“I’m concerned," McGinn told me yesterday. "I can’t predict what’s going to happen. But from what we saw down at the port last year, there was a subset of people who were throwing bricks, throwing rebar, throwing paint balloons… I’m hopeful that May Day goes without incident. I really am. It’s a challenging situation."
He said police believe some protesters may be preparing to use flag poles, shields, screws, and other materials against officers and their horses.
“What we know from web sites and elsewhere is that people are receiving training in how to use [those things] as weapons," McGinn told me. "There’s just been enough out there where people are encouraging others to engage in some disruptive or violent activity, that we’re concerned. What level is it? It’s very, very hard to predict.”
But McGinn did predict that if there's violence, it will be instigated by a minority of protesters.
“There’s a small number of people who will use the cover of crowds to try to provoke a larger incident," he said. "I would just ask people out there to be aware, and to be understanding of why the police are there, and remember that the police are there to try to protect everyone’s public safety as well as make sure that people have the right to express themselves.”