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May 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM
Today certainly wasn’t the only time protests turned ugly – be it intended or not – in Seattle-area history. Here’s a look at some of the more notable events:
Occupy Seattle: The downtown Westlake Park area was the focal point of days of protests in late September/early October of last year. There were dozens of arrests as the city grappled with the legality of demonstrators camping out in the public space. The local protest was part of a national movement aimed at making ecomonic policies fairer for “the 99 percent.” Big banks were a primary target.
Mardi Gras riot: A riot broke out in the Pioneer Square neighborhood on Feb. 27, 2001, when Mardi Gras partying turned violent. One person, Kris Kime, died of injuries sustained during an attempt to assist a woman being attacked.
WTO in Seattle: The meeting of world leaders in November 1999 resulted in a downtown curfew zone after vandals clashed with police and damaged property over a three-day period. A movie about the event starring Woody Harrelson, called “Battle in Seattle,” premiered in 2007. Estimates of the number of protesters ranged as high as 40,000. Police arrested 157 people, but they ended up being released for lack of evidence. The chaos resulted in the resignation of Seattle police chief Norm Stamper a few days later. (Archive: Seattle Times WTO photo gallery and map chronicle.)
The Rodney King verdict: During the early morning of May 1, 1992, about a hundred people were involved in violence downtown that involved broken windows, looting and overturning cars. The following night on Capitol Hill, there was more violence and damage, along with a confrontation between police and a mob outside East Precinct police headquarters. In all, 180 people were arrested, 149 of them adults.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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