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May Day protests
Wed May 2, 2012
Mayor's home vandalized; emergency measures lifted; May Day fallout begins
With dozens of big, expensive windows smashed in downtown Seattle, eight arrests and reports that rocks were thrown through windows at Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn's home last night, the fallout from yesterday's May Day rallies and protests is just beginning to take shape.
This morning the mayor announced that all emergency measures put in place to respond to the rolling violence and anti-capitalist protests that paralyzed downtown have been lifted.
Seattle police are investigating after vandals threw rocks through windows at the home of Mayor Mike McGinn following violent May Day protests.
McGinn confirmed Wednesday that the rocks sailed through his dining room window around midnight, and others cracked his living room windows. The rocks – a bit bigger than a baseball – were similar in size and color to those confiscated during the demonstrations, he said. McGinn and his wife were home but were not injured.
How the violence erupted
About the burst of violence downtown that resulted in a rash of broken windows, vandalized cars and graffiti, McGinn and Seattle Police Chief John Diaz said in a press conference today that concern for officer safety was the primary reason the vandals got out of hand.
Between 50 and 75 protesters had broken from the main event at Westlake Center and were protecting the handful of black-clad anarchists breaking windows.
“What you may not have seen, but what the officers saw, were there were other individuals who had their backs, literally," McGinn said. "And once they began simultaneously to take action … our highest priority is officer safety and public safety. We are not going to send officers into that situation, one or two or a handful at a time … so the command staff musterd the forces they had on the scene, and within minutes the vandalism was stopped and order restored.”
Photo's from yesterday's protests:
Felony charges possible
King County Prosecutor’s Office told the Seattle Times that four of the eight demonstrators arrested by Seattle police during May Day protests Tuesday could face felony charges. Prosecutors said this morning that they are eying some of the cases for felony assault charges. Police said that officers were punched, grabbed and spit on during the protests.
The mayor's office said last night that the city's Emergency Operations Center was de-activated 8 p.m. "as crowds at Westlake Center dissipated and planned protest events resolved peacefully."
The police blog also says that after McGinn signed an emergency order allowing officers to confiscate items that could be used to damage property or used as weapons, they seized about 70 items. The items include sharpened tape-wrapped wooden stakes; metal poles; screw-topped wooden staffs; a shield made from a plastic traffic barrier; and a corrugated metal portable barrier with sharp, jagged edges.
The emergency order has been lifted.
The final arrests of the day were made around 6:30 p.m. according to the Seattle Police Department's blog: "Officers have made two more arrests–a 30-year-old man for pedestrian interference, and a 20-year-old man for vandalism."
Of the eight arrested yesterday, four were from Seattle, one each from Everett, Renton, Vermont and Mill Valley, Calif.
May Day protests
May Day protests