Tomorrow is May Day, as workers' rights proponents and anyone who walks the same route to work as I do (which seems to be getting a healthy dose of May Day-related tagging) surely knows.
However, City officials also say there's a possibility of more. According to a press release issued late last week:
We also have evidence that other people may be coming to Seattle on Tuesday with the intention of using the public demonstrations as an opportunity to commit violence, damage property and disrupt peaceful free speech activity. There has been a significant increase in graffiti and posters alluding to violence around the May 1 events. Websites have described trainings in how to conceal weapons beneath signs and banners, and how to target police officers on horses.
Oh boy. There's nothing better than when "other people" come to Seattle to raise a constitutionally-protected ruckus and/or cause punk-ass destruction. It makes for great theater for anyone who's not a) a cop trying to reasonably keep the peace, b) some dude getting pepper sprayed in the face by a cop failing to reasonably keep the peace, c) a business owner watching his or her place of work get rocks thrown through it, or d) anyone who has to clean up the mess.
Let's hope nothing like that goes down tomorrow.
Using the city's May Day press release as an excuse, here are some video "highlights" mined from YouTube of Seattle protests and demonstrations - big and small - over the last few years.
Back on November 30, 1999, perhaps the most famous protests n Seattle history went down. The WTO protests and the police reaction to it led to the resignation of then-police chief Norm Stamper, lawsuits, court rulings against the tactics used by Seattle police, and the popularization of grown folks using sea turtle costumes to deliver a message. (Video uploaded by YouTube user flygec)
Continued on the next page ...
It seems like just yesterday that Occupy protestors filled the streets of Seattle. This video sets the pepper-spraying to a delightful soundtrack, and also demonstrates the proliferation of camera phones since the days of WTO. (Video uploaded by YouTube user IowaBoyDave)
Justice March for John T. Williams
Enraged over the recent fatal shooting of woodcarver John T. Williams, Seattleites took to the street to voice their displeasure - directing their collective wrath at the SPD and Seattle police officer Ian Birk, who shot Williams after seeing him walking with a knife near downtown. (Video uploaded by YouTube user clarissa775)
Continued on the next page ...
Justice for Trayvon Martin Rally and March
In early April the Seattle chapter of the NAACP was part of a march through downtown Seattle and a rally in Westlake Center to voice outrage over the killing of Trayvon Martin. This protest is still fresh in most people's mind. (Video uploaded by YouTube user stringer253)
Direct Action Holds Teach-In at Chase Bank
This video easily contains the most charts and graphs of any we posted. And what would you expect from a "teach-in" aimed at education people about things like how the salary of the CEO of a big bank could pay for 250 public school teachers? (Video uploaded by brannphoto)