Washington state is a pressure-cooker for advocacy. “We do not believe in the validation of the state. They’re the problem in the first place,” says “Bypolar,” the organizer of a “pop-up bloc [sic] party” in Seattle to protest the incarceration of illegal immigrants and assorted other people.
Happy May Day, America. Elsewhere in America and the world, May Day is the time for peaceful protest. Not so much in Seattle. The violence by anarchists isn’t likely during the daytime marches and protests; it is expected to start after darkness falls at about 9PM Pacific Daylight Time. Normal events are canceled. Five police were injured last year, but no one has died since 2001, so it goes on. City Councilmen blame the police for the violence.
It’s odd, really, that one of the fastest-growing, economically-prosperous areas, in a beautiful setting far from the media spotlight, is boiling with violent anarchy, dissent and counter-dissent. But it happens, every year. Has for a long, long time. Usually too late for instant news coverage.
And maybe that media silence is best. After all, the most significant real effect of the violence is to make it so much harder for those of us who defend real protest and advocacy, intended to actually make a difference. So sad.
UPDATE (9:30PDT): Although there have been several clashes and arrests, things have quieted down in Seattle this evening. Heavier riots in Olympia, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.