May Day: Seattle police ready to ‘handle whatever comes’

SEATTLE — May Day is just a few hours away now and no one knows quite what to expect.

The biggest fear is a replay of what happened last year, but police insist what happened then won’t happen this time.

In downtown Seattle everything is calm and Seattle police hope it stays that way through Wednesday.

Already there is an increased police presence, on the street in cars and on foot.

Those who work, live and play downtown are already concerned about what might happen.

Most still remember what happened on May Day last year.

“What gives any group the right to demonstrate in any way violently? I mean whatever their cause, whatever their message, do it peacefully, do it nicely,” downtown Seattle Resident Leta Goldberg said.

Seattle police say this year will be different.

“The officers basically follow orders and do what they are told.  They’re ready go too though. I mean I think this year plans have been clearly communicated.  I think everyone is on the same page, but the officers can handle whatever comes,” Seattle Police Officers’ Guild President Rich O’Neill said.

Police say they’ve heard the internet chatter about possible trouble, individuals called on to take direct action and possible violence.

“They want to take direct action against whatever target they deem appropriate so to us direct action means breaking windows, causing property damage and potentially crimes against persons. We will take action against any crime that’s committed, specifically with respect to May Day,” Seattle Police Captain Chris Fowler said.

That same sense of determination is also evident in Olympia where protests are common and expected and protected, as long as they are peaceful.

One group of protesters held a meeting Monday night and although there is no credible threat of violence in the capitol city say police they won’t leave anything to chance.

Every available officer will be on May Day duty.

“Peaceful protests are fine. Our concern is a criminal element getting mixed up in legitimate protests and causing trouble and for those folks we want them to know that won’t be tolerated. We have our department all on duty that day and we’ve been working with our partners in the neighboring jurisdictions, Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and the WSP so that we have enough people on hand should we need them,” Olympia Police spokesperson Laura Wohl said.

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3 comments

  • Jimmy

    Anyone seen carrying a club, pole or bat should be detained, questioned and arrested. What happened last year was senseless vandalism by a bunch of criminals. Anarchists are idiots.

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