On a day that’s widely known for protests and strikes for worker solidarity and general human rights, protestors in Seattle began with vandalism and violence and ended with underwhelming crowds. According to the Seattle Times, the city had three distinct marches on Tuesday, with the first being the most volatile.
The day started with an anti-capitalist march at Westlake Park. It was from this march that about 75 anarchists broke off from the crowd and attacked downtown with vandalism. Using poles, some of the group smashed windows, focusing their attention on retail stores and financial institutions. Tires were slashed and an anarchist symbol was spray-painted on a Porsche Cayenne. “Death to Capitalism” was left on a window at NikeTown.
The majority of anarchists involved wore all black, and removed their black coverings to blend with the crowd when the police moved in.
The second protest of the day was focused on police violence and racism. Though notably less volatile than the first, protestors sat in the street and heckled law enforcement. Three people were arrested for investigation of felony assault.
The final protest focused on immigration rights and was much smaller than in years passed, likely in part because of the violence earlier in the day. In the past, this annual march would fill four city blocks. This year it only filled one and featured far fewer families.
The police and mayor consider their response to this year’s May Day activities to be a success. Measured against the backdrop of the 1999 riots during the WTO conference, the city was more prepared and able to thwart violence before it got out of hand.
Cities across the country participated in May Day protests this year, spurred in part by the Occupy movement, who called for a “general strike” across the nation.
Those involved with the grassroots intentions of the Occupy movement, caution that the acts of a few anarchists should not overshadow the movement designed to focus on the unequal distribution of wealth and the battle between the haves and the have-nots.
In all, about 8 people were arrested and about 12 businesses were damaged downtown. More likely than not, the majority of those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct or similar charges.
In Washington this is a misdemeanor offense, but does carry the potential for jail time and a blemish on your record.
Whether you are charged with disorderly conduct at a protest or if you are charged with rioting while in possession of a weapon (felony), we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss your case.