A group of around 30 people clad in black, most with masks and bandanas over their faces burst onto Broadway in anger Saturday night, blocking traffic, throwing flares, rocks and traffic cones, tagging with spray-paint, attempting to break windows and even setting off a fire extinguisher in a 10-minute melee that ended as quickly as it began.
A group was seen marching up Pine around 9:20 PM Saturday, according to Seattle Police Department radio reports. Responding police units drove behind the group as it turned north up Broadway and continued throwing objects at the cruisers. Cap to the Hill blog has posted pictures of damage in the area.
Just after 9:30 PM as the group continued its march on Broadway leaving traffic cones strewn about and minor damage to buildings and walls, the crowd suddenly dispersed in a cloud of fire extinguisher smoke.
As people ran from the scene, SPD made three arrests, according to police radio.
February has been a month of protest for Capitol Hill as the Ian Birk situation has inspired a series of marches, rallies and stand-offs with police. Groups handing out anti-police flyers, wearing all black and carrying flags with anarchist symbols have regularly clashed with East Precinct police in the past weeks. During one march, an SPD cruiser’s window was broken out. The march the night the Birk decision was announced was by far the largest but the protest that formed the Friday following showed the situation was far from settled. A small firebomb thrown at the glass of an SPD drop-in station at 23rd and Union extended the message. One week later and East Precinct again found itself in “hats and bats” mode.