Images: Alex Garland for CHS
A group of around 60 demonstrators tossed rocks, broke windows and smashed fences as they marched and ran through the streets around Broadway and Pike/Pine Saturday night in an anticapitalist protest in solidarity with recent Ferguson-related demonstrations.
Marchers masked up, got a pep talk and headed out from Seattle Central’s plaza around 10:30 PM on a night with temperatures in the mid 20s. Anarchy banners were on display, not the posters and signs that had been on display in the week’s Ferguson demonstrations.
“Feel free to express your rage anytime and anywhere, but if you’d like company then join us Saturday night,” organizers wrote on the Facebook event notifying participants of the event.
Police reported that demonstrators Saturday night thew rocks and smashed out windows of a police vehicel and the Ferrari dealership at 12th and Union as the groups cat-and-moused their way around the periphery of the Pike/Pine entertainment district. The East Precinct was once again locked down after a busy week of demonstrations in the area. The streets around 12th/Pine were closed to traffic during the march.
There were no reports of arrests in the early going but the crowd continued to clash with police past 11 PM. Around 11:15 PM, police radio broadcasts indicated that the crowd had rapidly dispersed though officers were told to remain ready for continued activity in the area. SPD reported that one officer was being treated for a minor facial cut after being hit with a rock during the incident.
There were no reports of police using pepper spray of explosive crowd control devices Saturday night.
The relatively brief outburst of Saturday night’s protest violence came in heavy contrast to previous demonstrations this week where protesters were mostly peaceful and a relatively small amount of property damage and no significant injuries were reported.
UPDATE 11/30/14 12:00 PM: SPD reports that the main damage was limited to the smashed SPD vehicle window and dealership window we reported — plus some paint that was thrown. “Officers halted the protester at 12 Ave and Pike Street as they attempted to walk to the East precinct,” the report states. “The demonstrators began to run throughout the Pike-Pine corridor with officers watching closely. During the fracas some demonstrators broke a plate glass window at a local business on 12th Avenue.”
Police were unable to locate “the specific individuals from within the crowd committing the crimes,” the report notes, “but continued to follow and monitor the group.”