May Day protests

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.

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.

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.” 

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.

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.  

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.”

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.

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. 

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. 

Pages