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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

Topic: anarchists

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May 8, 2013 at 7:14 AM

Wednesday Memo: Her last words … Marijuana school … Hottest girls contest

National Weather Service forecast Her last words: When a bus slammed into that SUV Monday, Phil Rotta was injured, but survived. His parents, Robert and Elizabeth Rotta, didn’t make it. Brought to his mother’s side in a wheelchair, Phil Rotta got to talk with her for 15 minutes before she died. “I told her…

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August 1, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Activists subpoenaed to Thursday grand jury meeting in Seattle

Two Portland residents say they will appear before a federal grand jury in Seattle Thursday in an investigation of anarchist activity, according to a statement they released on Wednesday. Grand jury subpoenas have also been served to activists in Olympia and Seattle who may be connected to an ongoing investigation of May Day vandalism, according…

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Comments | Topics: anarchists, May Day, Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

May 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Latest from Seattle May Day protests: Police confiscated 70 items from protesters

Some May Day protests today in Seattle erupted into violence. We’re updating events as they unfold here. Jim Brunner, Cathy McLain, Jennifer Sullivan will be following the  story into the night.

UPDATE: 9:50 p.m. | Seattle police say they seized about 70 items from May Day protesters Tuesday after an emergency order from Mayor Mike McGinn. Items included metal sign poles, sharpened stakes and anything else that could have been used as a weapon. More information and pictures here.

UPDATE: 8:43 p.m. | Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said that officers are monitoring Westlake Park tonight, the only spot where protesters remain.

“The idea is that we’re going to keep tabs on things and make sure people get home safely,” Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb said police plan to investigate the people responsible for the earlier vandalism and other troubles downtown.

“The planned demonstrations were peaceful; we’re very sorry that a small number of infiltrators showed up early and set such a negative tone for the day,” he said.

“We promise to do a very thorough and complete investigation to identify the people responsible for the violence and bring them in to custody.”

UPDATE: 8:19 p.m. | The city of Seattle announced it has closed its Emergency Operations Center, citing the dwindling crowds of protesters.

UPDATE: 7:53 p.m. | Winding down? Only about 50 or so Occupy Seattle protesters remain at Westlake Park, according to Seattle Times reporter Emily Heffter.

UPDATE: 7:36 p.m. | Because of the protests, a small sandwich shop on Third Avenue had to throw away 160 sandwiches after a corporate customer canceled an event because of  the traffic disruptions.

“They’re hurting the little guy,” said the shop’s manager.

UPDATE: 7:18 p.m. | The manager of an American Apparel store downtown recalled his staff being shaken up after anarchists smashed store windows. Asked about the motivation of the protesters, the manager said “I don’t know what to say. It sucks.” Read more of the manager’s account from Seattle Times reporter Erik Lacitis.

UPDATE: 6:55 p.m. Seattle police say they have made two more arrests, making a total of eight for the day so far. This evening, officers arrested a 20-year-old man for investigation of vandalism and a 30-year-old man for investigation of pedestrian interference, according to a Police Department spokesman.

At Westlake Park this evening, the spot where hundreds of protesters had gathered just hours earlier, there was little to report said Seattle police Capt. Joe Kessler, who heads the department’s West Precinct. Kessler said things are peaceful at the moment.

UPDATE: 5:52 p.m. | The annual May Day immigration rights march is underway from Judkins Park to downtown Seattle. Even before the march started, organizers had to resolve the matter of the lead vehicle – a horse-drawn wagon in Wells Fargo red and yellow colors, on a flat bed drawn by a pick up truck. Police told organizers the were worried about marchers being hit or run over bt the truck. But Wells Fargo’s main downtown branch is the terminus for this march and organizers worked out a compromise where participants will march behind the truck only.

This years march — which took up less than one city block — appears to have attracted far fewer people than in years past. There also appears to be fewer immigrants, as folks from other movements — labor, Occupy, and a host of social justice organizations also joined in. The protesters are calling on Wells Fargo to withdraw investments in private companies that run immigration detention centers. (Information from Seattle Times reporter Lornet Turnbull, who is following the march.)

UPDATE: 5:05 p.m. | Police and some protesters skirmished near Pike Place Market this afternoon after a man was arrested for struggling when officers confiscated a pole he was carrying.

UPDATE: 3:45 p.m. |  Here’s the Seattle police timeline of this afternoon’s events:

  • At 11:50 a.m., a group marches from Seattle Central Community College to Westlake Park, arriving at 12:07 p.m.
  • At 12:21 p.m., approximately 300 people — including approximately 75 “Black Bloc” protesters armed with sticks, wooden riot batons and other weapons — marched from the park west on  Pike Street then south on Third Avenue.
  • As they marched along Third, people began jumping on cars and causing property damage, much of which was captured live by TV cameras.
  • At 12:35 p.m., officers reported paint and rocks flying, along with hammers and tire irons being used to damage property. There also were reports of “sound bombs” and fireworks.
  • The crowd walked past Benaroya Hall and turned onto Seneca, causing various damage along the way.
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