon come to mine. Each was accused of assaulting an officer during a demonstration. Each charge was dropped once video surfaced showing that the reporting officers lied.

Perjury by police officers should be treated at least as seriously as breaking windows. I bet each of those lying cops is still out cracking skulls and accusing their victims of assault.
Posted by Phil M on May 2, 2013 at 7:50 AM · Report this
raindrop 11
Darn, I was really hoping that Goldy would have been able to continue with his "where are the anarchists" sarcasm.
Posted by raindrop on May 2, 2013 at 8:18 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 12
@9: Impossible. They share the same roots.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on May 2, 2013 at 8:22 AM · Report this
Dr. Z 13
May Day is a relic of the past: one group of marchers wants it to still be 1917, the other wants it to be 1999. If nobody's paying attention to the message it's time to switch tactics. No messaging campaign works forever.
Posted by Dr. Z on May 2, 2013 at 8:24 AM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 14
The anarchists remind me of my 18 year old nephew who thinks he knows it all, wants to be treated like an adult, but still lives on his parents dime. He doesn't think he should do any household chores and yet wants to be provided with all the luxuries in life. He's not a bad kid. He doesn't drink or do drugs, but he's just very immature. He needs spend a little time in the real world.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on May 2, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
julie russell 15
Ansel from Fuel? If so, kiss your pup for me!
Posted by julie russell http:// on May 2, 2013 at 8:50 AM · Report this
levide 16

The hell?
Posted by levide on May 2, 2013 at 8:52 AM · Report this
Man, the anarchists are not getting any love. It's totally understandable, as they've been pushed so far to the margin of society that they haven't been able to respond to any of the misconceptions. They have a lot of work to do to clarify who they are, who they're not, and what they stand for.
Posted by floater on May 2, 2013 at 8:54 AM · Report this
julie russell 18
@2. Yup. So funny when the dude grabbed him and he was like " no please don't" . I was dying. LOVED the clean up guy's efforts as well.
Watching the "Anarchists", all I could think of was kids I used to work with in the psych ward who bottled up all their anger. It was like they all showed up just wanting to release.
Posted by julie russell http:// on May 2, 2013 at 8:55 AM · Report this
julie russell 19
@6 Trustafarians
Posted by julie russell http:// on May 2, 2013 at 8:59 AM · Report this
dan10things 20
"That was fun last night breaking windows guys, but now I need to call my dad and find out why this month's allowance hasn't come yet, my rent is due!"
Posted by dan10things on May 2, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
treacle 21
I would just like to say none of us here have any evidence as to whom exactly broke windows. Some are clearly assuming that some unnamed "anarchists" did it. But we have no evidence.

Street protests/mobs/whathaveyou are made up of many different types of people... some of whom are well known to be police undercover officers, with history clearly indicating some of them to be agents provocateur.

It's quite plausible that agents provocateur smashed Bill's, Sun's and Walgreen's windows, that would certainly play right into the police's hands.

The point is, no one here has any evidence one way or another as to who broke what. Jumping to conclusions serves only your own preconceived notions.
Posted by treacle on May 2, 2013 at 9:47 AM · Report this
dan10things 22
When "anarchists" break more windows of independent local businesses than corporate businesses, they really are stupid teenagers and not anarchists at all.
Posted by dan10things on May 2, 2013 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 23
When the earthquake finally hits and Seattle gets flushed into the ocean, don't sit around wondering why the rest of the country is laughing its ass off.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on May 2, 2013 at 9:59 AM · Report this
@Everyone Thank you for pointing out something that simply isn't true. Not Everyone of these kids has a stupid trust fund. In this economy really? you're really gonna stick to that trope? I have to work my ass off to help pay for my college and if I hadn't already been helping to organize that day I would've been down there helping them destroy corporate bullshit.
Posted by I_Never_Had_A_Trust_Fund_(A) on May 2, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Report this
@14 He's not a bad kid. He doesn't drink or do drugs, but he's just very immature.

There are lots of 18-year-olds who drink and do drugs, but who also take care of their responsibilities and don't expect to be "provided with all the luxuries in life." Sensible use of drugs and alcohol rarely has anything to do with a person's character. Maybe your nephew needs to be told that, presently, he really is a bad kid.
Posted by LJM on May 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM · Report this
I am going to hell for saying this but... did the news REALLY send an Asian guy into that madness in a RED SHIRT!

So much LOL
Posted by DigitalGeisha on May 2, 2013 at 10:22 AM · Report this
funnylittlemunki 27
Shameful… breaking the windows out of beloved local small businesses in an artsy neighborhood. That isn't anarchy or protest, it's just being an asshole. I don't care if they are street kids or rich kids or something in between, it was an asshole move.

We saw several of them run up the street and duck into Black Coffee, where the lights were out and refuge given to these criminal cowards. So now you know - Black Coffee is not a friend to the neighborhood, not a place of philosophy and mind expansion or whatever they are claiming to be, it's just a hangout for criminals. And on that note, we're really tired of them trashing the shared bathroom with Raygun games and using it to sell their bodies to eachother and shoot/snort/deal drugs. It's tacky and only proves they're a bunch of confused and immature children who need psychiatric help and rehab.

*Even worse* is that they took a day of peaceful protest and stole the news cycle from those who most needed to be heard. No excuse. Simply shameful on all fronts.
Posted by funnylittlemunki on May 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 28
@21: Yes, by all means let's not rush to judgement. It could have been a band of Amish tourists.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on May 2, 2013 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 29
@21: Which is more likely though? A few assholes in a huge crowd went overboard and broke a few windows, or there was (and is always, presumably) a widespread police conspiracy to do such things so that they can have an excuse to hurt the public for fun?

The vast majority of police officers are just like us: they want to go to work, not have any problems, and go home safely. They do not enjoy hurting people, and they don't want to risk their lives just to harm the public.

Seems to me that at some point Occam's Razor has to come into it. If you hear hoofbeats behind you, think horses, not zebras.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 2, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
good lord you guys are insufferable pussies.
Posted by carsten coolage on May 2, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
They also caused me to miss "Survivor". Don't forget that. Don't forget that for one second.
Posted by kma222 on May 2, 2013 at 10:37 AM · Report this
My 'Favorite' is still the SPD horses dressed in their Riot Gear.
KOMO's special blog site for yesterday's event had some wonderful pictures of them.
Posted by Gray Panther on May 2, 2013 at 10:43 AM · Report this
dan10things 33
"The vast majority of police officers are just like us"

I don't buy this for a second. A certain kind of asshole becomes a police officer, you have to enjoy asserting rules and authority on others, and a few years into the job changes many of them to more callous and judgmental people. Can't we hate both the police and the little shits that broke the windows of local indie businesses? I don't see why we have to support one or the other. Now if the kids had smashed the windows of police cars instead of local businesses, I'd be giving them props today.
Posted by dan10things on May 2, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 34
@33: How many police officers have you personally known?

You seem to be operating out of some kind of black and white caricature world, which is typically a result of claiming authority on a subject you actually have no real world experience in.

I am not saying there are no abusive and corrupt police officers, but simply sitting back and saying "they are all like that" is not true, and never is.

Situations like this do bring out the worst in police officers, because they are forced into a situation where they literally can not win. Lay off the crazies, and they smash shit and hurt people. Come down on them and get vilified/assaulted. And the whole time your life and the lives of your fellow officers are in danger. Few of us have even been in situations this stressful, much less both stressful and dangerous.

Besides, what is more likey to you: that all members of X social group are simply abusive and evil, or that a few members of X social group give the rest a bad name? Which has happened more often in real life?
Posted by Theodore Gorath on May 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM · Report this
treacle 35
@29 - Well, considering that the FBI is clearly actively interested in the "anarchist community", following them around and "talking to" them while they are jogging in the park, and taking it to the point where the feds will actually jail people w/o any charges at all... it's not a great leap to consider the possibility that provocateurs escalated the street situation so that the cops could make specific arrests. Completely plausible. History shows far more complicated things have happened with political policing.

Again,speculation is just that: speculation. You, like I, have no evidence regarding who broke what windows, save for "a person in the crowd".

In my experience anarchists are pretty specific when they break windows and do property damage, they target global chain stores (eg. Nike), and police vehicles. So it's pretty out of character for "them" to attack local businesses.

So my speculation is that it was either a random angsty kid with no affiliation to anything, or a cop/FBI.
Posted by treacle on May 2, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
@25, Or, maybe, the FBI is interested in these people because they do exactly these sorts of things.

I have zero problem with the police investigating people who talk about committing violence, then actually do commit violence.

These assholes are basically a street gang and should be treated as much. That their motivations are political instead of financial does not matter.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2013 at 11:35 AM · Report this
treacle 37
@36 - How do you feel about the police investigating people who talk about nonviolent activism?
How do you feel about police harassing people who talk about nonviolent activism?

How do you feel about police pretending to be activists, and living with the subject of their investigation in a relationship as a couple for years at a time?
Posted by treacle on May 2, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Shameful… breaking the windows out of beloved local small businesses in an artsy neighborhood. That isn't anarchy or protest, it's just being an asshole. I don't care if they are street kids or rich kids or something in between, it was an asshole move.

Oh no! In an artsy neighborhood! Don't they know how GOOD you are?
Posted by Unbrainwashed on May 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM · Report this
@37 If those people have information about people who have committed crimes I have no problem with calling them as a witness. It is one of those social responsability things.

I also have no problem with the police attempting to get information on these protests so they can plan. Unlike the real May Day protest, which did the polite thing and got a permit to use the streets we all share, these assholes don't care about the effect their actions have on others. So it falls to the police to figure out what they are doing so that distributions and harm can be minimized.

That is a strange story and seems rather over the line, but not really relevant here.
Posted by giffy on May 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
@27, FLM wrote, "they took a day of peaceful protest and stole the news cycle from those who most needed to be heard"

I know! The immigrants' rights demonstrations were getting so much attention previously! The news media are always live on the scene reporting that immigrants are still treated like shit until the anti-capitalists come along, and then there goes the news cycle. Immigration issues *totally* grab the attention of the TV news crowd, unless there's glass breakage or silly-string deployment somewhere.
Posted by Phil M on May 2, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Id like to know how many of the pontificators on this board were actually present at the event.
The 'anarchists' as they are LABELLED come from I dont know where, but most of them looked like young people who don't feel like lying down under the most fascistically organized militarist society the USA has yet seen, and they're getting attacked for that? Considering that most of them are under 25, don't be surprised if they don't care about your social security when you're old.

Very few of them look like trustfunders another media obfiscation - a large percentage of any population cannot be trustfunders except maybe those at a country club or private school, and I didnt see them represented. The notion is a ridiculous slur. Anyway, I dont know who they are, but they seemed to me to be just a group of ballsy youth ready to face off a bunch of mostly white males in their thirties who need to own streets and control all expression. It got heated downtown because control slipped away from authority who was going to CONTOL the DAY, and they LOST CONTROL for a while, and didnt like it.

Sure, the youths started throwing things at the cops after getting pushed around, mostly plastic water bottles from what I could see. They didnt vandalize cars or harass drivers or break any windows until Walgreen's. A tavern got its window busted, yes, and its stupid yes. So are the police shooting projectiles into a crowd which included lots of bystanders and witnesses, including a blond yuppie woman who got nailed in her leg by a concussion grenade, and probably got a taste of what fascism can start to feel like. There were others.
Get injured for no reason other than staring at a protest, and see how you feel about authority. The message is clear, you're not only not supposed to participate, you are expected to bow your head and go home. Assembly is now illegal in the USA.

The cops were also mostly restrained, not using much pepper spray, but dropping concussion grenades right and left, including shooting them at head level, where they could easily bust out all of someone's front teeth. They weren't paragons of restraint, and they wanted the protest out of downtown and back into Capitol Hill liberal-land where the big box icons of downtown wouldn't be harmed again.

They also dragged out their stupid South African riot control vehicle for who knows what purpose. One of the cops joked to the kids from his black SUV that it was Miller Time. Old, clueless, and mocking - sounds like out-of-touch authoritarians to me.

Stop worrying about the clueless youth and their clueless actions, since Occupy leaders have mostly been harassed into silence by the gestapo, and be glad someone is standing up for anything counter to the PRAVDA line in this country.
Posted by CHoc Donut on May 2, 2013 at 2:37 PM · Report this
dan10things 42
@ #34, I've known a couple cops and my grandfather was a police officer. I work with police officers fairly regularly, at least a couple times a month. I said nothing of abusive behavior, you jumped to a lot of conclusions when I disagreed with the comment that they are just like you and me. I'm talking about the psychology behind someone that enters law enforcement. They tend to be more authoritarian types of people. There has been plenty of research and academic papers written about the personality traits of people that go into law enforcement and the effects of working in law enforcement on people.
Posted by dan10things on May 2, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Wow people, let's not criticize protestors, ever. No matter how the media, your friends or your co-workers portray them, let's try and think for ourselves, shall we? Heck, don't even let the Stranger tell you how to feel about them. No matter how they're painted, these are the people who are taking time away from their jobs, computers and loved ones to make a stand for your rights. They don't just spend all their time trying to dress like cool kids, only to sit around in coffee houses being pretentious and humping their own egos. They're actually doing what their "social revolutionary" dress code is supposed to stand for, instead of just trying to impress people they pass by on the way to the record store. These are the people taking real risks, making real sacrifices in an attempt to help you and themselves. So what if they do things that don't seem very cool (singing bohemian rhapsody while getting arrested is sad, yes). I mean really. Have you ever been arrested at a riot? Who's to say you wouldn't start singing something even lamer in that kind of situation.

I don't think I could hate this "protestors are just a stupid nuisance" attitude any more. Seriously? Are you so easily swayed by media and emotional propaganda? Someone tells you something so you believe it, as long as they say it in the right tone? Are you that mentally passive? Protestor are important, and the ability to protest is worth any fiscal cost to the city. Unless of course you want all your rights taken away until the new cost of your freedom will be your children, spouses and yourselves having to go to war to get those rights back.

As for Bill's off Broadway, it sucks but it's not that bad of damage. And heck, it one of the protestors might not have been from around here and just got confused amid the melee.
Posted by Capitol Spill on May 3, 2013 at 1:35 PM · Report this

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