OLYMPIA — May Day protests in Olympia have been planned for months now.
The police planned for the event and so did the protesters and they were peaceful all day long
The last scheduled event in Olympia, a final May Day march through the streets of downtown, about 100 people surrounded by even more police officers to protect the marchers and help keep the peace.
“We’ll take action if criminal behavior does start but as of right now everything is great and these guys are having a great time and it’s peaceful and being good and that’s what we like,” WSP Trooper Guy Gill said.
The march was mostly peaceful and respectful and protesters voiced very well thought-out concerns about our society and our economy.
“We have 70% of the wealth owned by 9% of the population, something like that, while we have the bottom third of the country living on barely anything. It’s just not a fair system that we have right now. So we have to have people stepping up and standing up and every once in a while saying hey we need to be concerned about the man who has fallen through the cracks, the people who are unemployed, people who are barely living, people who are working three part time jobs just to get by,” protester David Robison said.
But there were also those in the crowd who were disrespectful, who used foul language and inappropriate hand gestures.
Cecelia Mikler owns a shop near the protests.
She agrees with most of what protesters say, but believes they could do more to further their cause and help the local economy if they work inside the system as well as out.
“They’re takers not givers. They should talk about solutions to what they think it wrong in this country instead of complaining about what’s wrong,” business owner Cecelia Mikler said.
May Day events started early in the afternoon at Sylvester park.
About 100 people gathered, listened to speeches and music then set out on a march to protest what they call the greed of area banks.
The march was peaceful and that’s what most organizers wanted, even some who consider themselves anarchists.
“I think that the people have the right to control our lives and the right to organize ourselves without the one percent, without politicians dictating it in the name of a few without special interests. It means people organize by consensus and as equals, horizontally and that’s what you’re seeing today,” Anarchist Brian McCracken said.