Police bust up Broadway march after broken window, reports of crowd violence — UPDATE

Police, some wearing riot gear and carrying crowd control weaponry, swarmed a roving Pride weekend march/dance party on Broadway early Sunday morning. At least one person was taken into custody near Broadway and John after police moved in when the male and others tried to reportedly damage an ATM and move a street barricade into the road to block a phalanx of SPD cruisers that had been following the more-than-100 person crowd just after midnight.

This was not the first time a “flash mob” has developed around Pike/Pine on Pride Saturday night. Last year, a crowd of about 300 also marched through Pike/Pine and onto Broadway. In 2010, too, a bank was among some of the targets for damage.


 

(Image: CHS)

Earlier Saturday night as the roving crowd circled Pike/Pine with boombox dance music blaring and people having mostly a good time, SPD began to get reports of at least one assault associated with the crowd in which a woman was reportedly injured. A large window at the Seattle Maserati and Ferrari dealership at 12th and Union was also smashed out and there were attempts to damage car windows along the wandering crowd’s route.

Below is a report and video from one eyewitness of what happened when the marchers reached Broadway and John and the police moved in:

 

Seconds after the video, an anarchist whom had just taken a pick axe to an ATM threw a white plastic barricade at one of the police cars. The police stop their vehicles and run after the anarchist with billy clubs, tazers and guns and tackle him on the corner of Broadway and E Olive. There was about 4 police officers hold the guy down, with 3-4 riot police with tazers pointed at the crowd. With all of the recent events with the Seattle Police, who wouldn’t record whats happening. As I was walking toward the sidewalk, with camera (phone) in hand, a cop with full riot gear on, pulls a laser guided tazer at me and says quote “Not a good time, not a good time”.  Here is what I recorded. I know it doesn’t exactly show up in the next video, but I swear by everything dear to me, it definitely happened.

The Stranger also has a picture from the scene. There was a report that an ATM at the nearby US Bank was damaged but CHS saw no evidence of that earlier this morning. Of course, we also found the window on 12th Ave at the Ferrari dealership already replaced and mostly unnoticeable.

The assault and increased damage compared to last year’s march and the heavy police response come after ongoing incidents involving self-proclaimed anarchists targeting banks and businesses on Broadway to spread messages of protest and inflict damage.

We’ll continue to update as we learn more. If you were a witness or part of the crowd, let us know what you saw.

95 thoughts on “Police bust up Broadway march after broken window, reports of crowd violence — UPDATE

  1. Excessive force by the SPD sucks, but it just damages the cause against excessive force when people specifically provoke officers by doing targeted things like this. I’m sorry, but that dude had it coming. He also had it coming for messing up Capitol Hill.

  2. If you act like an ass and destroy other people’s stuff, you deserve what you get. i have no sympathy for those little anarchist jerks.

  3. If so, perhaps there needs to be a better police presence at such large events to quash this kind of violence before it happens.

  4. The police are doing exactly what we pay them for. I’ve lived on the hill for 20 years and I’m sick and tired of thugs smashing up our neighborhood in the last few years. Grow up guys. This isn’t the same Capitol Hill as 1996. Move on, we sure all have.

  5. First off, there weren’t hundreds of you guys. There were maybe 3 to 6 of you idiots in the group screwing things up for everybody else. Thanks…

    The person intercepted by SPD got exactly what they were looking for, so there’s absolutely no room to complain. You bust up property that doesn’t belong to you, you can expect to be treated that way.

  6. I can’t believe how much blind support is for the SPD.

    You remember they just sued Seattle because they were being held too accountable? And they are wasting millions of tax dollars in legal fees? And suing to keep that too? And they are under investigation by the DoJ?

    Not to mention the fact they shoot poor people in broad daylight.

    SPD is a joke and deserves zero respect while the anti-Seattle SPOG led by king pig O’Neill is around. Diaz also deserves zero respect. They haven’t shown any willingness to change their behavior so I don’t see why people who hate them should either.

    Wake up and realize your police department hates you and the city you live in. 80% of them do not even live in Seattle.

    Fuck the SPD. Good for the kids.

  7. I found it a little disturbing that on the police scanner they were referring to this as an “anarchist partyfest” when that clearly wasn’t what it was …

  8. Hi OFD,

    I completely agree. The police department hates us! Protecting other people’s property from damage is absolutely the worst thing they can do.

    I think we can show them how things should really be done. Go ahead and post your address and we’ll make sure we show them how no one should care that anyone’s property gets destroyed. You don’t mind do you?

  9. People want to be democratic and liberal and about peace but when it comes to the police they want to hurl hate-filled comments. I’m sorry but the police didn’t intervene until s–t was going sideways and windows were broke. They are trained to intervene BEFORE that happens but because everyone on the Hill and in Seattle is so sensitive to police and their work they are treading likely. Think they haven’t made changes – BS. If the Anarchists burned Broadway then of course it would be the police’s fault. The police don’t hate Seattle but expecting them to LOVE people like OFD is asking a bit much. Last I looked we have a society that agrees on common laws to keep order and WE created the idea of police. And trust me you don’t want to see it without them – well actually you are since you have made it impossible to do their job here. If I were all of you I would always have a weapon on my person at the very least pepper spray. With the cuts going on they are letting more violent criminals out on the street and the police aren’t allowed to do their job so you are LESS protected thanks to the extremists who hate police and the Mayor and Diaz – do you get it now? It would behoove you to support the police Seattle or get a grip and start protecting yourself.

  10. Anarchists did not crash the party. Queer anarchists organize the Queers Fucking Queers dance party. It’s been this way all three years.

    Pride might be a parade, but Stonewall was a riot.

  11. Anytime tensions flare up, accusations of “white privilege” are used to quiet people down again–often from white activists and academics, often against people of color. Tired schtick.

  12. i’m surprised they call themselves anarchists. oh, let’s crash a beer garden, let’s break an atm and then we’ll smash windows. what does that accomplish other than making yourselves look like teenaged assholes?

    like the idiots in vancouver who torched downtown just a few days ago after the hockey game, last night’s “anarchists” were a bunch of pseudo-revolutionary assholes that have nothing better to do with their time then act out in the hope someone will notice them. daddy issues!

    what those handful of boys did last night during the parade was nothing more than act like hoodlums and vandalize a few businesses. brah-vo! way to change the system.

  13. Dislike of these activities is not “Support of SPD”.

    You understand that when shit like this goes down, you actually make the police look good, right? Hell, if I found out that that there was some underhanded SPD plan to plant you people in the crowd to make them look like heroes, I’d almost believe it.

    You’re accomplishing nothing. You’re justifying poor behavior. I fully support the SPD for grinding your face into the sidewalk.

    As activists, you really need to rethink your strategy.

  14. Stonewall was a riot in direct response to ongoing harassment of LGBT people and establishments by the NYC police. Last night did not honor that fight–that was just unprovoked vandalism.

  15. What kind of dream world are you living in? Just because you self-proclaimed anarchists have NOTHING better to do than fuck shit up shouldn’t negatively impact our neighborhood and gay pride. Attacking the Wild Rose, for example, a long-time local business is hardly effective for doing anything but making you all look like immature assholes. Ooh you have a mask! Ooh you have a hoodie! Ooh you brandished a knife in front of a group of young dykes! Maybe take a look at your own privilege because if you weren’t you wouldn’t have time to pull bullshit like this. If you hate society so much, go ahead and leave it why don’t you.

  16. Dudes, These are nihilists not anarchists. The chant “we will fuck you up” is from the nihilists in the Big Lebowski. Please learn the difference.

  17. this is the most ridiculous and absurd comment i’ve seen on this blog ever. “we” didn’t create this system, though arguably many people are guilty of maintaining it. the police were a private investment created by capitalists to protect their slaves as property. reread that sentence. they are always about protecting private property, they don’t give a shit about the welfare of “people” or “communities.” this is the primary goal of law in general; laws are not written by the people in the communities they supposedly serve, they are written by the wealthy to enact their kind of order.
    most of the people getting out of jail early are in jail for nonviolent offenses. the cops job is to justify and legitimize their own existence. bashing back against police and concepts of property is not the same thing as an indiscriminate attack.

  18. I’m glad that “Pugetsoundanarchists.org exists to give bad writers a place to practice their craft.

    Anti-youth beer garden. That’s hilarious. Of course, back in my day, the drinking age was 18.

  19. I’ve lived on the hill for 11 years or so total, over the last thirty years. I’m queer (hell, trans), socialist, wiccan, and generally don’t consider the police my friend. But I’ve got no sympathy for folks who would trash our neighborhood. Less than none. As I perambulated to the far end of Broadway to check my balance (after going first the the machine these jerks trashed), I wondered how long it will be before BoA replaces the machine. I started to think about neighborhoods that don’t have cash machines, and what kind of place we become if this becomes a consistent pattern.

    Pride weekend on the hill has always been about our neighborhood — our place, which we’ve carved out for ourselves over decades. When I walk down the street for the dyke march, it is always a rush and a joy to trot down the middle of 12th and realize that of all the places around here, this one is ours. The folks who did this took away some of that feeling of safety and community, in a real and visceral way.

    If they want the revolution, maybe they should set up barricades in downtown Bellevue. Why us?

  20. Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?
    Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

  21. “Excessive force by the SPD sucks, but it just damages the cause against excessive force when people specifically provoke officers…”

    Let’s get this straight:
    THEY are provoking US 24/7/365 by their existence. Their presence [and alleged authority, political//legal immunity and physical power in the form of deadly weapons, body armor, backup, etc.] is an attack on all Queer folx [and POC, wimmin, migrants, homeless and//or poor people, dissenters, etc.] since they exist simply to protect the status quo from its victims [who, as was seen last night, are more and more frequently and passionately refusing to be victims], i.e. us.

    “…that dude had it coming…”

    No “he” didn’t, and what “dude” are you talking about? Or are you assuming someone you don’t know is male?

    “…for messing up Capitol Hill.”

    Yuppie shops like American Apparel and Hot Topic mess up Capitol Hill. Not to mention banks like Chase and Bank Of America! Shattered glass is an improvement from their assimilationist, patriarchal, classist subliminal messages.

    “If you act like an ass and destroy other people’s stuff, you deserve what you get. i have no sympathy for those little anarchist jerks.”

    This assumes, first of all, that the people with the stuff somehow deserve to have it more than we do, so it being “other people’s stuff” isn’t already a fucked up social situation worthy of acting against. In a world where people are born with or without “stuff” and those born with stuff have that stuff as an advantage with which to get more stuff, it’s only logical that those who repeatedly get cheated and oppressed will be angry and will fight back. I “have no sympathy” for those “other people” and their “stuff”. Especially since that “other people’s stuff” was made by stolen labor with stolen resources on stolen land.

    “perhaps there needs to be a better police presence at such large events to quash this kind of violence before it happens.”

    Police presence is systematic violence. People fighting back are doing just that– fighting back.

    “A better chant for the anarchists would have been ‘We have! White privilege!’”

    Srsly!?
    You’re saying that a multicultural group including many APOC and QPOC 1.) have nothing important to say, 2.) all have white privilege and 3.) are only doing things that are safe for them to do. You’re invisiblizing all non-assimilated APOC and QPOC, while claiming that the only people willing to fight back must be white. Racist.

    “First off, there weren’t hundreds of you guys. There were maybe 3 to 6 of you idiots in the group screwing things up for everybody else. Thanks… “

    ACTUALLY, this event was planned, promoted and heavily attended by fierce Queer Anarchists.

    “You’re justifying poor behavior. I fully support the SPD for grinding your face into the sidewalk.”

    I really hope I’m not the only one who saw that blatant hypocrisy…

    “I’m sorry but the police didn’t intervene until…”

    Until slaves started getting free. Actually. Thought I’d finish that thought for you since you failed so hard at it. The police force was instituted to keep slaves from getting free. They do the same thing today.

    See you in the streets. <3

  22. In a time when we’re fighting for equality and marriage rights, when the gay presence in America is more in the forefront than ever before, why would a group of Gay’s do something this stupid?! Broadway was not blocked off anymore, the street party was over hours before. They were in the wrong, breaking the law. Its stupid actions like this from a bunch of drunk queens that make the rest of America look at us and say “why give them these rights they so desperately want?!” Forget police brutality, why isn’t anyone getting mad at these stupid queens for giving our pridefest this black eye, and making us all look like nothing more than a bunch of childish drunk queens!

  23. So who appointed these people as the saviors of the neighborhood? I can’t say I recall hearing anyone say, “Gosh, I wish someone would stand up for us against the police and how they are constantly abusing all of us.” It seems like a pretty peaceful neighborhood beyond typical muggings and break-ins (bound to happen with this many people living around each other).

    I guess this is why we should support education: to avoid the bad educations that cause people like these to think they are doing some sort of community good?

    Misguided at best, tragic outcomes at worst.

    Take responsibility for instigating a bad situation. No one provoked you into doing what you did. No one asked you to be an activist for a problem that doesn’t exist. There is no ‘man’ oppressing you. Your own bad choices are your biggest problem.

  24. I agree with the ‘they had it coming’ sentiments. It was with great sadness today that I noticed the damage to the windows in American Apparel on my way home from Pride today. Sorry, but I don’t want vandalism and/or anarchists destroying our neighborhood. It didn’t used to be that way and the SPD can do whatever they want to jerks ruining our neighborhood. If these people don’t like the response to their crimes, perhaps they shouldn’t commit them in the first place. Just a thought…

  25. A few comments.

    >”THEY [SPD]are provoking US 24/7/365 by their existence.”

    How does last night’s action demonstrate this? By all appearances, you were provoking them.

    >”Yuppie shops like American Apparel and Hot Topic mess up Capitol Hill. Not to mention banks like Chase and Bank Of America! Shattered glass is an improvement from their assimilationist, patriarchal, classist subliminal messages.”

    But their assimilationist, patriarchal, classist subliminal messages don’t make it dangerous to walk barefoot.

    >”This assumes, first of all, that the people with the stuff somehow deserve to have it more than we do…”

    They may have worked for it, of course.

    >”Police presence is systematic violence.”

    Anarchist presence is systematic violence!

    >”You’re invisiblizing all non-assimilated APOC and QPOC.”

    You’re acronymizing all all non-assimilated APOC and QPOC!

    >”The police force was instituted to keep slaves from getting free. They do the same thing today.”

    They also keep us from getting mugged, at least sometimes. In terms of the day to day interactions between SPD and Capitol Hill residents, the keeping-us-from-getting-mugged aspect is far more visible than the rather abstract oppressing-the-wage-slaves aspect. There’s no defense for SPD use of excessive force, but the connection between smashing shop windows and SPD misconduct is far from obvious.

  26. They’re just kids: they’ll either snap out of it when they get their first real job, or die of an overdose. either way, there’s no such thing an an old anarchist.

    As for the intended event, while a midnight street dance sounds like fun, what normal gay person would go to something called “queers fucking queers”, unless it was something at a bathhouse, lol.

  27. who’s your internet provider? where do you work? where do you keep your money? how many cards do you have in your wallet?

    if you dont like how things are LEAVE THE COMMUNITY! dont try to “help” “fix” of “free” anything.

  28. As somebody who was there- I can tell you that this was an incredibly scary situation to be a part of, as somebody who was looking to enjoy a “street-dance”, as it was advertised.

    Our group left the Wildrose beer garden, which I believe was the “anti-youth beer garden” that was targeted at 11:55 to go to 12th and Madison to take part in what we thought would be a short-lived street dance party (similar to the one that happened in the People’s Parking lot 2 Prides ago.) When we showed up at 12th and Madison, there were probably 50-100 people already gathered, with many more arriving every minute.

    We were given plastic masks (masquerade style) and at around midnight, the group began inexplicably moving North on 12th towards Pike/Pine. Even though there were radios, there was no coordinated music, and thus hardly any dancing. There was briefly some singing of Madonna songs and joyous celebrating, but it was short lived.

    As the group turned left down Pike and past 11th and 10th, it started to get scary. I believe it must have been the self-described anarachists at the beginning of the pack, clad head-to-toe in black, with masks and hats covering their faces. One young woman walking near me carrying a large rainbow flag mounted on a plastic pole began bashing an empty police car in front of Via Tribunali. Not realizing how crazy she was, I actually tried to stop her, as at this point, the police weren’t intervening in the march and were allowing us to take over the streets. She nearly beat me up and at that point, we made a quick get-away across Broadway and out of the way. As we were leaving, we did see a cop attempt to tackle her but she was scurried away by another black-hooded person.

    I’m so glad we got out there when we did, as it sounds like it was just stupid, selfish vandalism happening. It befuddles me why people take what is usually a happy weekend and subvert it for their own negative purposes. What’s the point in making so many people miserable, scared and angry?

  29. I figure you’re awfully proud of what went down. Send some of that pride to the PSA website, and tell them to turn the site back on. Hell, don’t go scurrying back into the darkness NOW…now that 5-0′s probably working their way to the source as I type this.

    C’mon, tell ‘em to put that IP address out there. Put your money back on the table. Stand UP for your damn selves!

  30. “ACTUALLY, this event was planned, promoted and heavily attended by fierce Queer Anarchists.”

    This event was promoted (on Facebook and via handbills) to the majority of the people attending as a roving street dance party, nothing more.

    Had the agenda actually been disclosed, I am confident the number attending would have been many, many fewer.

  31. “>’THEY [SPD]are provoking US 24/7/365 by their existence.’

    How does last night’s action demonstrate this? By all appearances, you were provoking them.”

    WHAT DID I JUST SAY!?
    Twentyfourseventhreesixtyfive. To spell it out for you.
    Last night’s action DOESN’T demonstrate it! The police’s actions EVERY DAY do. Last night is an example of people fighting back, which unfortunately DOESN’T happen every day.

    “But their assimilationist, patriarchal, classist subliminal messages don’t make it dangerous to walk barefoot.”

    No, they just make it dangerous.
    And unfair and degrading and half a million other adjectives I don’t want in My life.

    “>’This assumes, first of all, that the people with the stuff somehow deserve to have it more than we do…’

    They may have worked for it, of course.”

    LOL!
    They didn’t. Those who do the least work get payed the most. The workers always get fucked over. And THIS comment assumes it’s OK to determine a persyn’s rights based on their abilities. Shenanigans!

    “Anarchist presence is systematic violence!”

    Unfortunately, you might actually be serious about this. So I thought I’d point out how ridiculous it is. Anarchists are the only people who operate free of systematic violence.

    “In terms of the day to day interactions between SPD and Capitol Hill residents, the keeping-us-from-getting-mugged aspect is far more visible than the rather abstract oppressing-the-wage-slaves aspect.”

    1: How visible it is and how much it affects us are two different concepts.
    2: I got beat up by 6 cops on Capitol Hill My second day in Washington. For watching them arrest My friend. Hmm. Maybe your opinion on what police actions are most visible isn’t the only one..?

  32. “who’s your internet provider? where do you work? where do you keep your money? how many cards do you have in your wallet?”

    Don’t have one, don’t work, don’t have money, don’t have cards or a wallet. Why?

    “if you dont like how things are LEAVE THE COMMUNITY! dont try to “help” “fix” of “free” anything.”

    Sounds like that’d be a nice privilege to have. But even if I COULD, I shouldn’t have to leave because you’re an asshole. And leaving wouldn’t change a goddamned thing. So, tell you what: Since you’re so privileged, if YOU don’t like people fighting back against capitalism and the state, YOU leave. You’re just in the way.

    “Had the agenda actually been disclosed, I am confident the number attending would have been many, many fewer.”

    I don’t know that there was an “agenda” but I won’t exactly *argue* with this claim. I also know for a fact that people promoting it didn’t *expect* the property destruction, though the Revolutionary rhetoric, BlacBloc imagery on the flier, riot pr0n on the FaceBook page, etc. and ESPECIALLY the fact that GAY PRIDE IS A COMMEMORATION OF THE STONEWALL RIOTS should have let everyone know that this party was going to be confrontational.

    “In a time when we’re fighting for equality and marriage rights, when the gay presence in America is more in the forefront than ever before, why would a group of Gay’s do something this stupid?!”

    Uhm. What!?
    We’re not gay and we’re not fighting for assimila…Wait, how’d you say it?
    …Marriage?

    “Broadway was not blocked off anymore, the street party was over hours before.”

    Hunni, the street party started when We got there.
    you don’t seem to understand that this was an ANTI-CORPORATE PRIDE event! Fuck your barricades, permits and laws!

    “Its stupid actions like this from a bunch of drunk queens that make the rest of America look at us and say ‘why give them these rights they so desperately want?!’”

    ACTUALLY, the “rights” you’re droning on about were won by the Stonewall Riots and the White Night Riots! Also, I [and others you attempt to speak for] couldn’t give less of a shit about state-sanctioned “rights”.

    Also, we weren’t drunk. I’m straightedge.

    “Forget police brutality, why isn’t anyone getting mad at these stupid queens for giving our pridefest this black eye…”

    FORGET POLICE BRUTALITY!? In case it wasn’t clear enough before, thanks for letting us know exactly where you stand. To answer your question, unfortunately, they are.

    “there’s no such thing an an old anarchist.”

    I’ve known several 60 to 70 year-old Anarchists. This is similar to the prevalent idea that “They’ll grow out of this queer phase when they’re done experimenting.” Grow up.

    “…what normal gay person would go to something called ‘queers fucking queers…’”

    I think the point was to keep out all the “normal gay” people.

  33. It’s rather hard to argue that anarchism offers hope of a society free from systematic violence when every time the local “anarchists” show up in uniform, they act violently. I don’t think you will win over the masses with that approach. On the contrary, I would bet that most Cap Hill residents think you’re nuts. Very poor propaganda technique.

    As one commenter noted above, you duped her and her pals into participating in what was advertised as simply a “street-dance.” The fact that you were not up front about your objectives for the action shows that you too realize that you do not have mass support.

    What I said was that for most Cap Hill residents, the police represent protection from muggers, burglars, thieves, etc. It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. Even in a hypothetical stateless society, you’d need some way to protect the people from the predators. You’d need police too, doing what the Seattle police do 99.9% of the time. Their behavior during that other .1% of the time, when they are stomping the Mexican piss out of someone, has got to stop.

    But you are unconvincing when you present your actions as an attempt to reign in SPD excessive use of force. Instead, you are provoking the police, and everybody can see that. There are enough douchebags out on Broadway already without organized douchebaggery in the name of “anarchism.” Give it a rest already.

  34. “They [police] also keep us from getting mugged.”

    Actually,history shows that police increase crime rates. Do some research.

  35. What “research” are you referring to, Junior? In our paternalistic, sexist, Classist society, facts talk, and bullshit walks – and you guys wreak of bullshit

    So tell us, little boy – who did the research? Can you link to it, or was it just something you found scribbled in a notebook in the dumpster behind New Freeway Hall?

  36. I am pleased that the vast majority of my fellow Capitol Hill-ites are appalled and critical of this kind of violent acting-out/vandalism. It makes me proud to live in this neighborhood.

  37. “…There’s no such thing an an old anarchist.”
    HA! This is so true it just made me laugh out loud.

    I think it has been sufficiently supported here that the anarchist posters here offer nothing new, interesting or intelligent in the way of anarchy looking any more viable than it ever has. It is also worth noting that so many of this supposedly huge group are remaining silent on this community blog, an open forum for discussion for everyone.

    Finally, it is slap in the face to the LGBTQ community for them to compare this silly riot to Stonewall, especially if most of the attendees were nothing less than coerced into joining it, an advertised “dance party.” They should be ashamed of themselves.

  38. *”they” in the last sentence is obviously referring to the organizers, not the folks showing up to dance in the streets with their friends.

  39. they make a lot of fantastic points in their blog but they totally lost it all when they started breaking things. i’m no fan of spd either but i don’t condone these anarchists running around provoking them and begging for some police brutality.

    not a big fan of the corporate agenda either, but thats no cause to break stuff. some people like to spend a little money and get drunk. big freaking deal. i’ve always thought that anarchy was all about accepting other people’s personal decisions and rejecting violence. isn’t that what separates you guys from the communists and the fascists?

    so go start your own party. and don’t fuck up anybody else’s just because you’re angry.

  40. i think these “anarchists” is an example of the end of white privilege. they use values like “equality” to justify their anger for not being special.

    they don’t realize that reenacting the stonewall riots is about as relevant to them as reenacting the kent state protest.

  41. This is so disappointing to hear. The parade was amazing, happy and peaceful. Too bad some idiots turned a beautiful event into a problem for the community. I am certain that the majority of the people participating in the Pride weekend events are completely against this type of behavior. If this damage and destruction was done by people within the LGBT community, shame on you!

  42. Yeah I wonder exactly how many of the of ‘anarchists’ were straight, white people with plenty of bail money coming from mommy and daddy. Straight, white people loving fucking shit up because they have a tendency to avoid most of the backlash.

  43. dear jseattle: I read your report on the Capitol hill scene. Yeah too bad about a select few [or more] wrecking an otherwise wild and crazy event.
    My comment on your otherwise good report is about your label of “flash mob”. I am curious where that came from? I thought classic flash mobs involved dance and sometimes singing with a fun and positive group?
    Also as I read the rest of the report and other links etc I did not see the reference to a flash mob? Just wondering. Some may not like classic fun flash mobs, but I do, and was curious and I guess a bit upset at the label. OK thanks for reading, Borg222 in Seattle

  44. The initial “dance party” element was organized like a classic flash mob via social media and “underground”/word of mouth messages so I think the label fits. There are examples of flash mob as more social protest than some of the commercial applications we typically see here in Seattle and across the country: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/04/01/days-of-ang

    The label is not a critical element of the story, however, so I’m open to feedback if others feel it’s inaccurate or that a better description would improve the report.

  45. “Flash Pseudo-Anarchist False Advertising Happening With Destruction and Mayhem” just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily.

  46. As a firefighter, with several friends who have been on the police forces, I know that we all do our jobs and hope to go home without any injuries to ourselves. Yes we may have large vehicles, the cops have riot gear on, but if you look at how many cops and how many people in the crowd there are, cops are outnumbered and could easily be harmed or killed if they didn’t use some force. Especially if you know that those who are anarchists hate you and want to see you dead. Some could be carrying more than rocks or beer bottles to throw, and even if you have peaceful protesters, the minute it starts getting violent, you should get the hell out before you as a peaceful protester gets maced. Peaceful or not, if you stay in a warzone while rioting is going on, you’re going to be hurt. I’ve been to a few of my own peaceful protests, and even though nothing has ever been violent, I know to stay further in the back so I know that if the first few waves start getting hit with tear gas, it’s my cue to leave. That’s just common sense, I know what mace and tasers feel like, and I’m not interested in it, nor sitting in a jail cell. It’s sad that these people ruined our Gay Pride, destroyed Gay affiliated business and gave alot of people who don’t like gays a reason to hate us even more. Violence is not the answer, violence is only met with violence. ( However, I don’t condone excessive force by police, ever. I just know that I’ve been on the other side, having bottles thrown at me, and I was an EMT.

  47. Ooohhh…walking around in masks and hoodies smashing things. Cowards. If you truly believed in the righteousness of your cause, you’d at least have the backbones to show your faces.

  48. “Don’t have one [an internet connection], don’t work, don’t have money, don’t have cards or a wallet”

    Kind of says it all, doesn’t it? Can’t feel too sorry for you when you deliberately choose not to be a part of society.

  49. “Maybe take a look at your own privilege because if you weren’t you wouldn’t have time to pull bullshit like this.”

    The marches’ supporters and organizers represented a diverse group of people – from “dykes,” to gay, queer, women, cis, white, latino and black. That, to a letter, includes the rioters. I know its hard to believe that there maybe even more diversity than even you knew of – queer people might be anarchists, too! – but maybe its time to recognize that.

  50. It is simply astounding to see how quick the people on this blog are to take the side of chase bank and the police. These institutions have done nothign for our community. Quite the opposite. They take billions of dollars of our tax money, kick us out of our homes, and beat us up once we live on the street.

    I understand that some people have qaulms with smashing windows, but the people in the street that night are our friends and neighbors, and its our job to support them and keep them safe.

  51. Nobody forced you to buy a home you couldn’t afford. Nobody forces you to go into debt buying things you can’t afford and probably don’t need.

  52. These young punks have no excuse for calling themselves Anarchists. Nihilists, demolitionists, egoists, obstructionists, distractionists, maybe. But I venture to say they have no knowledge or understanding of the roots, theory, literature or history of anarchism. Mostly they are like little boys who like to destroy things that others have built, because they have neither the skill nor patience to build.

  53. It takes four cops to take down a single guy, and another four to threaten the crowd? What a bunch of pussies.

  54. Please don’t say things like that. These people, whether you agree with their tactics or not, are fighting very hard and risking a lot to bring the fight to people who make it their business to hurt our community.

  55. So it is okay to hurt the community in the name of the community? What exactly are they fighting for?

    I agree with Concerned citizen, they got what they deserved.

  56. I’m gonna take a wild guess that you don’t know a single police officer outside of being in the back of a patrol car.

  57. The crowd should really police themselves before these little shits ruin an otherwise good time.
    Next time just set up a playpen with a couple of recycling bins worth of glass and let the little fucktards have it at. Smash all the glass you want. Yell silly things that 19th century social outcasts wrote. Then, give them a broom and make them clean it up.

  58. A couple of us went to dance. When the window breaking and cone-throwing started, we got out of there. It wasn’t the dance party it was billed as. Several of our friends who also went to dance had to leave. The whole experience put a dent in any kind of community building that the radical queers have been doing with each other.

  59. Thanks for your service, it’s people like you that the anarchists call when they’re injured and need their lives saved.

  60. Look, everyone “fights for their right to party.” But this shit is getting out of hand, it’s distasteful, solves NOTHING and defaced an otherwise “fabulous” pride weekend. How many times will you break Chase bank windows, then go cash a check at their Wells-Fargo? Fuck with an ATM, that I am sure these douches used to withdraw money for their pick axes earlier. Smash Police windows for upholding laws and claim it’s “anti-youth.” These shit heads seriously only made people feel unsafe, emptied the streets that were alive with fun and excitement just before and ABSOLUTELY got what they asked for. I would have been happy to kick some of them in their anarchist “queer” (I frankly have a hard time believing the entire mob was queer but, a great way to shit on a proud community on their Christmas) nuts. The SPD sucks but, I am sick of these uppity spoiled shit heads destroying my neighborhood weekly, get a fucking job.

  61. 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  62. I figured that since the self-proclaimed anarchists were posting here, that it was fair to post on their site in a manner I intended to be as non-confrontational as I could be in these circumstances. The posts and replies went fairly quickly until my account was blocked. So much for community discussion I guess.

    I had to scramble with the “back” button to find the entries that pugetsoundanarchists.org deleted from the forum and was able to salvage most of them. Admittedly, it strays from the subject here on the CHS blog, but is probably entertaining at least. I apologize for its length.

    THANK YOU CHS BLOG FOR DOING A GREAT JOB ON THIS STORY. You make our community better.

    From http://pugetsoundanarchists.org/node/727
    “Queers Fucking Queers Gets Wild in the Streets”
    From the original entry on the site: “What had started as a dance party, quickly transformed into a confrontational presence of anti-Pride rowdy queers, the lack of music hardly matter what came apparent was that a large number of people present there were most interested in being loud and defiant in the street. Being out and proud in a way that Pride was supposed to originally represent, in the way of Stonewall…”

    pedal9:
    The worst thing about this incident is that a group of people were nothing less than coerced into attending a march when it had been promoted as a street dance party. It was NEVER divulged in the Facebook announcement nor on handbills as having anything to do with what you think is anarchism, or worse, activism. Instead, you tricked happy queers into supplying you with a large group in which to hide your cowardly masked and hooded selves. When the destruction of our neighborhood began, most people began bailing out.
    (And please please do not compare this to Stonewall. Ever. It is a shameful slap in the face.)

    fakefood:
    The idea that anyone was coerced into being there is absolutely laughable. If people didn’t have the same plans as you, so be it. Stay clear of them or leave if you want. The wild ones in the street were the ones actively defending the crowd from the police assaults, successfully unarresting several people.
    Furthermore, this WAS a street dance party. An unpermitted street dance party, just like it has been for the last three years. Anyone there was “using” the crowd as much as anyone else to get away with breaking the law, since dancing in the street is breaking the law. The only reason the cops didn’t sweep the street sooner and arrest more people is because of the size and intensity of the crowd.
    Some people got wild and attacked vulnerable police cars. It should be totally obvious why police property would be destroyed. The other targets–symbols of capitalism and assimilation–are explained nicely in the leaflets that were handed out and thrown. (Much fuss has been made over things being thrown at people in beer gardens–these were small pieces of paper, for fuck’s sake.)
    There are many differences between this night and Stonewall. A glaring one: Stonewall is tucked away in the pages of radical history, so it is safe for anyone to parade it around as an image of resistance. The slap in the face is that those same people would betray the rebellious queers who fought bravely last night. Look at this self-righteous internet shitstorm over the violence of a few smashed windows.
    What about the violence of the SPD? The crowd was cheerily chanting “Whose street? Our street!” when we started. Why should we permit them to park their cars right in the middle of “our” street? If it’s really “our street,” what do we want to do with it–dance as long as the cops let us, then go running back to the beer gardens?
    The struggle is never over. Fuck the mirage of social peace.

    pedal9:
    It was IN PART a street dance party. There was much more to it and you and those promoting it knew as much, unless you are very stupid, which I do not think you are. As for the beer garden, hooded and masked people trying to rip down the fencing is a lot more than throwing paper.
    You cannot convince me that people shouting “Whose street? Our street!” had any idea that you were going to start destroying their neighborhood. I can see how you would misinterpret them joining in the chant. If you recall, the police were there from the start, allowing us to take over the street until some persons began the violence. I did not ask for you to “defend” me, in fact no one would have needed it without your presence.
    Tell me, what about Saturday night was brave? Wearing hoods and masks? That one of persons in such costuming next to me carried a knife, brandishing it proudly in front of some non-anarchist queers? What kind of community is that?
    It is interesting to see what has happened in the neighborhood over the last few days: people are talking to each other. People are discussing what happened and it is bringing the community together–the people who live, work and love Capitol Hill, for all its problems and shortfalls.
    You would probably be surprised to know that a lot of other people share your sentiment about corporations, banks, insurance companies, etc. But some of us believe that smashing windows and destroying ATMs does nothing but feed the very system you hate. Violence has and always will elicit more violence. And the way the system is now, there will be more police where there is more violence and insurance will cost more and local businesses will be unable to pay for it and corporations like American Apparel will have less competition and the corporations will only gain more and more power. this is one of many examples. Give me a single proven example of a working anarchy among humankind. Ever.
    We can agree on something: The struggle is indeed never over. Yet the machine is large and your rocks are small.
    —-
    fakefood:
    A liberal doesn’t see eye-to-eye with anarchists?! Who would’ve thunk it!
    Your analysis is weak, and I would suggest you do some reading: http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Peter_Gelderloos__Anarch
    You can buy a copy of this book at Left Bank Books, and in it you’ll find many examples of cultures and societies based on anarchist or anti-authoritarian principles.
    —–
    pedal9:
    I asked YOU to provide me with an example of a working (as in current) anarchy. If it exists, I’m sure you can find something on the internet. I should like to visit it and see how they deal with the issues of sanitation, shelter, education, health care, roads (unless you don’t believe in cars and buses), oh, and what about parks? City parks are nice. I think you have a gathering in one on Friday.
    In short, I am not spending my hard-earned money on that book. This is a forum. Right here. Not at left bank.

  63. The funny thing about anarchism and the traditions that spawned it is that what is considered its greatest achievements (8 hour day, worker rights, unionism) were actually its greatest defeats, and that some of its greatest defeats (May 68, The Spanish Civil War, The Paris commune) were actually its most innovative and inspiring victories.

    a lot of times people ask what an anarchist society would look like and then ask how it would perform the function of a State. Anarchists do not want an Anarchist State. Anarchy is not a plan meant to implement, but a tension that exists along as there is struggle against oppression. Most of human history peoples have organized themselves into cultures and ways that were incompatible with the state-form of governance.

    Do your own research about these things. There are plenty of resources and its incredibly interesting. Learning the struggles that came before us, the potentials we could have, and how to shape these into an attack on what exploits us.

    The book Anarchy Works is a well researched totem of examples throughout history exploring accounts of anarchist and anarchistic societies, cultures, points of struggle, etc. I would highly recommend it to anyone reading these comments who hate the same things we do, but just don’t understand the tactics sometimes used.

  64. You are a loser and a child. I can’t believe I am even engaging, but who the hell do you think you are for claiming an entire neighborhood and thereby have the right to smash it up as you see fit? That’s tyranny, not anarchy. Well, it would be if you had any power. Instead I’d say you are just delusional.

  65. it seems like your neighbors don’t think it is your neighborhood and yours alone to destroy so why not honor them? You don’t get to make decisions for an entire group of people.

  66. running around pretending they are the only true progressives. So entitled, they feel like they can just destroy everything in their path. Ironic how these people, who love playing the victim, are insanely judgmental.