Windows broken, pepper spray at Seattle May Day protests

Protesters vandalize Niketown in downtown Seattle during May Day protests, May 1, 2012.

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by KING 5 News

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 1, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 9:00 PM

SEATTLE -- A group of anarchist May Day protesters marched through Seattle's streets Tuesday, many dressed in black clothes, and wearing masks and face makeup.

Windows at the federal courthouse, a Wells Fargo bank, Niketown and the Tap House Bar and Grill were broken and there have been a handful of arrests. Video of protesters using sticks to smash windows was captured.

Police were also seen on bikes and on foot wearing riot gear, ushering protesters away from businesses. At least one officer was seen using a baton after a protester attempted to smash windows.

However, peaceful protests remain at Westlake Park, where speeches and concerts are continuing. A group called "Hip Hop Occupy Seattle" called for the crowd to protect each other.

In addition, a large number of students walked out of Seattle Central Community College, gathering for a march down Capitol Hill.

Protesters are being flanked by Seattle Police officers on bicycles. The Seattle Police Department said they plan to put extra officers in place at demonstrations, both in uniform and undercover.

Mayor Mike McGinn and other city leaders said they remain concerned that anarchist groups may turn to violence at the normally peaceful protests.

Signs and websites have been found advocating Seattle's protesters to "strike back" or "shut down the city."

Seattle May Day organizers said they have their own security forces. Both Occupy Seattle and El Comite will have a group of "peacekeepers" in the crowds working with police.

The Occupy Movement is also placing "peacekeepers" within their march from Seattle Central Community College to Westlake Park. They too said they ask troublemakers to stay away.

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is scheduled to be at the El Comite demonstration at 6:30 p.m. He plans to tell them about his support of immigration reform. 

 

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