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Seattle May Day 2015 turns into a riot on Capitol Hill

IMG_4329IMG_4330 IMG_4331 IMG_4332 IMG_4333 IMG_4334 IMG_4335 IMG_4336 IMG_4337There were 16 reported arrests and numerous injuries including three police officers sent to the hospital Friday night as clashes between protesters and police were concentrated on the streets of Capitol Hill for the third May Day in a row.

“This is no longer demonstration management, this has turned into a riot,” a voice crackled from command across the Seattle Police tactical radio channel. SPD later identified the speaker as Capt. Chris Fowler who again headed up the department’s May Day response this year.

CHS reported on the events as they happened — including drone sightings, a man stuck on a basketball hoop, and pictures of people taking Capitol Hill riot selfies. You can view the May Day 2015 on Capitol Hill timeline and reports here.

IMG_4209 IMG_3969 IMG_4238Again, an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 people took to the streets from Judkins Park to downtown in the annual pro-worker and immigration rights march and a Black Lives Matter rally in a peaceful demonstration.

And again in 2015, the violence and mayhem of May Day in Seattle was shoved back into Capitol Hill neighborhoods as police blocked the “anti-capitalist” and “anti-police” crowds that gathered at Broadway and Pine later that night from streaming into downtown with strong lines of armor-plated officers who deployed pepper spray, “less lethal” projectiles, and so many flash bangs that the efforts in East Precinct had to be re-supplied.

“All force used by officers during the evening will be thoroughly reviewed, as per department policies developed in partnership with the United States Department of Justice,” the department said in a report on Friday’s incidents.

Some protesters sustained large welts, cuts, and bruises they said were caused by the small grenades which created giant booms through the night and were joined by “improvised explosive devices” like fireworks and smoke bombs being deployed by protesters. Police also seized long wood poles, staves with bolts, heavy tools like hammers and wrenches, pocket knives, and heavy objects like ball bearings and rocks from protesters.

Anti-SPD signs and chants of “all cops are bastards” were met by hundreds of officers in place to respond to the un-permitted march. SPD didn’t release numbers of total officers deployed but the department did say there were more on hand — including units borrowed from neighboring communities like Bellevue and Tukwila — than in 2014. The larger response appeared to be accompanied by even more forceful tactics to control the protest.

The heaviest fighting broke out around 7:30 PM after the crowd estimated around 700 protesters marched rapidly north on Broadway and began a large-scale game of chase with hundreds of SPD officers on hand to contain the group on foot, on bike, and in a fleet of SUV-style trucks and police cruisers. Police began moving in on some protesters near Broadway and Howell after a “dispersal order” was issued. The ensuing fighting at the location resulted in many of the reported arrests and the three reported officer injuries. The rapid, high-intensity response also worked — many of the protesters were sent scrambling from the scene where flash bangs echoed and streams of pepper spray were used to disperse the crowd. Several vehicles — including a much-photographed KIRO radio news jeep — were damaged and tagging and broken windows were reported up and down Broadway and the surrounding streets where the clashes were concentrated.

“Police arrested 15 men and one woman for a range of crimes–including assault, obstruction, and failure to disperse–and recovered weapons and vandalism tools from suspects,” the SPD report on the arrests reads. Three officers sustained what SPD called “serious injuries” including one officer treated for a dislocated shoulder, another for a broken wrist, and a third officer “was left with burns to their leg and ankle,” SPD reports.

“Police are still cataloging evidence recovered during the evening and determining booking charges for a number of the suspects,” the SPD report states.

Most of those arrested in May Day rioting were never charged in past years.

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The mayor is slated to tour the area Saturday to survey the damage and talk with business representatives.

Mayor Murray surveys the graffiti at Seattle Central as members of the Love is Not Lost group worked to clean up some of Friday night's remaining mess (Image: CHS)

Mayor Murray, in blue, surveys the graffiti at Seattle Central as members of the Love is Not Lost group worked to clean up some of Friday night’s remaining mess. Saturday is also the mayor’s birthday. (Image: CHS)

UPDATE: In a walking tour attended by his police chief and representatives from the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Ed Murray viewed some of the damaged caused by Friday night’s unrest and police clashes.

“The neighborhood needs to attempt to take this back,” Murray said of his home neighborhood’s history of progressive values and civic action. “Protest doesn’t need violence.”

The mayor and SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole said they couldn’t confirm unofficial police estimates of 700 protesters at Broadway and Pine at the height of the demonstration but both said they had been told the crowd was approximately double what was seen in 2014.

With questions about why it seemed police pushed the protest into “residential Capitol Hill,” O’Toole and Murray both placed blame on the demonstrators — not police tactics.

“We didn’t anticipate that even before dark it would become violent,” O’Toole said. “In shutting it all down, it ended up back at the college. We fully expected them to go downtown.”

O’Toole said the demonstration would have been allowed to leave the Hill if the violence and damage hadn’t so quickly escalated.

One area the marchers would have been blocked from, however, would have been the mayor’s North Capitol Hill home. At one point in the night, Murray said, officials feared the group was on its way to target the residence but that the protesters changed course. Murray said he was at the emergency operations center downtown and not home during Friday night’s demonstrations.

Murray also said he wouldn’t want to take steps like working with Seattle Central to close its plaza before future May Day protests without a tactical recommendation from SPD. O’Toole said she wouldn’t suggest such a move unless “the community” asked for it.

Murray and O’Toole also lauded a recommendation from new Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scroggins to have dumpsters across Capitol Hill and downtown emptied prior to the May Day unrest. The move kept the mess from tipped dumpsters to a minimum and reduced the number of fires reported, Murray said.

O’Toole said she was less happy with the decision by some businesses to board up windows. “That’s how you make yourself a target,” O’Toole said.

A representative from Elliott Bay Book Company asked why more can’t be done to prevent the annually recurring night of vandalism and fighting with police. “There should be some way to circumvent this from happening,” she said. “Boarding up windows is really disappointing.”

“We’re willing to do things differently,” Murray said but also acknowledged that SPD was successful in shutting down May Day violence earlier in the night in 2015 than in previous years.

UPDATE: Saturday's Black Lives Matter march blocking Rainier and MLK Way

UPDATE: Saturday’s Black Lives Matter march blocking Rainier and MLK Way

Murray and O’Toole also acknowledged that the ongoing tide of demonstrations and protests are testing SPD’s endurance and, sometimes, patience. The slate remains busy Saturday with another set of demonstrations including Black Lives Matter rallies and the possibility of continued May Day-related actions Saturday night.

Original report: Earlier on the morning of May Day 2015, it was clear Murray had been prepared for another night of violence in his home neighborhood.  “This neighborhood has a history of protest — protests that have changed this city for the better. Protests in the anti-war movement. Protests for LGBT rights,” Murray said. “As we have seen in May Day after May Day there are also individuals being destructive,” Murray said before addressing public safety and traffic questions in a media conference in Cal Anderson Park.

Friday night following the main thrust of fighting, Murray’s office released a statement on the clashes advising business owners and citizens “to take reasonable precautions to protect their employees and customers.” Both Broadway QFCs closed early — the Broadway Market location after sustaining a busted window. Meanwhile, Starbucks responded early in the day to possible threats by closing 18 stores in the “downtown” area and encasing its $30 million-plus Starbucks Reserve Roastery in plywood. As of midnight, the facility appeared to have been spared any damage. Less lucky were a crossfit gym and other businesses which sustained graffiti damage and Seattle Central where demonstrators gathered and where some protesters tagged the large metal sculpture in the plaza as well as the Broadway Performance Hall as police corralled the groups back onto the campus and forced the protest to fizzle out into the night.

Friday night’s violence marks the third straight year that May Day’s nighttime conflicts have been contained on Capitol Hill. Leading up to the night, Seattle Police were again providing media updates about the department’s readiness for the annual protests following criticism in the wake of SPD’s response to the 2012 protests in which the damage and violence was centered downtown. In 2013 and 2014, more of the unrest was focused on Capitol Hill as SPD more actively pushed activity out of the downtown core using tactics similar to what CHS reported here during 2014’s Black Lives Matter protests – Why does the Seattle Police Department push protests up Capitol Hill?

After another night of vandalism, military-grade shows — and, sometimes, use — of force, and the ceaseless drone of television helicopters, Capitol Hill residents and business owners are likely ready for new tactics in 2016.IMG_4034IMG_0917


UPDATE: Actions and protests around Central Seattle continue Saturday with a “Justice for Black Lives: National Action Day” gathering at 23rd and Union starting at 12:30 PM.

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119 thoughts on “Seattle May Day 2015 turns into a riot on Capitol Hill” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. I’m glad there were arrests, and hopefully this time the police got enough hard evidence that the prosecutors can file charges and hold the perps accountable. Just because no “protestors” were ever charged last year does not mean they were not guilty of criminal activity….it only means there wasn’t adequate evidence to charge them.

  2. Note those photos of SPD staff deploying stun grenades directly into the crowd. Then see this video of Chris Meyer of SPD describing proper use of such devices (brand name “Blast Ball Grenade” in this case). They’re meant to be detonated away from people, influencing those people to move in a different direction than toward the grenade.

    Don’t miss the video of a bike cop reaching out and hitting a guy walking peacefully on the side of the street. Actions like this serve only to escalate the situation.

    • At 4:29 in that video, Meyer says, “I can throw several of these–and you don’t throw them into the crowd, because that will cause mayhem and confusion–you throw it to the sides that you want to move people away from, so you’re kind of herding people into the escape routes that you want by making negative stimulus in the areas that you don’t want them to go to.”

      In practice, that’s bullshit. SPD staff regularly toss these things into crowds, and it does, indeed, create mayhem. The police regularly create the mayhem, providing opportunity for them to escalate further.

      • Come on, Phil. It’s the unlawful behavior of certain people which “creates mayhem.” If they behaved peacefully and lawfully in the first place, there would be no need for the police to react…and, yes, sometimes to over-react.

      • Were you there, Bob? I was. Do you dispute the claim of Chris Meyer at SPD that stun grenades should not be fired into crowds, and that doing so creates mayhem and confusion? I do not. I have seen it happen multiple times.

      • No, I don’t dispute that. But it’s kind of interesting that you would latch on to a statement by an SPD officer when it suits your purpose, whereas you normally try very hard to discredit everything the SPD says.

      • Bob, I don’t, as you claim, try to dispute everything SPD staff say. I do try hard to do so when I think they’re spreading misinformation.

        I encourage you to watch the helicopter video. People who were apparently part of the march and a videographer among them bumped into each other (0m5s). That’s not surprising, as it’s somewhat difficult to navigate a moving crowd with a large, shoulder-mounted camera in your face. It’s hard to tell, but it looks a bit like (and seems likely that) some shoving ensued. That’s not surprising, as people at these events tend to get testy when the TV news show up, as the TV news typically show only limited views of these demonstrations, and the TV news crews tend to help the police forward their agenda, which is to convince the public that they did not escalate the situation and that the demonstration was filled with dangerous and violent people. There were people around with large sticks (both police and demonstrators) but I don’t see any of them swinging at that point.

        Twenty seconds later (0m25s), somebody from the SPD black block (yes, I’ll call them that; can you distinguish one from another?) rams his bicycle into a line of demonstrators from behind and tackles one of the demonstrators. I suspect if we check the radio archive, we’ll find an “officer down” call at that point. That’s when things got crazy. I was about a half-block behind (north) on Broadway at that point. It went downhill from there, as SPD staff repeatedly incited the crowd, blocked their travel, routed them (us, I should say, at that point) to Seattle Central, and kettled the demonstration there.

        I believe that once again, SPD staff “started it.” We can ask demonstrators to hold themselves to a higher standard than police–not to take the bait. When a cop dives off his bike into a crowd, and his colleague make the “officer down” call, we can ask demonstrators to call it a day and go home. But none of that is realistic. We can and should demand that our police cut it out.

    • I think that was a girl. And she was completely walking in the bike lane on purpose looking a little over her shoulder for the cop to do that. Yeah the hard shove probably wasn’t warranted.

      • The hard shove probably was warranted if the goal is to show people who’s the boss. How do you suppose such shows of force affect a crowd of people, largely young people, who are out protesting (often, in their minds, I suspect) the police?

        Our relationship with SPD, here, is as if we hired bee keepers who regularly go out and poke a stick in the hive the minute one of the bees flies near them. If you send people who like to smash bees in to tend your bees, there will be lots of injured bees and bee keepers.

        Regardless of our feelings about the message, if any, presented by protesters, I think we should demand that our police calm the hell down and stop stirring shit up. They should be better than this. Unlike the protesters, they are trained professionals in this context.

        But who are we to say? The preferential treatment for downtown businesses and megachains shows for whom the police truly work.

      • This push them (back) up the hill is not new: WTO, Mardi Gras and now repeatedly on May Day. Seriously need a new plan. I understand that they were trying to keep them out of the family housing area including mayor mc-cheese’s but they certainly didn’t want them to go DT.

    • Phil, you are so obviously biased you can’t possibly be taken seriously. If you want things to change, then be impartial and call out both sides for their stupidity. That’s how you gain credibility. Don’t let the rioters off the hook just to feed your agenda.

  3. What can we do as a community to stop these morons (who probably don’t even live here) from doing this year after year?

    I don’t like how we’re just coming to accept this as inevitable.

    • This group can’t be stopped with restraint as it’s goal is to provoke the police. Perhaps early on taking away the big sticks from blackclad masked men or arresting theses guys the minute they start walking on Broadway without a permit.

      • People can try to provoke the police all they want, but if police don’t take the bait, it won’t matter. The police are armed. We pay the police. They are trained–and well-paid–to deal with stressful situations. Year after year, they jump at the opportunity to fight. Please join me in telling them to cut it out.

        It’s not at all clear whom should be told to stop provoking the police. It’s crystal-clear whom should be told to stop blowing their tops on the public dime.

    • It’s almost always just marching, yelling, and sign-waving until police escalate the situation into a big mess, then contain the mess in our neighborhood.

      Let’s take a pragmatic approach: We can’t very well control demonstrators, but we can, in theory, control our police. They tell us again and again that they won’t do what they did yesterday, and then they do it again. They protect downtown businesses and crappy chain stores up here (e.g., Subway and Urban Outfitters), and they go out itching for a fight, then taking the first opportunity to ratchet up the violence.

      • I don’t know. If folks come to the “protest” armed with sticks and clubs and rocks and batteries to throw I don’t think you can say they were all calm until the police provoke them. I think some of these folks – admittedly the minority – come looking for a fight and they’re going to smash stuff regardless.

      • Justin wrote:

        “We didn’t anticipate that even before dark it would become violent,” O’Toole said. “In shutting it all down, it ended up back at the college. We fully expected them to go downtown.”

        O’Toole is mistaken. At about 8:10 p.m., I heard police on their radio ordering officers to push people to Seattle Central. At 8:06, Justin reported, “SPD pushing crowd away from downtown. Currently back up Denny from Melrose #scanner”.

      • or, maybe, could it be that you aren’t interpreting her statement correctly?

        the police believed the protest wouldn’t get violent so quickly and were allowing it to go to downtown. it got violent early and so they shut the protest down and pushed it back up the hill.

        the comments aren’t hard to comprehend unless you already have a negative bias against the police. which i think most regular readers of the comments on this blog know you have. give it a rest already.

    • @adam

      the mayor and the chief already told us what we need to do:

      “Murray also said he wouldn’t want to take steps like working with Seattle Central to close its plaza before future May Day protests without a tactical recommendation from SPD. O’Toole said she wouldn’t suggest such a move unless “the community” asked for it.”

      what would be great is if @jseattle were to put up a blog post with a poll asking the community to vote on whether seattle central should be closed off to protesters in the future. i say, yes, do it. but i think putting the voice of the people in a poll and sending it to the mayor and c.o.p. would have more impact.

  4. The “anarchist” provocateurs undermine legitimate protest every time since WTO giving the press & pundits permission to spin the narrative anyway they want. Sick of it.

  5. I’m fine with how the police handled it. These shitbags aren’t even part of any legitimate protests. They have no agenda other than to provoke police and break shit in my neighborhood. I’m sick of this just being the norm every May 1st.

  6. Once again the anarchists pee in the pool and the message of the larger protests gets lost. Good job, jerks.

      • Oh, I’d blame them for the breakage. But for getting more attention than the other May Day demonstrations? That’s all police and TV news. May Day events show every year how you get public attention, and it’s not by having a polite parade around town on a pre-planned and city-approved route.

        I’m not claiming it’s good attention, or that it’s an effective tactic for affecting change, only that few around here pay much attention until the news helicopters are circling and the police are out shoving people around and firing explosives into crowds.

      • And then normal people turn on their TV, see what’s going on, think “what a bunch of assholes” and cheer on the cops. This nonsense also negatively impacts their views on labor and immigration, because these jack offs associate themselves with those causess by doing this on May Dat.

        You can whine about the cops all day, but all this is doing is damaging some important causes.

      • Yep. What do you suppose that one-sided view presented year after year by TV news crews has on protesters’ opinions of TV new reporters when they show up and start shoving their cameras in people’s faces? Say one of them stumbles into some protesters marching down the street? TV news crews are not likely to get a warm reception until they start reporting SPD’s violent and abusive practices along with a few people’s property damage.

      • Police didn’t break windows, and I don’t read anyone here claiming such. I assert that the distraction from the earlier May Day parade–the fact that the anti-capitalist march got more public attention, as described above by Paul–should be credited to police and TV news.

      • Phil…that is just not true. We watched yesterday. It was on TV. Don’t be a liar. Absolutely nothing happened until rocks and bottles started getting thrown….and guess what…someone got shoved, so what. If told to move, which is a lawful order, and you don’t do it with any alacrity, you get shoved. Learned that when I was 12.

      • You didn’t watch everything on TV. You watched what the TV news people want you to see, which is, largely, what the police want you to see.

        I was there.

      • You were there? Really? You hadn’t made that clear yet.

        It’s cute that people think it’s about TV news. All of those demonstrators probably haven’t watched TV news, or cared about it, for a single day of their digital lives. You should be blaming bloggers and Twitter, because that’s the attention they crave.

  7. My neighborhood is a dump full of human garbage. Cannot wait until my lease is up and I get to move this summer.

    • Do you mean that’s how you feel about all of Capitol Hill? That’s rather extreme and myopic if so. Feel free to share what neighborhood you’re moving to so I can then post a link to that neighborhood’s crime map an sex offender registry as I’m sure those wouldn’t be blank.

  8. I will never understand what some purported residents of our hill are thinking when they decide to march with people bent only on destruction and violence “because they can.” This isn’t Baltimore; these kids had zero justification for being out last night beyond an intent to fight with police and trash our home. Police and city officials acted beautifully last night! Black-clad babies walked into a highly trained and organized production. If they wanted to have a peaceful first amendment demonstration they had every opportunity, and chose not to take a single one. Even if these kids had a message, which they did not, it will always be drowned out when weapons, explosives and projectiles show up among their ranks as they do every single year. Violent agitators, resident or not, can get OUT OF MY HOOD.

    • Quelle horreur! For a split second during a riot after having suffered explosive devices and rocks thrown at them, it appears, for this single moment in time, without any helpful context in the image, that you might be able to say a police officer smiled as he fired rubber bullets at rioters. One time my friend took a picture of me while I was walking and it looked like I was floating – that’s totally evidence that I can freaking fly!

  9. This is the new thing to do on May 1st. Sad. This could of been an annual way to stand up for the worker’s rights. Instead, the asshole anarchists have turned it into a battle. When you come looking for a fight, you’re going to get one. Fuck you window breaking, wall tagging idiots.

    • On International Workers’ Day:

      International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in some places, is a celebration of laborers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labor movement, anarchists, socialists, and communists and occurs every year on May Day, 1 May, an ancient European spring holiday.[1][2] The date was chosen for International Workers’ Day by the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886.

      On the Haymarket Affair:

      The Haymarket affair (also known as the Haymarket massacre or Haymarket riot) was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square[2] in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.

      In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. The evidence was that one of the defendants may have built the bomb, but none of those on trial had thrown it.[3][4][5][6] Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted by Illinois governor Richard J. Oglesby to terms of life in prison, and another committed suicide in jail rather than face the gallows. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, Illinois’ new governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.

      The Haymarket affair is generally considered significant as the origin of international May Day observances for workers.[7][8] The site of the incident was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1992,[9] and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004. In addition, the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument at the defendants’ burial site in nearby Forest Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

      • Yes! This is exactly like Haymarket Square – if you’re a spoiled white undergraduate with too much time on your hands because daddy is writing the tuition checks and you’re majoring in feelings.

      • I got another feel. That they were sad and ignorant people. Not all, but the paint spraying/battery chucking/motocross gear wearing ones were.

      • Perhaps the ignorant ones aren’t those ones you propose. The police initiated the violence and then provoked the riot. They are protecting and serving this morally, spiritually, and financially bankrupt NWO.

      • It sounds like Mr. Mocek is an expert on these things. Perhaps in 2016 we can have HIM be in charge of the police response?

        That way when things starting smashed and people are injured the cops could simply join hands, sing Kumbaya and hand out daisies to the “socially less fortunate”

      • Phil I can appreciate workers marches. We have a large, peaceful one every year. Based on the entirety of what you have been posting today and last night on social media, it seems that you are not finding a distinction between El Comite and adjacent groups, and a destructive, violent minority that is totally unrelated to workers protests. Whether or not workers protests on May Day are a tradition does not validate or excuse unrelated, violent, destructive anarchists whose only purpose is property damage and conflict.

      • I find a strong distinction. Among other distinctions, one held a parade, the other took to the streets in protest.

        I’m not making any guesses about any involved anarchists’ purpose, and I don’t see anyone interviewing them about such. I see lots of people, like yourself, expressing guesses presented as facts, apparently extrapolated from reports by police, who generally don’t even understand that anarchism is a political ideology

  10. I read and saw reports of some demonstrators carrying and assaulting the police with weapons such as wrenches. I don’t think anybody who brings a wrench to a demonstration is doing so in order to “fix” anything. Plus the news pictured the fact that a lot of those black flag poles had large-head bolts screwed into their bases. There is the anarchist element that is bent upon destroying property and I, for one, am weary of protestors always being driven up to Capitol Hill to wreak havoc. That has been the modus operandi since the WTO.

    • Did you see all the video of police lobbing explosives into crowds? These were people still marching. The police didn’t throw their Blast Balls to the sides, to provide disincentive to move that way. They were lobbing them right at people (and also hit some cars, I saw) who were already moving. SPD were stirring shit up to justify spending 20% of their budget on “special operations” and to justify keeping the protest away from their precious downtown retail core.

  11. I do have to admit a moment of levity with the guy who got his foot stuck in the basketball hoop at Cal Anderson. Even he, however, was wielding a hammer.

    • Photographer Alex Garland witnessed that incident and described it as follows:

      As I’m parking behind the tennis courts at Cal Anderson, I see a large police presence at the basketball court. I park, pull out my camera, and start snapping photos of a man armed with a hammer sitting in the basketball hoop. Immediately it’s apparent that he’s under the influence but SPD work to get him to drop the hammer. Eventually, his foot gets caught in the net and despite being yanked on by SPD’s finest, it takes the Seattle Fire Department with a ladder to set him free. Although SPD made a twitter joke about “goal tending”, it was hard to watch someone with mental illness (drug addiction), struggle in this way.

      • Like Larry said. You’re a liar. Komo’s article said goal tending, Komo was also wrong about how he got down. It was a Seattle Police Officer who climbed the ladder to get the crazy guy off the hoop. I was literally standing 15 feet away. The tweeked out guy was taken to the hospital. Don’t be a liar. Liar

      • Hey, Mocek — I pulled up the name “Alex Gardner” on the internet and he is a self-aggrandizing, for hire private photographer. How the bloody H could he possibly have had any idea that the kid caught in the basketball hoop was a “drug addict?” Answer: He couldn’t. It was HIS assumption that you elected to promote through repeating. Your sad-sob anti-police rhetoric is getting pretty stale.

      • A correction, Gracie. Alex Garland is a staff photographer for this blog, and is a very professional guy…not to mention a fine photographer. I think you owe him an apology.

      • To clarify…..Alex does alot of photography for this blog, but he also does freelance work. But I still do not know why you accused him of being “self-aggrandizing.”

      • Absolutely no apology will be forthcoming, Bobby. My opinion of his website stands. Alex Garland ought to stick to taking photos rather than issuing public opinions on the state of the subjects of his photos — most especially, when he classifies them as drug addicts and mentally ill in writing. Both Mr. Garland and this blog could find themselves facing serious legal action and a potential lawsuit. To publish such unsubstantiated opinions is foolhardy beyond belief. He had better hope some enterprising attorney doesn’t become involved.

      • I actually agree with you….Alex is a photographer and should not be making statements as a reporter would.

        P.S. I haven’t been called “Bobby” since I was a child!

      • I rode the bus up with the man in question about an hour before the incident. I was sitting at the back and I noticed him when he asked a guy in the back row if he’d move over- he did so nicely, but it was immediately obvious that he was both under the influence as well as disabled via mental health and/or cognitive disability. I’ve worked with the homeless population in western washington for 9 years and it’s just something you know. It makes me sad to see him mocked.

        And for the record, substance abuse and dependence is a public health issue and absolutely not a moral failing on an individual’s part. Many with addiction issues have faced multiple traumas resulting in chronic mental and physical health issues. It is up to society to stop the cycle and create safe places for recovery and rehabilitation and disrupt trauma and abuse (you know, kind of what the protestors are trying to do. disrupt a sick society that shows no compassion). We’re all in this together, and everyone benefits from a safe and caring world.

  12. What most media refuses to show: RAW footage of Seattle Police Department provoking the 2015 May Day by attacking marchers who don’t even see the attack coming and then spraying people who try to help those tackled being sprayed with pepper spray.

    Here is a video showing police shooting percussion grenades into the crowd while blocking off routes of dispersal. In this short clip, at least three vehicles are hit by percussion grenades and even shake. Notice the look on people’s faces. This is what a police state looks like–when it’s being nice.

    • And what does THAT video not show beforehand? Probably those same people being repeatedly told to disperse and ignoring it.

      • You will notice they are dispersing. Police blocked the side routes, push people in a box with chemical weapons, rubber bullets, percussion grenades, and batons– of course they will react. “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Malcom X

    • Actually that first video at least also contains proof of the anarchist brat hitting some media person with a stick at the 5second mark. Police then target him and take him down as they absolutely should have. Second video shows some great crowd control – police moved these jerks exactly where they wanted them to go. SPD handled this thing beautifully and chief O’Toole and mayor Murray should be celebrated for their planning, organization and execution. These thugs and criminals should take notice and stay home next year.

      • I’ve watched that over and over, but I don’t see it starting with any sticks involved. It looks like the videographer and other people marching collided, then (hard to tell as they pass behind/under the tree) there is some shoving before 20 seconds later, some cowboy cop on a bike rams into a line of people and ends up rolling around on the ground, apparently injured.

  13. Nice dance moves, boys. So what was being protested? Police brutality? Death of homeless people in their camps? The endless war? Our pot-filled streets? The demolition of South Lake Union to Amazon/Techy Land? What is it? Because for the second year running, I see May 1 as the Day to Break Things. So much video showing nothing constructive on the “protester’s” (I prefer stupid thugs) part to give a reason to be total shits. And honestly those a-holes in the black hoods reminded me of the Klu Klux Klan – just loving to break things along as they don’t have to identify for it. F’cking cowards.

    • exactly. and the city panders to them and in the aftermath exclaims, “what could we have done? the community never asked us to shut these demonstrations down before they begin.”

      and yet, pull up blog posts from years past and you’ll see streams of comments such as those above wanting this kind of bullshit to stop. i know he’s just our “lowly” blogger overlord, but i’d love to see @jseattle compile all the comments against the anti-capitalist/anarchist demonstrators and present it to the city and police department. i think most capitol hill residents would agree they don’t want this shit here in 2016.

      • I don’t think everyone who is anti-capitalist is an anarchist, though I would think all the anarchists are anti-capitalist.

      • One thing I don’t understand is why the City allows this (or any other) unpermitted demonstration in the first place. Permits are necessary to help ensure that a protest is reasonably orderly and peaceful….as in the large pro-labor march earlier in the day. Why do the anarchists get a pass?

        In the future, I think the City and the SPD should devise a plan to shut down an unpermitted action before it starts.

      • Bob – as one elder to another – I protested with National Farm Workers (Cesar Chavez) – I was in a picket line at Safeway’s in the Seattle area (youngsters, look it up). I was “nudged” by a car while in line; we were instructed not to react; we were following MLK’s and Gandhi’s way of nonviolence. While that crap was going on Friday, there was another peaceful protest for Immigrants and Workers; it attracted very few people or attention. My heart and support is for them not these stupid a-holes who are in it for the chance of taking selfie’s with the police.

      • Thank you, Christine. I agree completely with your nonviolent/peaceful approach (was it the lettuce boycott you were involved with?) as exemplified by the labor/immigrant march earlier in the day. It’s unsettling that these days MLK’s and Gandhi’s way is hardly remembered, and has been replaced by violent, self-aggrandizing actions. I was glad to see that the peaceful march was covered by TheSeattleTimes, and also in this blog. But such coverage gets lost in all the focus on the g-d anarchists.

      • People need not request and receive permission from our government in order to assemble and express ourselves on public streets. Seattle cannot require a permit for these activities because the law won’t allow it.

      • What you write, Phil, is not quite correct. You might want to take a look at the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Cox v. New Hampshire.

      • The First Amendment is not carte blanche to do whatever you want. There are limits legally…and one of those is that you can’t behave unlawfully, as the anarchists have (once again) done.

      • Bob I understand “time and place” limits on expression. What I’m telling you is that while I am not (as you know) a lawyer, multiple friends of mine are, and some of them are very familiar with this area of law. I say with all the confidence I can short of *knowing* so that in Seattle, law prevents the city from requiring people to request and receive permit to march in the streets as an act of political expression. I take it as fact, backed by my discussion with someone I trust deeply and bolstered by inference from my observations.

        Think about it this way: If they could require it, do you think they would let these so-called “un-permitted” marches go on? I don’t. I think they’d have the police shut some of them–the anti-capitalist and anti-police-brutality demonstrations, in particular–down promptly, rather than going through the charade of allowing the march, then at the slightest deviation from civility, escalating to the point that they can publicly justify shutting them down.

        I bet you that is the unwritten plan: “Let it go on, because we cannot legally stop it. But the moment anything that can be construed to the public as bad happens, bring out every crowd control option we have and shut it down with an overwhelming display of force.”

  14. Pingback: What We’re Reading: Say Hello to New Councilmember Okamoto | The Urbanist

  15. These anarchists who were arrested…all white, all male, all straight? Exactly what is their problem? Not enough privilege?

    Hold their parents responsible…wonder what would happen then…

  16. LOL! Looks like I moved out of Cap Hill just in time!

    HAHAHAHAAA god this is priceless. You really do get what you deserve if you live in this city.

    Enjoy your whiteness and faux-diversity, Seattle! (the whitest city in the US).


  17. There is footage clearly showing bike cops instigating the violence- as they always have done. those concussion bombs were thrown directly at people (both protestors and anyone who happened to be on the street). The cops had mass amounts of backup, armor, riot gear, pepper spray, bombs, bikes and had absolutely no reason to feel threatened- and yet they struck the protestors with force intending to harm

    • No, there’s video showing an anarchist attacking a KOMO News guy, cops pointing him out, and tackling him to arrest him. then you see his anarchist buddies attacking cops with their “flag poles” (which just happen to have nails and bolts poking out of the end). But yeah, the cops started it.

      • “Attacking”? Watch again. People are trying to march, and a guy is rambling around with a camera blocking his view. They ran into each other. It’s hard to see, but there was likely some shoving after that. The shoving is not acceptable. Shortly thereafter, a cop drove his bicycle into the backs of a line of people, dove off it, fell on the ground, and all hell broke loose. I strongly suspect that there was an “officer down” call at that point, and such a call very justifiably results in a dramatic change in mood to every cop around.

        If it happened as I at this point think it did, that bone-head diving off his bike was a bad tactical move that inflamed everything.

  18. Phil, You’re a fricking G. Thanks for being so reasonable and sticking up for us protesters. And thank you for spreading truth and posting links.

    • You mean rioters? Cause that’s all I saw on the Hill on Friday night. The real protests had already happened.

  19. Walked through Cal Anderson Park a while ago. Do we really need a riot to get the graffiti cleaned up? Park looks better than it has in a long time. Still more tags to clean…

  20. Pingback: #Blacklivesmatter protests follow May Day chaos | Josh Kelety

  21. Canada banned face masks at political gatherings after they had had enough of the Black Block. In Portland a poll revealed that 85% of people there wanted the anarchists to be shot into outer space and left there. (OK, that wasn’t the question in the poll but it’s what the question amounted to) When people have really had enough of these morons they will simply gang up on them, pull their masks off, and send them back to mom’s basement in Eugene. Property destruction and throwing wrenches and fireworks at cops is not engaging in political speech and most people don’t want them here.

  22. My personal opinion regarding May Day masked RIOTING in Seattle:
    Pathetic cowardly individuals using this day only as an EXCUSE to come to town and raise hell, hurt people, loot, and damage. Take your f’king masks off cowards! Your mommy and daddy would be real proud of you, eh? Oh, you didn’t tell them???Aren’t you proud of yourselves? Hint: If you provoke law enforcement and refuse to follow lawful orders from them, they will react accordingly. Stop your whining and get a permit, organize, and maybe your message will be heard next time……or perhaps in the course of a year you’ll grow up!
    Very Sad.

  23. Pingback: At least eight charged in May Day protest turned ‘riot’ on Capitol Hill, SPD to brief City Council | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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  26. Pingback: Report on SPD use of force in Capitol Hill protest: No officer reprimands but blast-ball use created ‘fear and panic’ | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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