May Day protests

May Day
6:32 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

9 Arrests, Scuffle Between Anarchist And Superhero During Seattle's May Day March

A marcher is seen spraying silly string at a man dressed up as a superhero.
Tim Durkan

Seattle police arrested nine people during an unpermitted May Day march that involved a scuffle between an anarchist and a man dressed as a superhero, wardrobe changes by the anti-capitalist marchers and no major property damage.

The fight between the anarchist and the man in costume broke out near Fifth and Pike when the anarchist sprayed silly string at the man, who responded with a punch to the face. The incident lasted only a few minutes before police intervened, and the march resumed with protesters chanting "F--- the police!" and setting off fireworks.

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May Day
2:47 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Seattle Police: Troubling Signs Early On May Day

Seattle police say there's been more anti-authoritarian rhetoric leading up to this year's May Day events, but officers are ready.

Capt. Chris Fowler, who's in charge of the department's response to the demonstrations, says that if people have a message to get out, they should get it out safely. Police will be escorting a permitted march for immigrant and worker rights Thursday afternoon, as well as a later unpermitted march by anti-capitalist protesters.

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May Day
9:40 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

May Day Grand Jury Resister 'Still Has Nightmares' About Solitary Confinement

Matthew Duran spent nearly 6 months in the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac.
Paula Wissel KPLU

The May Day violence that happened in downtown Seattle two years ago is still affecting how one Olympia man is living his life.  Matthew Duran, a political activist, wasn’t even in Seattle when windows were smashed in the Nakamura Federal Courthouse in 2012. But he paid dearly for his refusal to talk about who might have been involved.

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May Day
9:40 am
Wed April 30, 2014

May Day Grand Jury Resister 'Still Has Nightmares' About Solitary Confinement

Matthew Duran spent nearly 6 months in the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac.r
Paula Wissel KPLU

The May Day violence that happened in downtown Seattle two years ago is still affecting how one Olympia man is living his life.  Matthew Duran, a political activist, wasn’t even in Seattle when windows were smashed in the Nakamura Federal Courthouse in 2012. But he paid dearly for his refusal to talk about who might have been involved.

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May day riot
5:04 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Seattle police want your photos, video of May Day riot

A Seattle Police officer shoves his baton at a protester during a May Day march that began as an anti-capitalism protest and turned into demonstrators clashing with police, Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in downtown Seattle.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Seattle police are asking the public for photos and video clips taken during this year’s May Day riot.

“Detectives have begun the long, difficult task of investigating the violence, vandalism, and other nastiness which marred this year’s otherwise peaceful May Day rallies,” police said.

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May Day 2013
10:15 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Five May Day protesters charged with felonies

Police block off a stretch of Olive Way, the scene of May Day's first arrests.
Gabriel Spitzer KPLU

Prosecutors have charged five May Day protestors with felonies following last week’s confrontation with police in downtown Seattle.

The standoff between anti-capitalist marchers and Seattle police escalated quickly around dusk on May 1, and before long, bottles and rocks were flying toward police, pepper spray and blast balls toward protesters.

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May Day history
12:10 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

How May Day began in 1886 with workers, immigrants, anarchists

The Haymarket Affair in Chicago solidified May Day as an international day of action for labor, anti-capitalism and immigrants' rights.
Wikimedia Commons

Full interview on May Day history.

Last week’s tumultuous May Day protests got many of us wondering: What is May 1 all about, anyway?

It’s been a workers’ holiday in Europe for years, but when did it become a big deal in the U.S.?

SUNY Empire State College history professor Jacob Remes says last week’s hubbub—from the union involvement to the spotlight on immigration, to the anarchist presence and police response—all fit right in to May Day’s radical history.

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May Day Riot
4:16 pm
Fri May 3, 2013

Anarchists launch fundraising campaign to help Bill's, Sun Liquor

The smashed glass door of Sun Liquor is seen in this photo.
Aaron Hushagen

Anarchists have launched a fundraising campaign in an effort to help pay for the damages two Capitol Hill businesses incurred during this year’s May Day riot.

The campaign, called “Smash the State: Just Not Bill’s,” says its aim is to be “mending fences (or more accurately, windows), within the community,” specifically Bills Off Broadway and Sun Liquor, both of which were vandalized during the anti-capitalism march.

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May Day 2013
5:15 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Seattle police working to identify law-breakers in May Day riot

Protesters react as a firework is set off during May Day protests, Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in downtown Seattle.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Seattle police said they’re continuing to investigate crimes committed in the course of an unruly May Day demonstration, but that they’re proud of how officers handled themselves.

Capt. Chris Fowler said Seattle police incorporated some important lessons from last year’s May Day protests. They had much longer to plan this year, even treating a small March 15 protest as a “rehearsal.” 

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May Day 2013
5:05 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

In wake of May Day mayhem, businesses assess damage

Don Stevens, owner of Bill's Off Broadway, stands next to his broken window.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Business owners are assessing the damage after some anti-capitalist protesters broke windows in Seattle last night. Only a handful sustained property damage, but many more businesses were affected financially.

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May Day 2013
4:05 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

What Phoenix Jones and his sidekicks encountered on May Day

Phoenix Jones and a sidekick are seen talking to marchers on May Day 2013.
Justin Steyer KPLU

When mayhem broke out late May Day, Phoenix Jones and his wife were having dinner at a restaurant.

Jones, having attended earlier events with his sidekicks, had thought the day would end peacefully.

“All of a sudden, the phone trips and there’s a riot going on,” he said.

Jones and his wife, also a self-claimed superhero who goes by Purple Reign, rushed to the car to suit up, then hit the streets. Reign was in full costume, but Jones only had on his bulletproof vest instead of his full signature garb.  

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May day riot
1:58 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Anarchist website to May Day vandals: Ditch evidence, don't brag

Protesters react as a police flash-bang grenade goes off during a May Day march that began as an anti-capitalism protest and turned into demonstrators clashing with police lies on the ground next to police batons, Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in downtown Seatt
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

In the wake of another violent May Day riot in Seattle, an anarchist website has posted some “cautionary tips” for protesters: get rid of evidence, and don’t brag.

“Do not keep the clothes you wore at the demonstration tonight!” said a post on pugetsoundanarchists.org. “Similarly, do not keep any other instrument you used to commit a crime.”

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may day riot
11:18 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Seattle protesters charged after violent May Day rally

Aaron Hushagen

City prosecutors have started filing charges against people arrested during a May Day protest in Seattle.

The City Attorney's Office said Thursday six people who spent the night in the King County Jail face misdemeanor charges that include obstructing officers, resisting arrest, property damage and failure to disperse.

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May Day Riot
12:30 am
Thu May 2, 2013

At least 17 arrested as 'anti-capitalism' rally turns violent

Aaron Hushagen

At least 17 protesters were arrested and eight officers injured Wednesday as an "anti-capitalism" May Day march took a violent turn, first on Capitol Hill then in downtown Seattle. 

Vandals shattered the glass door of Sun Liquor, at 512 East Pike, around 7 p.m. before heading downtown, hurling metal pipes and rocks at cars and police, shoving camera crews and setting off flares along the way. 

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May Day events
7:00 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

No show of violence as thousands gather for May Day rally, march

A speaker is seen addressing the crowd at Judkins Park.
Justin Steyer

A planned rally and march for workers and immigration reform progressed without interruptions by anarchists Wednesday, easing fears of another violent May Day.

Thousands of people gathered at Judkins Park, behind St. Mary's Church, for the Rally for Workers and Immigrant Rights at 1 p.m. Several unions were present, as were some representatives of the Occupy movement. Many people were displaying the flags of U.S. and Mexico, as well as signs urging comprehensive immigration reform. 

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