SEATTLE, WA – On Saturday, May 1st, the Seattle Police Department (SPD), declared an “Antifa May Day” protest to be a riot after marchers reportedly assaulted cops and a small child. As the day went on, the rioters continued to march in the streets and commit crimes.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 1, 2021
According to reports, Antifa began a May Day demonstration in Cal Anderson Park in Seattle on the evening of May 1st. The protest became violent as Antifa began throwing flares, bottles, eggs, paint, and a bag filled with an unidentified liquid.
Independent journalist Katie Daviscourt tweeted a video showing police following the marchers and saying that someone in the crowd had assaulted a small child just moments earlier.
Daviscourt tweeted that police were unable to identify the person who actually committed the assault and at the time, did not make an arrest for that crime. As the crowd became more violent and refused an order to disperse, Seattle police began making arrests.
According to SPD, 14 people were arrested as of 7 p.m. on the evening of May 1st. Additional arrests were made during the continuing unrest overnight.
On Friday, April 20th, the city said that “unrestricted events” like marches cannot adequately be controlled for the number of participants and social distancing, so it did not issue permits and did not officially close off any streets or provide planned Seattle police “First Amendment support” for May Day demonstrations.
Handful of arrests in Cal Anderson this May Day afternoon. pic.twitter.com/Dy186E1gU8
— matt (@mmitgang) May 2, 2021
However, a spokesperson from City Hall said that it is aware that “multiple events” have been planned to take place over the weekend. On the night of May 1st, an anti-capitalist and anti-cop group dressed in “black bloc” marched on Broadway.
Following reports of property damage, a large number of police responded to the area to move the crowd outside of the E Olive Way Starbucks. Video posted by SPD showed police continuing to follow the group after the E Olive Way arrests.
Police stated that the crowd threw “flares, bottles, eggs, paint and a bag of unidentified liquid” at officers and a passenger in a vehicle on Denny threw a bottle through the open window of an SPD vehicle, striking the driver.
— Hanna (@HannaSinTwitta) May 2, 2021
SPD said that the person was arrested along with four more in the Cal Anderson chaos that followed after police moved marchers as they gathered in the park after marching through the city.
As of 7 p.m. on May 1st, SPD released the following information of those arrested for crimes “ranging from property destruction to assault and reckless driving”:
- A 35-year-old for obstruction at Summit Ave and E Olive Way;
- A 37-year-old for property destruction in the Summit Ave and E Olive Way;
- A 25-year-old for obstruction in the Summit Ave and E Olive Way;
- A 22-year-old for assault, obstruction, and resisting arrest in the Summit Ave and E Olive Way;
- A 26-year-old for pedestrian interference at 7th Ave and Olive St;
- A 36-year-old for assault at 4th Ave and Bell St;
- An 18-year-old for malicious mischief at Broadway and E. Howell St;
- A 28-year-old for reckless driving at Harvard Ave and Pine St;
- A 23-year-old for property destruction at Denny Way and E. Howell St;
- A not-yet-identified individual for assault and resisting arrest at 11th Ave and Olive St;
- A 35-year-old for assault at Cal Anderson Park;
- A 26-year-old for obstruction at Cal Anderson Park;
- A 25-year-old for obstruction at Cal Anderson Park; and
- A 25-year-old for obstruction at 11th Ave and Pine St.
— Gate 15 (@Gate_15_Analyst) May 2, 2021
In an update from SPD in the early morning hours on May 2nd, police made additional arrests overnight as protest activities continued around the East Precinct. At least six people were booked into King County jail for investigation for assault, malicious mischief, obstruction, and property damage.
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After nearly a year of nightly riots, Portland Mayor finally calls (begs?) for ‘unmasking’ of violent protesters
April 26th, 2021
PORTLAND, OR– According to reports, Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists spoke out against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and his call to “unmask” violent protesters. Hours after the mayor’s comments, another riot broke out in the city.
After 11 months of sustained street violence by #antifa that he originally downplayed, Portland mayor @tedwheeler now begs public to help “unmask” members of the violent black bloc. #AntifaRiots https://t.co/27rs8ocHqP
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 25, 2021
On Friday, April 23rd, Mayor Wheeler said in a statement:
“We must stand together as a community against this ongoing criminal intimidation and violence. Our job is to unmask them, arrest them, and prosecute them. People know who these criminals are.”
Within hours of the mayor’s statements, violence broke out again in Portland following a social media post calling for demonstrators to “Bloc Up.” According to reports, “Bloc Up” is a reference to the Antifa “uniform” of all black clothing, masks, and helmets.
The social media post called for an “Autonomous Demonstration” at Couch Park in Portland and to “Bloc Up,” making it difficult for police to identify lawbreakers.
Authorities said that as demonstrators began blocking roadways, smashing windows, painting graffiti and forcing their way into a least one occupied restaurant, police declared the incident to be a riot and ordered protesters to leave.
During Wheeler’s remarks, he extended the city’s state of emergency and directed Police Police Bureau officials to “arrest people engaged in any crimes.” He reportedly supported the police tactics of “kettling,” which refers to boxing people in.
Wheeler and the acting police chief both urged the public to safely stand up to the black bloc violent demonstrators who continue to plan “direct actions” around the city that routinely end with shattered windows, fires, and other vandalism.
Washington Post headline: "Portland mayor urges residents to ‘unmask’ rioters after weeks of violence"
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 26, 2021
Both stated that they believe residents are fed up with watching the threats and destruction by a small group of “self-described anarchists.” Wheeler said:
“They want to burn. They want to bash, like they did to the nonprofit Boys and Girls club in Northeast. Really they want to intimidate. They want to assault.”
“If BLM leaders can show the courage to stand up to this mob, then we all should. Make a stand and take our city back.”
According to reports, following the riot on Friday, April 23rd, one of many this month alone, Black Lives Matter activists and other “protesters and community leaders” marched on city hall to protest the mayor’s call for action.
Amber Boydston, a speaker at the protest on Saturday, April 24th, was one of dozens of black Oregonians who drafted an open letter aimed at those participating in demonstrations. The letter said, in part:
“Actions that neither increase solidarity nor broadcast purpose while making the lives of local black communities more difficult are not acceptable.”
— Police News (@motovon1) April 24, 2021
The letter also talked about concern with police violence, but the group alleges the mayor misused those words in his call to extend the state of emergency. Protest Mac Smiff added:
“I would appreciate it if people would listen to the words that we say and read the words that we say, absorb the words that we say, think on the words that we say, but stop adding your own lends to it. Sometimes you have to be quiet and listen.”
On Monday night, April 19th, a group of about 80 people gathered in Northeast Portland and some smashed windows at the Blazers Boys & Girls Club, causing nearly $20,000 in damage to the club.
The Mayor of Portland is now calling for vigilante justice against “people dressed in black.” One of the most dangerous people in the country is the Mayor of a city most consider “progressive.” https://t.co/z2yniNJr54
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) April 24, 2021
On Friday, April 16th, a large demonstration downtown erupted into a riot that left the front windows of the First Christian Church broke, anti-police messages scrawled on the exterior of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and windows smashed at the Oregon Historical Society.
The extended state of emergency gives the mayor the power to set a curfew, blockade streets, or call in extra officers from the Oregon State Police, and Oregon National Guard, if deemed necessary.
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