Anarchists riot in Seattle in May Day protest

Seattle, a city known for its violent anarchist subculture, experienced an "anti-capitalist" riot on Sunday afternoon following a march by pro-immigrant and workers' rights protestors through downtown that ended peacefully.

Once the crowd of marchers dispersed, dozens of black clad rioters began an unauthorized march heading for the business district. Police, who were out in full force, began to herd the rioters toward an industrial area.

All hell brook loose.

Seattle Times:

As that rally winded down, demonstrators largely clad in black clothing and masks started gathering at Westlake Center for the planned but unpermitted anti-capitalist march while squadrons of officers in riot gear converged around the shopping area.

Unfurling a large banner that read, “We are ungovernable,” and other signs, demonstrators started marching about 6:30 p.m. They initially appeared confused about which direction to head, before police herded the core of protesters, forcing them northward.

The violence quickly erupted.

As demonstrators marched, some in the crowd shot off Roman candles and other fireworks, while a window was shattered at a Starbucks at Westlake Center. Someone tagged a Seattle Department of Transportation vehicle with black spray paint.

Within moments, protesters and police clashed near Fifth Avenue and Pine Street. Some demonstrators hurled rocks and other objects, while police liberally doused parts of the crowd with pepper-spray.

The demonstrators marched north on Fourth Avenue into Belltown, as the massive deployment of heavily armed officers flanked and contained them. At times, lines of officers held across streets to herd and funnel the crowd and closed ranks around groups to splinter the crowd into smaller groups.

About 7 p.m., the bulk of the marchers double-backed, heading south along Second Avenue into downtown, where a flurry of clashes erupted near Second Avenue and Pike Street.

There, some demonstrators hurled rocks and bricks at police, others shot flares. After one officer was reportedly hurt, police issued a dispersal order for the area. Anyone who violated that order was subject to arrest.

Demonstrators kept moving south, through Pioneer Square and skirting the Chinatown International District heading for the stadiums and Sodo.

Police reported some demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails, although it wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the incendiary devices ignited.

It sounds as if the police demonstrated an admirable level of restraint in the face of extreme provocation. Seattle police have grown used to these stunts by violent children and have apparently been well trained in how to keep both lives and property relatively safe.

What makes the anarchists so dangerous is their incoherence. Most of them believe that food, clothing, and shelter should be free for everyone, that there should be no ownership of private property, that markets, money, and government should be eliminated. It is the means of revolution that makes them a problem. They see small groups of anarchists fomenting violent revolution until the utopia they seek is established.

It's dreary pablum that any first year economics student could easily debunk. The anarchist movement ebbs and flows through the decades with the current incarnation being driven by anti-globalization forces. 

We're not going to get rid of them any time soon.

 

Seattle, a city known for its violent anarchist subculture, experienced an "anti-capitalist" riot on Sunday afternoon following a march by pro-immigrant and workers' rights protestors through downtown that ended peacefully.

Once the crowd of marchers dispersed, dozens of black clad rioters began an unauthorized march heading for the business district. Police, who were out in full force, began to herd the rioters toward an industrial area.

All hell brook loose.

Seattle Times:

As that rally winded down, demonstrators largely clad in black clothing and masks started gathering at Westlake Center for the planned but unpermitted anti-capitalist march while squadrons of officers in riot gear converged around the shopping area.

Unfurling a large banner that read, “We are ungovernable,” and other signs, demonstrators started marching about 6:30 p.m. They initially appeared confused about which direction to head, before police herded the core of protesters, forcing them northward.

The violence quickly erupted.

As demonstrators marched, some in the crowd shot off Roman candles and other fireworks, while a window was shattered at a Starbucks at Westlake Center. Someone tagged a Seattle Department of Transportation vehicle with black spray paint.

Within moments, protesters and police clashed near Fifth Avenue and Pine Street. Some demonstrators hurled rocks and other objects, while police liberally doused parts of the crowd with pepper-spray.

The demonstrators marched north on Fourth Avenue into Belltown, as the massive deployment of heavily armed officers flanked and contained them. At times, lines of officers held across streets to herd and funnel the crowd and closed ranks around groups to splinter the crowd into smaller groups.

About 7 p.m., the bulk of the marchers double-backed, heading south along Second Avenue into downtown, where a flurry of clashes erupted near Second Avenue and Pike Street.

There, some demonstrators hurled rocks and bricks at police, others shot flares. After one officer was reportedly hurt, police issued a dispersal order for the area. Anyone who violated that order was subject to arrest.

Demonstrators kept moving south, through Pioneer Square and skirting the Chinatown International District heading for the stadiums and Sodo.

Police reported some demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails, although it wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the incendiary devices ignited.

It sounds as if the police demonstrated an admirable level of restraint in the face of extreme provocation. Seattle police have grown used to these stunts by violent children and have apparently been well trained in how to keep both lives and property relatively safe.

What makes the anarchists so dangerous is their incoherence. Most of them believe that food, clothing, and shelter should be free for everyone, that there should be no ownership of private property, that markets, money, and government should be eliminated. It is the means of revolution that makes them a problem. They see small groups of anarchists fomenting violent revolution until the utopia they seek is established.

It's dreary pablum that any first year economics student could easily debunk. The anarchist movement ebbs and flows through the decades with the current incarnation being driven by anti-globalization forces. 

We're not going to get rid of them any time soon.