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Groups smash glass, set fires across Capitol Hill in burst of protest mayhem — UPDATE

The fire outside Rove (Image: Matt Mitgang)

Protesters smashed glass and set fires across Capitol Hill Wednesday night in a bout of mayhem organizers said was a “call for direct action” against Seattle Police and federal agents.

The night’s early targets included the E Olive Way Starbucks and the soon to open new Uncle Ike’s nearby where fireworks were reportedly used to start a small fire on the outside of the building that was quickly extinguished by Seattle Fire as the protesters marched on. The Uncle Ike’s at 23rd and Union was also damaged by a suspected arson fire involving fireworks in early July.

Starbucks continues to be a target in Seattle protests over its support of the Seattle Police Foundation.

The Blu Dot showroom and the Neko cat cafe also suffered damage during the riot involving around 100 people who marched from Cal Anderson starting around 10 PM. UPDATE: Sounds like the report of damage to Neko wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Ownership reports the building was hit with graffiti. Thanks for checking on the kitties. E Pine’s Plant Shop also suffered a broken window.

Seattle Police were present in large numbers following the crowd and collecting evidence at crime and fire scenes.

As the demonstrators marched near the East Precinct later in the night, protesters ripped down plywood and busted into the Rove vintage store and were reported gathering clothing and items from inside and setting the goods on fire.

Security workers try to put out the flames (Image: Matt Mitgang)

The store was opened in early 2017 by Rachel McNew, wife of Steven McNew, one of the two officers who shot and killed Charleena Lyles later that year.

The 11th and Union high-end shoe store Likelihood was also reported broken into and looted.

UPDATE 7:09 AM: SPD has posted a brief on the overnight riot saying a business at Madison and Broadway was also attacked by the crowds:

At about 9:00 p.m. a group of about 150 people gathered at Cal Anderson park. The group roamed about the Capital Hill neighborhood, doing massive amounts of property damage, looting, shooting fireworks, and committing arson. Individuals from the group broke the windows of a business in the 1400 block of East Olive Way and then started a fire inside. Seattle Fire was called to extinguish the fire. The group then went to the 1500 Block of 11 Avenue, breaking more businesses’ windows along the way. Individuals then broke into a business, took merchandise, and put it in middle of the street where they lit it on fire. The group went to Broadway and Madison, where individuals used baseball bats and pipes to break windows at a store. They threw fireworks into the store and then began looting. The group headed to the area of Summit and Madison where they damaged property at two banks. After leaving the banks, the group returned to Cal Anderson Park and then dispersed. No arrests were made. No officers were injured.

Seattle Fire did not respond to the 11th Ave blaze as personnel from private security firm Iconic Global were reported at the scene attempting to extinguish the fire outside the heavily damaged store. The firm’s security teams have been working in the area since the CHOP occupied protest camp.

Marches continued to cross the area with reports of damage including burning fireworks, graffiti, and broken glass at businesses and banks. The fence put up to keep campers off of the south lawn at Seattle Central was also reportedly torn down.

There were no immediate reports of arrests and no reports of significant injuries.

Anti-police actions and property destruction that left windows at the East Precinct shattered also followed a demonstration against federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Sunday.

Some organizers have said they plan to continue their actions with further gatherings on Capitol Hill and downtown over the weekend.

Wednesday night’s unrest comes three weeks after Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered the Capitol Hill protest camp around the East Precinct raided and cleared and comes as much of the region’s attention to ongoing Black Lives Matter protests has shifted to Portland and the clashes there between demonstrators, federal agents, and city police. In Seattle, meanwhile, the city council is hashing out cuts to Seattle’s policing budget in hopes of addressing concerns about the force and with plans to shift more funding to social and community programs. The county is also preparing for major changes in how it handles law and order with proposals being formed to end youth detention and shutter its Seattle jail facility.

UPDATE x2: The federal judge overseeing the consent decree over Seattle Police has decided to leave the city’s ban on crowd control weapons in place. U.S. District Court Judge James Robart declined to stop the City Council’s ban but said that the ordinance “will need to be reconciled with SPD’s court-approved policies on crowd control and use of force,” Seattle City Council Insight reports.


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123 thoughts on “Groups smash glass, set fires across Capitol Hill in burst of protest mayhem — UPDATE

  1. So….. a path of destruction across the hill, and fires by a moving group and NO arrests? They’re “following and collecting evidence.”

    Interesting. Very interesting.

    • Resign Jen! Defund the police Jen! Why are there no arrests, Jen?! I think you’ve answered your own question. You can’t defund police until you have enough funds and services available. Increase police funding, increase community services, (housing, food, health care and education). Once you have strong community services, then the need for less police will just happen.

      • How can a hundred or so destructive people control policy in a City of almost a million? Has Seattle come to mob rule? Sadly, I guess so.
        Unfortunately, The death and destruction will continue until we the people standup and say enough is enough.
        I wonder if the mob feels any remorse for the death and destruction they’ve brought to our city?

    • It’s outrageous that the police are only
      “documenting” the criminal activity. For god’s sake, arrest them…..it’s your job to do so!

      • For God’s sake Bob, your outrage ought to be at the City Council and the Mayor for neutering the police and placing them in a lose-lose situation.

      • I agree, Ted. I should have been more clear that my outrage is for Durkan and the City Council. The police are being hamstrung by them.

      • I would wager that it’s less ‘how we voted’ and more that the loudest group has been able to convince the clowns on City Council to do their bidding.

    • What did you want the SPD to do? Shoot them? Beat them? They aren’t allowed to use tear gas or rubber bullets. Sounds like they were probably out numbered and the vandals well armed. Had the police intervened there would have been injuries – perhaps even deaths. Some of you got what you wanted. Nice isn’t it.

      • And if they don’t want to be arrested?

        Come on now you aren’t possibly so naive that you think they’d just say oh yes officer please put the zip ties on me, I know I’ve been out fire bombing businesses, but now I’ll be a good little anarchist and come with you without a struggle at all…

        Get real. You know and I know that had they gone in and tried to make arrests then and there it would have been a complete sh*t show of beatings and perhaps even shootings – rioters would have been hurt or killed, officers would have been hurt or killed, so they watched, they probably filmed and they’ll make some arrests later. I don’t doubt that they already know who at least some of the perpetrators are.

      • All righty then John – let us hear your brilliant plan for arresting a crowd of people with bats, pipes and explosives without using non-lethal crowd control means or causing carnage. I’m all ears.

      • Fortunately, a federal judge has stopped the implementation of the ban on non-lethal mob control methods, so the SPD should now be able to intervene and arrest the violent criminals…as long as Durkan and Best approve this to happen.

      • You always post this dumb shit. Ian has lived here his whole life. Yeah, let’s leave everything shitty! What a plan!

      • In what context is it that you find Ian to be
        this ‘great gentrifier’?? I’ve heard this hurled at my man too much, too many times. Where’s the proof and the crime?? The guy is born and raised here, earns his living here, makes is businesses here, hires our people-from here…??? I don’t see where this man is ‘wronging’ anything, anyone or any cause. Keep the correct focus on the real detriment at-hand…the marauding, dangerous, looting destructive, lawless people that are worthy of your disdain and ridicule!! IJS

  2. As a person living in the area, how should this convince me defunding police is a good idea? If anything, I see that protesters are just vandals and we need more police, not less. They put us through CHOP already… why don’t they leave peaceful residents alone??

    • Maybe you missed this sentence: “Seattle Police were present in large numbers following the crowd and collecting evidence at crime and fire scenes.”

      The lack of policing does not appear to be the issue here. We need to know who is responsible for the arsons. It’s interesting that the police are letting them happen, yet no one wonders whether this is an intentional act by the police to gin up support for their own side and against the mostly peaceful protests. For all we know, these arsonists could be right wing punks like the Proud Boys/boogaloos or even friends of the police, because not a single article on the subject has identified them.

      • “For all we know, these arsonists could be right wing punks like the Proud Boys/boogaloos or even friends of the police”

        I believe the correct reply to this is Yeah right – and monkeys might fly out of my butt…

      • Considering they routinely stream their crimes, as they did all during CHOP, it’s clear these are not they boogieman proud boys. Did you watch the livestreams of last Sunday’s mayhem? Broad daylight, large numbers, familiar faces.

      • It’s intentional by SPD, for sure. Why – though? Maybe because if they take action, they’re accused of brutality – but if they don’t they’re accused of not doing anything. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

        Honestly, since the ‘protestors’ have proven that they’re just out for violence, SPD hanging back is good for de-escalation. It’s what the ‘protestors’ state they wanted – and yet they’re still misbehaving. That’s still better than what would have happened if SPD attempted to arrest the vandals – SPD could have done it by the book, but when they’re faced with ‘protestors’ who have no requirement to follow any rules (obviously) and whose sole purpose is goading SPD into reacting…SPD did the right thing by standing back.

    • Defunding our education system, infrastructure and social services has been systematically happening for decades.

      Now there are calls to defund the police and the suddenly same people that supported systematically defunding those other things are appalled.

  3. “Protesters smashed glass and set fires across Capitol Hill Wednesday night in a bout of mayhem….”

    Those are not “protesters” nor was it a “bout of mayhem.”

    They are violent, extremist rioters committing multiple acts of arson.

    When does Mayor Durkan plan to start protecting Seattle citizens?

      • vandalism isn’t inherently violent – being loud, breaking windows, starting fires is not hurting a person, a life, or a soul. no one was hurt, unlike what the militarization of police does with funding. murder death & murder, cops shoot to kill

  4. The headline of this article is not accurate. Mayhem, yes. But this is not a “protest,” it is criminal arson and looting.

    Far-left anarchists are out of control, both here and in Portland. They seem to operate with impunity. Maybe federal intervention is necessary, after all?

    • Maybe federal intervention is necessary, after all?

      If the fed really want to intervene, maybe they can start by intervening with education funding, infrastructure funding, mental health funding, etc.

      We don’t need unbadged, federal police kidnapping people off the streets.

      The buck stops at Jenny Durkan. She has been gassing peaceful protestors and ignoring the provocateurs destroying property. If you disagree with her actions, maybe go sign the initiative to recall Durkan.

    • Agree to a point: BLM needs to loudly disavow them and their actions, ask their supporters to go home and pivot to other actions and let local law enforcement do their job and clean up the Anarchists. It needs to be very clear who these people are and what they represent. BLM needs to distance itself. MLK would have, they need to take a lesson from history and follow that lead.

  5. And do these terrorists, I mean protestors, want exactly? Or are they just destroying things because its fun and because someone is paying them to do it?

  6. It’s insulting you continue to refer to these groups as protestors. They are rioters and arsonists.

    It also sucks these people who should all be rounded up and arrested are distracting us from the important messages from the actual peaceful protestors.

  7. Do they WANT Trump to be re-elected? I get it, the feds suck, Eisenberg sucks, the cops suck. But this only fuels the Fox propaganda machine and pushes moderates toward the “Law and Order” party.

    If their goal is a civil war, I guess these people are getting what exactly what they want.

    • It is VERY obvious that the people causing damage are staged and allowed to look like allies to fight injustice. But GOOD PEOPLE do not destroy their own community. GOOD PEOPLE to not bully their own community. And GOOD PEOPLE are not alowed to commit crimes with impunity, unless they are involved with the percieved enemy. The enemy is not Trump, not businesses, and not police. The real enemy is inhumanity and systemic evil. Get right with God and fight the invisible wickedness in high places. Within YOU made manifest in the world among you.

  8. Context: Rove Vintage, one of the stores that was “vandalized” in Seattle tonight, is owned by the police officer who murdered Charleena Lyles. This has been confirmed.
    A second business that was “vandalized” on E. Olive Way was Uncle Ike’s. This establishment is owned by Ian Eisenberg, one of the most prominent, racist gentrifiers in Seattle’s historically Black neighborhood of the Central District. This has also been confirmed.

  9. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to think that many of these people were also involved in the CHOP activities. The current peaceful protesters are losing their minds right now because of how badly the riots detracts from their position.

  10. It is our fault (the voters of Seattle). We vote in far left city council members and Pete Holmes as city attorney (who prosecuted no one), and this is what we get.

    The Seattle city council does NOT represent your average law abiding hard working person. In fact, we are the enemy.

    • This is not the byproduct of far left council. It’s the fact that SPD gets more money than any social program in the city. Cops are right wing not left wing.

      This has nothing to do with city council. Most of them are centrist dems and not left wing.

      • Per, i will reply for HTS3. This past Council election result was widely viewed as a rejection of moderate candidates in favor of more progressive ones, such as Andrew Lewis, Tammy Morales, and Lisa Herbold. Remember, Amazon funded moderate democrats were largely defeated, with the exception of Deborah Juarez and Alex (can’t recall last name). Casting the Council today as largely establishment moderate democrats ignores that election result, and is plainly inaccurate.

  11. It sure seems like someone is deliberately trying to bring the federal storm troopers here. Attacking a cat cafe, for godsake. If there’s a justification for that I’d sure like to hear it.

  12. I agree with Tim’s comments.
    Not to spread conspiracy theories, but isn’t it coincidental that this was planned to occur right after Trump announces he’ll send federal troops to cities like Seattle to “clamp down on thugs and looters”? It’s as if these arsonists were Trump plants – put here to de-legitimize what up until now has been a successful movement to limit the overreach of police departments. I sincerely hope that the real BLM movement condemns last night’s action.

    • And if BLM *doesn’t* condemn this action…? (so far, nothing of note on blacklivesseattle.org)

      Speaking of condemnation, any words yet from the City Council about all this? Especially D3 Sawant? Or Morales? Mosqueda?

      Or is their silence = violence?

      • not a soul was hurt & also, all of these actions were anything but silent. BLM is okay with unrest because it is tiring to be black in America, so what’s the difference

    • BLM Seattle condemned what happened at CHOP, but this had no impact, and it would have no impact on the recent violence either. Why? Because the radical anarchists don’t give a damn about the BLM movement.

      • Who is “we” ? were you part of what happened last night?(Conspiracy theory forming)… I can assure you that I wont be in any jail any time soon…

      • Sorry, 100 percent in favor of arresting anyone committing arson.

        You’re throwing away the best chance in a generation to make progress on issues of racial injustice, and it’s infuriating.

  13. Looting isn’t a joke, but it’s hard to feel sorry. In a place with so much economic disparity, no one needs another swanky restaurant regular people can’t afford and where workers make minimum wage and or get their hours cut.There’s too much of that already. That place could and should’ve been a manufacturing place, an educational facility, a social workers office, a government agency, a clinic, so many other types of establishments where regular people can go to work, earn a decent living and provide value for years to come not just until a foodie trend is over. We can’t keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing pre-covid. We can’t run the economy on luxurious, feeble, mom-pop businesses, we need businesses and services with legs.

      • Well said…btw small businesses like restaurants (swanky and not so swanky) employ the vast majority of people in this country.

    • Okay, great. So what’s stopping you?

      Dismantling property as you see fit when the product(s) aren’t suited exactly to your liking is incomprehensibly juvenile and criminal.

      Neko Cat Cafe is a rescue operation for cats with feline leukemia that would otherwise be put down. Is this a luxurious mom-pop business? Since you seem to have a very well-defined stance on what should or shouldn’t be allowed to provide services here, where exactly does it fall?

      I think attempting to justify this recent wave of destruction in particular is extremely dangerous.

    • Let the free market work- businesses without demand fail and businesses needed thrive – no need to force a business out and if you see an opportunity to make a difference providing something people need – go for it!!

  14. I hope these so-called “protesters” realize they are helping Donald Trump get 4 more years in office. Looting & burning in cities run by Democratic mayors isn’t the way to get an incompetent autocrat with a 2-digit IQ out of office. He’s being handed a “law & order” platform to run on when previously, he had nothing but a record of failure.

  15. They’ve overplayed their hand. The city needs to enforce the laws and start making arrests.

    Of course, with no jails and no prosecutors willing to charge people, I guess there’s no point?

  16. So these “protestors” are going to try to burn down the buildings that people live in and expect us to get on board with their calls to defund the police?

  17. Quote from Starbucks in this Seattle PI article on how there is no current support of Seattle Police Foundation Board by Starbucks: “In 2019 we provided funding to support the SPD with Implicit Bias training and their 2019 Banquet gala,” the spokesperson said. “We previously had a partner [employee] on the [SPD] board who is no longer with Starbucks and as of today we have no one representing Starbucks on the Seattle Police Foundation Board.” https://www.seattlepi.com/local/seattlenews/article/starbucks-employees-protest-divest-abolish-police-15415744.php

  18. It was already proven that these groups are not from Seattle. Most of them are from Portland coming into our state and purposely causing mayhem. This isn’t about BLM anymore.

  19. Uncle Ike’s is the Walmart of weed stores – they deliberately work to force smaller stores out of business. The owner is a greedy and ACTUAL racist gentrifyer. I hope these vandals burn all of them down, but leave other businesses alone!

    • Ah, excellent. “Rooting for the vandals” to do the work you want done. Perhaps it might be a little more responsible, not to say legal, to express your hatred for Walmart and Uncle Ikes by not shopping there. If we as a society start to express ourselves through violence, you may not always agree with what some people want burned.

    • @ M.LeT
      Slandering a person’s character can get you sued…he has the resources to come after people as such…but, he’s too busy creating businesses and jobs!! I’ve yet to see a clearly laid-out accounting of how [Ian Eisenberg], has single-handedly caused or perpetuates gentrification??? I guess it’s just too painful and truthful to blame the real culprit for gentrification anywhere…change & progress.

  20. The anti-Semitism behind regular criticism of Ian Eisenberg of Uncle Ike’s is hardly under the surface. Calling him a race gentrifier – code for a man who made a bad corner good, who employs people with benefits, who provided a site for long-standing business (Angel’s Shoe Repair) at his 15th Ave E site that had lost his site in favor of another pot store, who donates to the community. He is from Seattle’s Central District, while I imagine the majority of those decrying him are relative newcomers to the city. What exactly is his crime? Success that implicitly upsets losers?

    His 23rd Avenue site was a place where 2 or 3 murders have taken place in the last couple decades, and where by the way, we have the new PCC that displaced a long-standing gas station, which was also owned by Jews. It was a no-go zone, a drive through area, for many of all colors who did not feel safe. Now it is vibrant. No so much other areas in town.

    The fact is that long before blacks landed in the CD in large numbers, it was a Jewish neighborhood – people who were also not particularly welcome in many neighborhoods in the region. Langston Hughes Cultural Center was originally a Synagogue and at least one other current church, on Fir around 20th if memory serves, has easily visible Jewish decorations on the outside, showing its former roots.

    If you don’t want to buy from Ian Eisenberg’s stores, don’t. But torching him, or excusing and justifying arson and more is evil. Not only for him but anyone’s business or home. I know that many who have come to Seattle have come here because of the perceived quality of the scene, including the arts and culture. These flow from the efforts of many, including and notably the tax dollars from businesses and their employees, large and small. And especially the donations by those who have enough to spare, both as individuals and corporations. And how many of you are employed by those who have taken risk, or in government or non-profits where the funds come from taxes from such businesses and individuals? I can’t stomach those idiots who type away on their screens, using hardware and software that have been 100% enabled by risk taking capitalists, while decrying that same system. Tell me one piece of technology that you own that was developed and marketed outside of this evil system? You who drive up or down I-5 to destroy our cities, consuming hydrocarbons and in vehicles designed and built by global companies. The hypocrisy fairly screams out.

    I won’t say the above with my actual name because I fear for my home and safety by even civilly calling out as evil those who destroy, who hate on people for their success and likely their religion, and lack of caring for others, and their overall ignorance of their own duplicity, and failed understanding of Seattle history.

    • PCC didnt displace the gas station… The station was torn down to build the apartment building with the New Seasons market. New Seasons pulled out several months ago and PCC leased the space.

      As for Ian, I thought it was distasteful to open a big garish weed store covered with neon next to a black church but whatever it’s cool. I dont shop at his businesses but dont want to see them or anyone else’s torched or tagged for any reason.

      What is being allowed by city leadership to happen to our neighborhood is bullshit.

      • Oh, it’s YOUR neighborhood huh? What exactly entitles you to it? This is a free country and people can move where they please. While there have been historical injustices, as in any country, it does not entitle any race to special treatment.

      • What are you talking about Dan?
        I didnt say My neighborhood, I said Our. What entitles me to have an opinion is I live here. I think what is happening here the last couple months is bad and thought I was pretty clear… But I guess you need to vent your rage even at someone who agrees. This sort of mindless rage is a part of the problem.

    • Thanks “Just the facts.” I appreciate the information and perspective you provided. And I understand why you are not attaching your name to this piece. It’s both frightening and disheartening to read some of these comments. Burning any business down because of your anger should never be an option. Not shopping there is a much more civilized statement. Legal, too.

  21. Just confirmed with my brother and the official instagram account, Neko Cat Cafe is okay and not affected by protests. Please correct your article, Capitol Hill Seattle Blog!

  22. I support BLM, and defunding the police to rebuild a completely different system of community safety.
    But this has gotten out of hand, and worse yet, I think plays right into Trump’s hand.

    • Why would you still support something that has logically led to where we are today? Shouldn’t that force you to do some introspection?

      Maybe defunding the police and preventing them from using standard riot control tools isn’t such a great idea? But no, you still think you were right to support this and will vote for the same councilmembers next time, expecting a different result.

    • I completely agree Tiger Lily. It’s his one last strategy for reelection and these anarchists smashing glass might as well be holding a Trump rally.

  23. I think these anarchists are doing this in the hopes that Trump DOES send Federal officers to Seattle. It is their DREAM to battle the feds, and also create civil war. Chaos is what they want. Too bad the Seattle police are not allowed to do their jobs and actually start arresting these anarchist scum.

  24. One little correction – the Plant Shop on E. Pine has had that broken window since the last round of protests, no one’s been over there to fix it. I walked by it today, same damage as has been there, I don’t think it had anything to do with protests last night.

  25. Who’s to say these are not “hired” protesters proving a point for Trump’s SS? It’s obvious they are not from here, or part of the normal nightly protesters. Their strange wanderings last night made them appear lost and unsure of where to go next.

    • These kinds of actions aren’t new to the area. You only need go back to May Day protests of 2010-2012ish. Black Bloc morons always turn up to co-op major (and some minor) protest movements in the area. Whenever they see an opportunity to do their smashy-smash, revolutionary LARP they’ll turn up. After a while, they’ll get bored and go home to ask mommy and daddy for money to buy that new video game that just got released.

    • Yes, it’s sooooo obvious. How could MY side, the correct side, the virtuous and empathetic side, every have anything wrong with it? Read up on your history and how what the far left in the country believe in has led to the most deaths and suffering of any ideology in history. Don’t pat yourself on the back too hard for how virtuous you are.

  26. HE HAS NOT GOT THE MESSAGE.
    “HIS DOPE SALING SHOP IS NOT AND HAS NOT BEEN WELCOME IN OUR CENTRAL AREA BLACK COMMUNITY.

    GO BUILD YOUR DOLE SHOPS IN SEWARDPARK IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

    “NOW NOW NOW”

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