Advocate Elaine Simons drove to the May 1 Anti-Capitalist/Anti-State Rally and March and brought a physician with her in case anyone was injured.
The only projectile she saw thrown was silly string that protestors deployed liberally over the many news reporters who arrived awaiting a repeat of the property destruction that occurred on May Day 2012.
Then she had to turn off the route because of a one-way street near the Washington State Convention Center. By the time she was able to see the march again, police were pushing protestors back up the hill shouting, “Move back!” while protestors yelled, “Our streets!”
“The cops were waiting for something to happen,” Simons said, noting that officers were pouring out of vans in riot gear as the crowd approached.
Police officers tossed “flash bang” grenades into the crowd to disperse the group. They also deployed pepper spray at a number of people, including activist Ian Finkenbinder.
Finkenbinder said police used pepper spray on him after he verbally confronted them, accusing them of escalating the tension between protestors and officers.
At the end of the evening, police had arrested 18 people, and SPD reported that eight officers sustained scrapes and bruises. A few stores were left with broken windows.
An unnamed group of protestors posted a statement online May 3 offering to compensate Bill’s Off Broadway and Sun Liquors for the damage. The group called the property damage of the two independently owned businesses “an unfortunate piece of collateral damage.”