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May 1, 2012 at 7:15 PM

American Apparel manager: attitude of window-smashing protesters ‘sucks’

American Apparel manager Kirby Ellis was working when his store's windows and glass doors were shattered by May Day vandals. (Photo by Erik Lacitis / The Seattle Times)

Vandalism at American Apparel store in downtown Seattle following May Day rioting on May 1, 2012. (Photo by Mary Jean Spadafora / The Seattle Times)

From Seattle Times reporter Erik Lacitis:

The shaken-up 21-year-old manager of American Apparel on Sixth Avenue near Pike Street described what happened for five minutes about 1 p.m., when anarchists smashed windows at the chain clothing store.

“I was in the back of the store and I heard hammering in the street. They were smashing the windows,” said Kirby Ellis.

When he looked out, he saw two of the store’s large plate-glass windows still in place but shattered into thousands of pieces. The other two windows were scratched up and the two glass doors were shattered.

Joe Feola of Servpro, a disaster-recovery company, estimated that replacing the large windows would cost $8,000 each.

At the store, Ellis gathered the staff and did his best to reassure them.

“I’m working to make sure they get home safely,” he said.

Asked about the motivation the protesters had to smash the windows, Ellis said “I don’t know what to say. It sucks.”

Next door at NikeTown, Ed Pemberton, owner of Budget Mirror and Glass, was estimating the damage to those windows — $12,000 to $15,00 and rising.

There were seven large windows. Two had been pulverized, three scratched up and one sprayed with “Death to Capitalism.” In addition, the glass front doors had been smashed to bits.

Crews swept up the broken glass and began putting up boards while onlookers took photos with their smart phones.

Some expressed sympathy to a British Columbia tourist who by chance had parked in front of American Apparel. The back glass of his Hyundai Santa Fe had been smashed. “Welcome to Seattle,” someone said to him. He replied: “Yeah.”

Comments | Topics: May Day

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