Story Summary

May Day

Violence rocked Seattle on May 1, 2012, when vandals and self-described anarchists damaged buildings, parked cars. Police intervened.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 9 updates

may day damageSEATTLE — Anarchists damaged a number of area businesses in Seattle during Wednesday night’s May Day event.

One of the anarchists smashed a window at Bill’s Off Broadway. The incident scared several customers and employees inside at the time.

We spoke with the owner of the business who was upset about the damage. Tonight we’ll talk to the alleged anarchists and ask them, “Why would you break the window at a small business?”

MayDay6SEATTLE — Seattle police say the May Day march was a complete success and peaceful.  But a rally held later in the evening turned a peaceful day into violence.

At 6 p.m. Wednesday, a group called the Puget Sound Anarchists held a unpermitted march on Capital Hill.  The anarchists called it a anti capitalist, anti state May Day rally.

The march began at Seattle Central Community College and just a short time into march the crowd turned violent.  Demonstrators began shoving and attacking reporters giving live reports. Rocks, pieces of asphalt, glass bottles, fireworks and even a skateboard were thrown at officers.

Eight officers were slightly injured.  A woman driving by the chaos was injured when a protester shattered her car window.

Anarchists also targeted several businesses.  Officers made several arrests and at one point protesters blocked a police van from leaving.

Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowds, which eventually died down around 9 p.m. Wednesday.  Seventeen people were arrested for various offenses including property destruction and assault.

Despite this violence, police said the day was an overall success.

“We reacted according to the plan we had in place. We had the immigration march that we staffed for, we sent for additional staffing up east based on the size and as they took the actions that they took, we adjusted the forces necessary to disperse the crowd, which they ultimately did,” Captain Chris Fowler said.

Police will form a task force to investigate  all the criminal activity and a complete tally of the damage.  Police are asking the public for pictures and videos of the violence.

SEATTLE — Seattle police say the May Day march was a complete success and peaceful.

It wasn’t until a rally held by a group called the Puget Sound Anarchists that things took a violent turn. .

The anarchists held an unpermited march on Capital Hill at 6 p.m. Wednesday.  The protesters called it an anti-capitalist, anti-state May Day rally.

MayDay11The march kicked off at Seattle Central Community College and a short time into the march, anarchists began to get violent, police said.

First, anarchists began to spray costumed Rain City Superheroes with Silly String and then later, a window at Sun Liquor was smashed, police said.

As the march wound its way downtown, demonstrates began shoving and attacking reporters who were covering the event. Rocks, pieces of asphalt, glass bottles, fireworks and a skate board were thrown at officers. Eight officers were slightly injured including one who was hit by a rock, police said.

Anarchists also shattered windows at several businesses. Officers made several arrests and at one point protesters blocked a police van from leaving. A woman driving by the scene was injured when a glass bottle shattered the window of her car.

Police used pepper spray to disperse the crowds, which eventually died down around 9 p.m. Wednesday. Seventeen  people were arrested for various offenses including property destruction and assault.

Seattle police will form a task force to investigate the criminal activity and damage.  Police are asking the public for pictures and videos of the violence.

Local News

SPD: Timeline, details on May Day violence

SEATTLE — At a news briefing Wednesday night, Seattle police Capt. Chris Fowler provided a timeline and details about the violence that erupted during a May Day march.

SEATTLE — Seattle’s May Day protests turned violent Wednesday night, with self-described anarchists throwing bottles, rocks and other objects at police. Officers forcibly dispersed them, making 17 arrests. One police officer was injured when hit in the knee with a chunk of asphalt; seven others suffered scrapes and bruises.

Local News

Olympia May Day protests? No problem

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.

SEATTLE — May Day protests in downtown Seattle Wednesday night turned violent for the second straight year, with protesters throwing rocks, bottles, metal bars at police and others. Police said eight officers were injured, mostly with scrapes and bruises, and 18 people were arrested.

may1Police used pepper spray and “blast balls” — a small firework-like device that gives of a loud bang, a flash and a dose of pepper — and other devices to drive the crowd of 150 to 200 people back.

Some in the crowd — self-described anarchists — wore masks and bandanas to cover their faces. As they moved into the downtown area, the protesters began chanting, “Let’s go shopping.”

“They approached the area of Westlake Mall,” said police Capt. Chris Fowler said. “They stopped. It was at that time that we began taking rocks and bottles.”

Rocks, bottles and metal bars were thrown at police, and windows in at least two businesses were broken.

“We organized a response to that,” Fowler said, adding that they made two arrests of people throwing objects. But the crowd surged toward the officers in an attempt to prevent the arrests, he said.

It was at that point that police, using pepper spray and “blast balls,” began to move the crowd out of the downtown area. Police also used their bicycles as a barricade to move the crowd back.

At about 7:45 p.m., police ordered the crowd to clear the streets or face possible arrest.

Later, police said 18 people were arrested, mostly for assault and/or property damage. Of the eight injured police officers, the Seattle Police Department said one was hit in the knee with a piece of thrown asphalt and the others had scrapes and bruises.

This is the second consecutive year that self-described anarchists have broken windows and damaged cars in the downtown area on May Day.




Seattle police said these were some of the objects thrown at officers during the May Day violence Wednesday night. (Photo: Seattle Police Dept.)

Local News

Seattle’s May Day ‘March for Worker, Immigrant Rights’ peaceful

SEATTLE — Immigration was on the minds of most May Day protestors who gathered at a sunny Judkins Park.

“We’re here today, to advocate immigration reform,” said John Martinez.

But among the peaceful protestors, there were also are several anarchists, they’re faces covered, and some worried things could get ugly.

“That’s always a problem if there’s some disturbance or some incident,” said Martinez.

Protestors said during the march they had several monitors watching for anyone committing violence, and were ready to report it to police.

And there were a lot of police, on foot, on bike, on horse, and seemingly on every corner.

“We certainly up-staffed from last year,” said Seattle Police Captain Chris Fowler. “We have quite a few out here.”

Officers said they’re much more prepared this year than in 2012 when anarchists did a lot of damage in the downtown corridor.

This year, word got out that anarchists may be targeting banks downtown.

That was enough for two US Bank branches on 5th Avenue to close early.

But despite some small skirmishes, the 3-mile march to the Henry Jackson federal building was free of violence, and protestors could focus on what they came to May Day for: to talk, not about violence, but about immigration.

Q13 FOX News