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Anarchists or just plain criminals? SPD searching for more

SEATTLE — Call them troublemakers or bad actors, criminals or even anarchists.

MayDay5There were only a handful of them in a larger crowd.

They wore masks to hide their identity and, according to police, used crude weapons to hurt people and damage property.

“A number of them were just criminals taking advantage of a large-scale crowd to do property damage and/or violence,” SPD Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh said.

“We arrested 17 people; that means we put our hands on them, handcuffed them and had to move them out of the crowd,” SPD Capt. Chris Fowler said.

Some of those were in court Thursday and are now charged with, among, other things, obstructing an officer, resisting arrest, property damage and failure to disperse.

Most call themselves anarchists, but who are they?

Brian McCracken is a self-described anarchist.

He was part of the peaceful demonstrations in Olympia Wednesday.

He describes anarchists this way.

“It means that I object to authority in all of its forms. It means that I think workers deserve to run their workplaces.  I think that the people have the right to control our lives and the right to organize ourselves without the one percent,” McCracken said.

Investigators say some of them are locals, some are not.

“There are those who are coming from outside the city to incite some of this violence,” Captain Fowler said.

Some information can be gleaned from anarchists’ blogs and websites.

One urges readers to “bring ruckus to your town” and the group who organized the May Day violent protest calls itself Puget Sound Anarchists or PSA.

On its website the day after, it encourages those who committed crimes on May Day to get rid their clothes in hopes of avoiding identification by police who are already looking over video and photographs of the incident.

SPD says they can run but they can’t hide, more arrests are possible and getting rid of clothing is not a good idea.

“If those individuals committed crimes and they’re destroying evidence then that in and of itself is a crime. The detectives are feverishly working to use any and all means to attempt to locate, identify any individuals again who were involved in criminal activity last night,” Fowler said.

So now, two things are happening relative to May Day 2013.

First, as it did last year, SPD is putting together a task force to find anyone who committed crimes and have not yet been arrested. Again, they will use photos and video from all sources, including surveillance and cell phones.

Secondly, not one but two after-action reports will be produced so police can evaluate how well they planned for and responded to May Day violence.

Anyone with information or pictures or video should call SPD or 911.

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6 comments

  • Travis

    Brian McCracken may be an ararchist but he obviously doesnt know the actual definition……
    1. a person who advocates or believes in anarchy or anarchism.
    2. a person who seeks to overturn by violence all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order.
    3. a person who promotes disorder or excites revolt against any established rule, law, or custom.

    • TTREXXX

      That's what I told him and provided him with the same example..we talked for some time on line last night…I know his stepmom

  • joe

    Anarchists or just plain criminals?

    Why ask, we all know they're liberals, Occupiers, leftists, class warfare warriors, Obama's domestic army that he as been calling for since 2008, his solders just like the Black Panthers who stand before the gates of the voting stations with weapons in hand threatening white people to leave. Meanwhile the religion of left wing media propaganda plays it down and America crumbles.

  • guest

    Just plain criminals. Punks looking for an excuse to go vandalizing the property of innocent hard working people that have nothing to do with their cause.

  • Mel

    Wow! A couple of things get broken by a couple of idiots, and everybody in the crowd gets blamed. I was in that march, but left after cops started pishing me around for more reason. I wasn't there to see the police start arresting people and incite a riot. I watched every video I could find, and things were not that bad until police tried to shut down a constitutionally protected protest and started roughing up protesters and pepper spraying and throwing concussion grenades at innocent bystanders who weren't even part of the protest. The media played this all out into something that simply wasn't the truth, and they instigated a lot of what happened. This is why we're going after the media next month! We're sick of the lies and misrepresentation of groups that seek to protest against an unjust system that stifles our rights to free speech, gun ownership, and just being able to walk down the damned street without being harassed by damned cop! May Day is a workers' and Anarchist' day of commemoration, and the Anarchists will be protesting on this day every single year! So, get use to it!