Seattle, WA - It's May 1st, May Day, and in Seattle, that means it's riot day.
Rioting on May Day is an annual event in Seattle. Before anarchists got PR help and re-branded themselves as Anti-Fascists (Antifa,) they were generally despised by just about everybody except teenagers who shop at Hot Topic.
Now that anarchists are taking the lead in the violent anti-Trump movement, their numbers have exploded, and so have the numbers of their violent attacks. Those additional anarchist will be around this year, leading to the potential of a much larger riot than normal.
In 2016 the anarchists attacked police officers, shoving, striking, throwing bricks, M-80s, and molotov cocktails at them. Here's a video clip from that event:
In 2015, it was pretty much the same thing:
Then there was 2014... Which was actually more of the same plus burning anything they could get their hands on in the middle of the street:The Players
Veteran Anti-War March: No significant issues are currently expected out of the anti-war marchers. They will be marching from downtown at 9 AM to Judkins Park where the May Day of Resistance march will be starting.
May Day Of Resistance Immigrant/Workers March: Billed as an anti-Trump march, the May Day of Resistance March is expected to be a massive march taking up a significant amount of the city. The march begins at Judkins Park at 11 AM, marching to Seattle Center. While this isn't the official anarchist event, it's possible that anarchists will seek to take advantage of the large crowd to act out.
Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant had previously called for this march to shut down the state highways and ports, but she backed off of those statements after the State Patrol said that they would not permit the highway to be blocked. The march organizers may still be planning to block the highway.
Antifa: Historcially, anarchists have waited until later in the day to start ramping up their violence. The anarchist events are currently scheduled to start at 6 PM. The official gathering point has not been openly announced, but possible starting locations include Judkins Park, Cal Anderson Park, the Space Needle, the King County Juvenile Detention Center, Victor Steinbrueck Park near the Pike Place Market and the University of Washington.
The Antifa event is expected to be the start of the violent rioting.
Seattle PD: Thanks to plenty of practice at the annual riot, other disturbances, and crowd control funding, Seattle PD has the best-trained crowd control officers in the country. Their strategy focuses mostly on moving and containing the rioters, rather than attempting to shut down the riots and arresting the rioters. Seattle PD's refusal to more aggressively engage with rioters has, in the past, led to friction with the heads of other nearby law enforcement agencies who refuse to let their officers be targets for bricks and explosives.
Still, our money is on Seattle PD winning this round with the anarchists.
To all officers working in the Seattle area today, please stay safe.
I'll be tweeting updates as they come in on Twitter @SnarkyCop.
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