Today is May 1st, otherwise known as May Day. Over the past couple of years, May Day has become Seattle’s equivalent of The Purge. It’s the one day of the year when protesters can go out and march and commit what passes in Seattle as acts of mayhem.
The day started with a concert featuring local (ie unknown) heavy metal bands. I attended one set. It was definitely heavy metal, but, amazingly enough, it was dull heavy metal. I’m not even talking about the monotonous death metal. I mean, literally, snooze fest music. It was the equivalent of heavy metal elevator music. It was as if Kenny G decided to take up metal. I left after that set.
I went upstairs to my apartment to relax. After about an hour, I heard drumming. I go downstairs to see the workers / immigrants rally marching right in front of my apartment.
- There were probably a thousand or so.
- I particularly liked the Donald Trump pinata (picture above).
- There was a guy walking his pet goat (let me reiterate, this is downtown Seattle).
- There was a sign for the Transit Riders Union. Who knew? I’m a transit rider. Maybe I should join a union!
- There was a several signs for freeing Leonard Peltier. I’m interested in what percentage of people at the rally even know who Peltier is. After all, he’s been in prison for nearly 40 years. I didn’t know that there was still an active movement to free him. I saw no equivalent signs for Mumia Abdul Jamal, who at one time was an equivalent cause celebre of an activist unjustly convicted. I wonder why?
- There was a brass band consisting of people whose average age appeared to be about 60 and were just picked up off a commune.
- The march finished at the Justice Center, where there was all kinds of sincere calls for justice, immigration rights, and equality. I’m not sure how many Republican congressmen were in attendance that could actually do something to accomplish any of these.
I then switched over to the anarchist rally:
- Despite the overall black motif, it was all a tad bit more…colorful.
- There was the disturbed (not sure if mentally or chemically or some combination therein) guy wearing county prison overalls hamming it up for any random tourist willing to film him.
- One sign simply said, Fuck Off. Fair enough. Pretty concise political commentary.
- Before the march started, there were hundreds of bicycle cops in various clusters to control the path of the protesters. The police brought out their horses, which adorably enough, were equipped with safety glasses.
- The anarchists unfurled a banner that said, Whoever you vote for, we are ungovernable. OK, but ironically enough, their unlawful protest march was pretty much completely manipulated and controlled by the police. They started in the heart of downtown Seattle and ended up getting herded into the industrial wastelands of South Seattle.
- At one point, apparently the SPD made an announcement that the protest was over and ordered it to be dispersed. This was, quite literally, a reading of the Riot Act!
- There were some flash bangs and some tear gas, but nothing even close to events of previous years.
It looks like Seattle survived another May Day. Anarchists, you need to up your game in 2017.