Violent Evening Follows Peaceful Seattle May Day March | KUOW News and Information

Violent Evening Follows Peaceful Seattle May Day March

May 2, 2015

A protest organized by anarchists erupted in violence Friday evening on Capitol Hill following a separate peaceful May Day march to downtown Seattle, police said.

Seattle police said on Twitter that 16 people were arrested and three officers were injured in clashes during a protest on Capitol Hill that was billed on anarchist sites as an anti-capitalist march.

Police said pepper spray was used after the crowd failed to heed an order to disperse at Broadway and Howell Street and protesters threw rocks. (See photos in Storify below.)

Police reported 25 vehicles were damaged and windows were broken in several businesses.

One person arrested for rock-throwing on Belmont Street was found to be carrying a machete, wrench and paint, police said.

Earlier, a larger May Day march went off peacefully.

The day began with a small Black Lives Matter gathering at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. Those people then joined the annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights. It began at Judkins Park in the Central District then headed downtown for a rally at the Federal Courthouse.

Michael Taylor attended the Black Lives Matters Protest. He said he wanted to help bring about positive change for people of color.

“As a black man, I'm just tired of being subjugated,” he said. “I'm tired of us not standing up. We're human beings, we're Americans, and we all have a moral, spiritual obligation to do the right thing.”

Teri McClain said she attended to support others.

“I just want to get my voice heard, instead of sitting by the sidelines,” McClain said. “Every single voice helps just to stop profiling, beating, lynching, killing, shooting of young black males.”

Young people at Judkins Park in the Central District prepare for the immigration march heading to downtown Seattle on Friday.
Credit KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Before the marches began, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said police were ready.

“We have a police force that's gone through significant training on the appropriate use of force,” he said.

Friday night, Murray condemned the violence in a statement.

"During this moment in history, peaceful protest and civil disobedience can be effective vehicles of social change," he said. "What erupted tonight is a very different story. Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage, which cannot be tolerated. Those who are violent will be arrested."

Friday's May Day march started at Judkins Park and ended downtown at the federal courthouse.
Credit Seattle Police Department

[View the story "May Day in Seattle" on Storify]