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December 3, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Are Seattle’s Ferguson protesters hurting their cause?

Protesters gathered outside Westlake Center Monday night as police bar them from entering the mall. (Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Protesters gathered outside Westlake Center Monday night as police bar them from entering the mall. (Lindsey Wasson / The Seattle Times)

Protests simmering through downtown Seattle for more than a week are increasingly aggravating.

Like many places around the country, local demonstrators are upset with the recent grand jury decision against indicting a Ferguson, Mo., police officer for shooting an unarmed teenager.

In Seattle, protesters have snarled traffic and disrupted holiday celebrations. They’ve been the source of attacks on property, police and the general public. They’ve provoked pepper spray and percussion grenade responses from restrained police. And 11 of them have been arrested.

Presumably, protesters want an end to police brutality and racism. I say presumably because all they’ve done thus far is march, chant and disturb people minding their own business. At last check, none of the protesters have expressed a tangible policy change to anyone in a position of authority.

Additionally, they seem oblivious to the possibility that federal criminal charges and a civil suit will be filed in the Ferguson case.

To be sure, Seattle has its own regrettable history of deadly police shootings to atone for – most notably that of John T. Williams in 2010.

But while local protesters might say their demonstrations are as much about Williams as they are about Ferguson, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to appreciate the purpose of the protests when the people involved are causing caustic reactions from ordinary citizens.

Perhaps in their minds, they’re parroting Nietzsche: “Out of chaos comes order.”

But the only order the Seattle protesters seem to be inspiring is an order for more police.

What do you think?

Comments | Topics: Ferguson, john t. williams, Michael Brown

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