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Seattle May Day 2021: Multiple arrests on Capitol Hill and a smaller workers rights march under pandemic restrictions — UPDATE: Overnight unrest

(Image from the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group showing SPD making arrests on E Olive Way)

Seattle’s May Day march for workers and immigrant rights was a much smaller event in 2021 due to the pandemic

Multiple arrests on Capitol Hill and as protesters gathered late in the day in Cal Anderson Park overshadowed Seattle’s annual May Day march for worker and immigrant rights.

UPDATE: SPD says 14 people were arrested as of 7 PM Saturday night. Additional arrests were made in continuing unrest overnight.

CHS reported here on the 2021 march that stepped off from the Central District around noon Saturday in an effort organizers said was part of a push for worker rights along with “Health Care, Inclusive Immigration Reform, Public Safety Reform, Homelessness, Housing and Jobs.” “For us to make considerable gains we must ensure the right to organize,” organizers from El Comite wrote.

A few hundred people were part of the main march — a much smaller crowd under continuing pandemic restrictions. Meanwhile, the day was also busy with several other marches and demonstrations crossing the city and Capitol Hill including a protest calling for the end of war atrocities in the Tigray region of Ethiopia where a conflict continues to grow and groups of antifa protesters.

The city said Friday “unrestricted events” like marches can’t adequately be controlled for the number of participants and social distancing so it did not issue permits and was not officially closing streets or providing planned Seattle Police “First Amendment support” for May Day demonstrations but a spokesperson said City Hall is aware of “multiple events” planned to take place over the weekend.

Protests away from the march remain a concern for city officials and large global chains that are frequently targeted like Starbucks and Nike after past clashes spiraled into riots as police moved in on crowds over property damage and to clear streets. The city has been mostly quiet following the large march in recent years. But in 2016, clashes in downtown, Belltown, Pioneer Square marred the day while 2015 marked the last time May Day protests, property damage, and Seattle Police crowd control efforts were centered on Capitol Hill.

Saturday, a anti-capitalist and anti-cop group dressed in “black bloc” marched on Broadway and became embroiled with law enforcement just before 2 PM after a large contingent of police responded and moved on the crowd outside the E Olive Way Starbucks following reports of property damage.

Police reported two arrests. CHS confirmed that at least two employees of Glo’s across the street from the scene were taken into custody during the chaos. A picture from a resident near the scene showed E Olive Way filled with police as people were being taken into custody and a crowd including Glo’s employees looked on. It’s not clear if the employees were the two people SPD said had been detained or if there were additional arrests.

Video posted by SPD showed police continuing to follow the group after the E Olive Way arrests.

As the main march ended its route downtown, a black bloc group was reported marching up from Denny back to Capitol Hill where a series of clashes with police followed as well as multiple arrests reported in Cal Anderson.

Around 4:30 PM, police reported the crowd at Broadway and Pine throwing bottles, rocks, and paint at officers and said that a dispersal order was announced as two more arrests were made.

Police said the crowd threw “flares, bottles, eggs, paint and a bag of unidentified liquid” at officers and a passenger in a vehicle on Denny threw a bottle through the open window of an SPD vehicle, striking the driver. SPD said that person was also arrested along with four more in the Cal Anderson chaos that followed after police moved on marchers as they gathered in the park after marching through the city.

The clashes were well away from the East Precinct at 12th and Pine where crews this week installed a new, tall, black fence rising outside Capitol HIll’s East Precinct behind the concrete barrier installed last summer after CHOP. The building was briefly locked down during the afternoon and early evening arrests.

As of early evening, SPD reported eight arrests across Capitol Hill, the bottle thrower on Denny, and at least one more downtown. Jail records showed one person booked for investigation of assault, four for obstruction, and one more for pedestrian interference.

UPDATE: As of 7 PM, 14 were reported arrested “for crimes ranging from property destruction to assault and reckless driving” by Seattle Police:

  • A 35-year-old for obstruction at Summit Ave and E Olive Way.
  • A 37-year-old for property destruction in the Summit Ave and E Olive Way.
  • A 25-year-old for obstruction in the Summit Ave and E Olive Way.
  • A 22-year-old for assault, obstruction and resisting arrest in the Summit Ave and E Olive Way.
  • A 26-year-old for pedestrian interference at 7th Ave and Olive St.
  • A 36-year-old for assault at 4th Ave and Bell St.
  • An 18-year-old for malicious mischief at Broadway and E. Howell St.
  • A 28-year-old for reckless driving at Harvard Ave and Pine St.
  • A 23-year-old for property destruction at Denny Way and E. Howell St.
  • A not-yet-identified individual, for assault and resisting arrest at 11th Ave and Olive St.
  • A 35-year-old for assault at Cal Anderson Park.
  • A 26-year-old for obstruction at Cal Anderson Park.
  • A 25-year-old for obstruction at Cal Anderson Park.
  • A 25-year-old for obstruction at 11th Ave and Pine St.

A Seattle Fire aid unit was called to the East Precinct just after 5 PM for a person with a non life-threatening injury. We don’t know if it is related to the protest arrests.

Meanwhile, marching and protest was continuing into the night as the city warned drivers to avoid the area around 11th and Pine where a crowd was gathering.

UPDATE 5/2/2021 5:55 AM: Police made additional arrests overnight as protest activities continued around the East Precinct. Video showed one person being taken into custody in an incident after a driver drove their vehicle through a group and protesters scattered on E Pine. Later in the night, police were reported making arrests in a clash with protesters above 12th Ave across from the precinct. At least six people were booked into King County jail for investigation of assault, malicious mischief, obstruction, and property damage.

UPDATE x2: Police say one protester was injured after they reportedly “jumped on the hood” of a vehicle driven through the crowd on E Pine and were carried a half block before falling to the pavement:

At about 2300 hours, while they blocked the intersection, a vehicle driven by an elderly male approached the group while driving E/B on Pine. The rioters blocked his path and when he tried to drive around them, one of the rioters jumped on the hood of his vehicle. The driver attempted to get away, but the rioter hung onto the hood. He eventually drove E/B on Pine. At about mid-block between 12th and 13th the rioter fell off of the hood. The rioter was evaluated at the scene by SPD Medics and SFD Medics. No major injuries were reported. The rioter was arrested and transported to the West PCT. They eventually claimed their head hurt and was transported to King County Jail via AMR. Later we developed probable cause to arrest a male for property destruction (painting the wall of the E. PCT). He was eventually arrested as well and transported to the W. PCT.

UPDATE x3: Video recorded by the @MarcusKulik cam above the intersection shows the chaotic scene as the protester approaches the slow moving car and ends up on the hood before the driver tries to outmaneuver protesters trying to intervene, speeding away with the person still on the vehicle.

 

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Hillery
Hillery
4 months ago

More annoying temper tantrums from rich kids from the suburbs

Derek
Derek
4 months ago
Reply to  Hillery

You mean the ones that get mad when workers rise up to their corporate overlords?

CD Rez
CD Rez
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek

Cool fan fiction

RWK
RWK
4 months ago

The SPD seems to have done a good job of allowing the peaceful protestors, but closely monitoring the anarchists and arresting those who crossed the line. Now, hopefully, Pete Holmes will actually charge those arrested and prosecute them. He has not done so consistently in the past, and so has enabled the criminal behavior to continue.

slider292
slider292
4 months ago
Reply to  RWK

Don’t hold your breath!

Derek
Derek
4 months ago
Reply to  RWK

The cops teargassed peaceful protesters last year, so what do you have to say about that one?

Jack
Jack
4 months ago

The US is run by it’s citizens, so if you don’t like something what you do is run for office and you really can change it. Unlike say China, where that’s not an option. Yet, our marvelous citizens think throwing bottles makes sense instead.

Cappy
Cappy
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Actually, the US is run by law abiding citizens who elect law makers to represent their voices in government. The vast majority of people don’t vote…if you don’t vote then you invalidate your voice.

Frank Sterle Jr.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jack

In China, the government basically controls the corporations, whereas Western governances, notably the U.S. and Canada, are essentially steered by corporations’ economic intimidation or extortion. In fact, corporate representatives actually write bills for our governing representatives to vote for and have implemented, typically word for word, under the guise of saving the elected officials their time! It has become so systematic here that those who are aware of it — including the mainstream news-media — don’t bother publicly discussing it. (I believe it is basically why those powerful money interests generally resist proportional representation electoral systems of governance, the latter which dilutes corporate lobbyist influence.)
 
China, logically, takes advantage of this serious flaw or weakness in Western virtual corpocratic governances — i.e. big corporate profit before individual and even national interests. It’s as though elected heads are meant to represent huge money interests over those of the working citizenry and poor. Accordingly, major political decisions will normally foremost reflect what is in the influential corporations’ best interests.

Those doubting the powerful persuasion of huge business interests need to consider how high-level elected governing officials can become crippled by implicit or explicit corporate threats to transfer or eliminate jobs and capital investment, thus economic stability — a crippling that is made even worse by a blaring news-media that’s permitted to be naturally critical of incumbent governments. 

Liz
Liz
4 months ago

Corporations are in turn controlled by consumers, which vote with their money. However in many cases you don’t have an alternative to many big companies. But it comes full circle back to citizens. I think the idea behind conglomerates in Asia are to work around that problem to a degree, where company A and B are owned by the same holding company and required to buy from each other only.

Seattle Council
Seattle Council
4 months ago

Prosecutors should give these punks 6 months or more in the slammer so they can “cool their jets”

Whichever
Whichever
4 months ago

Ahh, welcome to Seattle, where protesting is a sport! Any reason, or no reason, join any group to be a nuisance around the City. Even more helpful if your cause is in no way related to Seattle itself! Who will win the 2021 Protest Season? Wear all black and come see for yourself!

Pete Holmes sucks
Pete Holmes sucks
4 months ago

Somebody should calculate the carbon footprint of these spoiled white suburban kids. Replacing all that broken glass and graffiti has an environmental cost. The amount of gas they use driving mommy and daddy’s car across the bridge and through the tunnel for “autonomous action” is also not insignificant.

Greg
Greg
4 months ago

It would be interesting to know what percentage of those arrested live in Seattle. I would like to know if these are people who came from elsewhere to Seattle with a goal of causing damage to our downtown and to Capitol Hill.

David S Ball-Romney
4 months ago

I saw a troop of our local #Anarchists (though some carried red flags, as a nod to #MayDay or #RedMay) after police had helped to eject a few of them from the QFC near Broadway & Republican. They had gone inside to protest the #Starbucks in that location. A squad of about a dozen #SPD bike cops followed the march, which apparently went to other Starbucks locations.
One of the protesters handed me a flier that read:
#BoycottEthiopianCoffee
Eyes on Starbucks
Don’t Fund Tigray Genocide!
Global Week of Action, May 1 – 7
CW: Sexual Assault, Murder, ethnic cleansing.
The Ethiopian government and allied forces have carried out a genocidal campaign of political repression in the Tigray Region
-indiscriminate bombings
-mass executions
-rape and starvation as a tool of war.
-Refugees blocked from fleeing violence
-Communications and humanitarian aid cut
Outisde of Tigray proper, Tigrayans face escalating discrimination and violence. Ethiopia’s government has build concentration camps for tens of thousands of Tigrayans.
To stop #TigrayGenocide we demand Starbucks #BoycottEthiopainCoffee which generates huge foreign currency revenue for the Ethiopian government to continue its genocidal war on Tigrayans.
Take Action!
I’m guessing that Anarchists don’t go to Starbucks on other occasions and so aren’t burning many bridges with this action.

Eddddddd
Eddddddd
4 months ago

Dubious. That QFC doesn’t have a Starbucks inside.

C Doom
C Doom
4 months ago
Reply to  Eddddddd

The Broadway and Republican QFC most certainly does have a Starbucks inside. Stop posting uninformed nonsense.

Touareg
Touareg
4 months ago
Reply to  Eddddddd

Yes it does.

Derek
Derek
4 months ago

Lots of whiny Karens in this thread. Wonder if they even live in The Hill or know the history and culture of the area?

Touareg
Touareg
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek

I was thinking the exact same thing, about you.

Derek
Derek
4 months ago
Reply to  Touareg

The Hill is about embracing labor rights and has strong roots in it. Seattle May Day is embraced by a large faction of Hill/CD residents dating years back. Would you like some local book recs on this? Got some zines too. Or you just a techie who doesn’t like a wil bit uv noise in a big city?

CD Neighbor
CD Neighbor
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek

I’ll go with you that it dates for years back – as long as I can recall, but a large faction…. That’s not exactly how I’d define couple dozen people who like to dress all in black to break a few windows and throw fire crackers at cops every May 1st., a good number of whom probably came up from Portland… Maybe at the turn of the century in the time of the wobblies it was a large faction, but in the at all recent past not so much.

Mimi
Mimi
4 months ago
Reply to  Derek

I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 30 years. This neighborhood is full of left-leaning people who are not extremists and do not in any way support the actions of Antifa/Anarchists/BlacBloc. We don’t like our local businesses destroyed, damaged and threatened by people fighting for “workers rights”. We don’t support a bunch of mainly white people claiming to fight for Black lives who then put their head in the sand of over the murder of Antonio Mays Jr. He was killed without due process. Why don’t you chant his name? We see your hypocrisy, shallowness and lack of ability to factor in any nuance in any issue. You do not represent the majority of this neighborhood or the history.