Police arrest 10 during May Day ‘anarchist’ march in Seattle; some damage reported, but largely uneventful

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Smashed window on King County Metro Transit Bus. From SPD.

SEATTLE — Hundreds of self-proclaimed anarchists marched, apparently aimlessly, through Seattle’s downtown streets for hours on May Day, with many wearing black clothing and masks and carrying black flags on flagpoles.

In the end, 10 were arrested for tussling with police, property damage and assault. Despite the arrests, it’s already being called a relatively peaceful May Day for Seattle.

Fierce clashes between police and protesters erupted the previous two years on May 1.

The first reports of May Day-related vandalism began trickling in Thursday morning after officers found “Kill SPD” spray painted on a bank at 13th Avenue and E. Madison Street.

“Whose streets? Our Streets!” chanted this year’s May Day marchers, who carried a banner that read, “Die Yuppie Scum” and another that read, “Anti-Capitalism and Anti-State.”

The arrests were part of a group that circled the Central District and then downtown for three hours.

Later, police officers at 6th and Battery fired pepper spray at protesters after police said bottles were thrown at them. They also arrested a second person and said a gun was recovered from one of the marchers at that time.

According to police, these were the reasons for the nine arrests:

  • A a 22-year-old man for property damage in the 1500 block of Broadway.
  • A 23-year-old man for assaulting an officer at 6th Ave and Battery Street—officers also recovered a gun on the man during the arrest.
  • An 18-year-old man for malicious mischief at 6th and Virginia Street, where he damaged at least one vehicle.
  • A 22-year-old man arrested for obstruction at 5th and Virginia.
  • A 17-year-old man arrested for property damage at 6th and Pine.
  • A 37-year-old man arrested for assault at Broadway and Pine.
  • A 21-year-old man arrested for assault at Broadway and Pine
  • A 19-year-old arrested for assault at Broadway and Pine
  • A 20-year-old man arrested for assault at Broadway and E Olive.
  • And a 17-year-old man arrested for obstruction at Broadway and Pine.

The marchers seemed to have no clear direction, moving from the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood into downtown and then back again, and seemed uncertain which way to turn when they came to intersections.

During the course of the long, wandering march, the window on a Metro Transit bus was broken and a man’s car was dented and scratched with what he said were protesters’ skateboards.

Late Thursday night, the protesters gathered at Broadway and Pine, set a bonfire in the middle of Broadway and forced police to move in and put it out.  At least one suspect was arrested for throwing a brick at police. After the police moved off, the protesters started  up the fire again. Police moved in on bicycles again, and a sixth person was arrested. Later, police in riot gear cleared protesters off of Broadway and remained stationed, shoulder to shoulder, on each side of the street.

Hundreds of demonstrators who had gotten a city permit marched for immigrant reform and workers’ rights started their walk at Judkins Park at 3 p.m. The march culminated with a May Day rally at Westlake Park at 5 p.m.

It was the other events later in the day that had police worried.

At 6 p.m., protesters holding a “May Day Anti-Capitalist March” began at Seattle Central Community College and moved to downtown Seattle.

The other event – a May Day Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Gentrification Rally & March — began at 6:30 p.m. At 12th and Spruce outside the youth jail.

The two groups eventually merged in downtown Seattle.

“It’s time to break them before they break us,” proclaimed posters plastered across Capitol Hill Thursday morning.

At least one death threat aimed at Seattle Police officers was found spray painted on a utility box and Seattle Police tweeted a photo of a threat they said they had received which showed a effigy of an officer in flames. But again, nothing came of it.

“The department’s Force Investigation Team was activated and available during the event, but was not needed,” SPD said.


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  • Travis

    Send the ILLEGAL aliens back home, send the anarchists to JAIL, give workers a fair wage…. BUT NOT $15 PER HOUR!! …..problems solved.

  • guest

    Immigrants do have rights. They have the right to go through the process and come here LEGALLY just like my grandparents did. Illegals are ILLEGAL and have NO rights other than the right to go back to their country of origin.

  • h3pilot

    Why is this stupid march "breaking news"? If I wanted to see the entire stupid march route, I would be there marching.
    Stop preempting normal programming! Big Bang reruns are far more interesting than watching these bozos walk through Seattle.

  • El Gato

    I see the children are having their annual tantrum. I am sure that all these people who are against corporations surely don't own anything made by a corporation!!
    Fox News has to be there and give them the publicity they are seeking. I think it would be better if the media ignored these dopes.

  • The World is Ending

    anarchists claim to hate cops, hate government but are the first ones to call the cops to complain about their neighbor and the first ones in line to get their "welfare check"

  • AndyBlue

    I have never seen such jaded reporting. Shame on Q13 … This is nothing more than a sales pitch for the Seattle police. This isn't a news station at all. Q13 and Seattle police…. One and the same.

  • Fisher

    Protests, hold a rally, great, express your freedom of speech, but when you start vandalizing property then the message gets kind of lost in the rally.

  • Jajiit

    Hmmmm. This all seems like an excuse for naive young adults to go crazy and tell all their friends of the bus window they smashed… And what's with the super heroes I read about? Hahaha! So stupid, and while I appreciate the opportunity to leave work early and mow my grass before it rains again, this all feels like a giant waste of people's time.

      • Jajiit

        Sigh. Leaving early to go home = not being productive at work. On top of that, a lengthened commute due to increased traffic and bus routes changing, as well as longer work hours the following day to make up for lost time. All this equals wasting time.

  • Mom 2 the Corps

    Why does FOX 13 continue to make news out of this crap? And why are the cops backing down? So messed up…
    Losers and freaks go home, get freaking lives!

  • Bert

    These anarchists are pathetic little pussies just looking for an excuse to vandalize anything and everything,
    Die yuppie scum?
    Awe, did someone spend all their time skipping school and getting drunk/high and now they can't get a high paying job?
    Like El Gato mentioned earlier, the children are having their annual tantrum.
    Wish I could have been there to dish out some punishment for bad behavior.

  • Bakunin

    This article is trying its hardest to make it seem like SOMETHING crazy happened but it was pretty uneventful for the most part….typo's also discredit this already sensationalizing dribble.

  • Ted

    Those kids are democrats. I think the businesses should treat this like a storm. Board up your businesses and leave town. Everyone should evacuate during this dumb party. No news cameras, no police. Just empty streets and boarded up buildings. It would put an end to their fun real quick like.

  • Guest1234

    Breaking news: A bus window is smashed. Repeat: A bus window is smashed. I know it's a terrible tragedy, but we stay on the scene day and night to report on all the dramatic events as they unfold, on this heart-wrenching may day.

  • sepeku

    Bonfire? It was a trash can fire almost an hour after most the protesters went home.
    And it wasn't just "little anarchist hating yuppies". For example, a fair amount of the crowd was there to protest police brutality and to make sure that local government saw there were more issues on the table than just immigration and wage complaints.
    Like saying the "labor rights" march that happened earlier in the day was just about migrant workers.

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