Marches, demonstrations and protests are part of May Day around the world. Seattle welcomes those who seek to make a strong political, economic or social point.
Troublemakers will get what they deserve, or more precisely, what they bring on themselves.
Last year’s May Day protests in downtown Seattle revealed, or reinforced, organizational problems within the Seattle Police Department.
Vandals trashed property and behaved like jerks. The police were at loose ends, early on. A peaceful march about immigration later in the day was a complete success.
This year, the SPD invested more time in preparation for planned and unplanned events. The police help ensure marchers are secure in making their point. Law enforcement deserves public support for the role it plays in protecting freedom of expression.
But please take note: break a window or take a swing at a cop, and the so-called protester has earned what comes next. Do not confuse frustration with the performance of SPD management last year with any lack of support for law enforcement officers patrolling the streets, confronting vandals, confiscating weapons and restoring peace.
Marches get noisy and passionate, but destroying property and putting legitimate protesters and police officers in harm’s way is not part of the democratic bargain.