Some Seattle Ultras were present at this year’s May Day events. We’ll have a full recap up within the next week. But here is a brief version: We began the day at the immigrants’ rights march, put on by local NGOs and politicians, which was roughly the same size as last years’ march making the same demands–and slightly smaller than the May Day 2012 march making the same demands, or the May Day 2011 march making the same demands, or the 2010, 2009, or 2008 marches making the same demands. This year, as in all years since 2006, the NGO leaders, politicians and “community representatives” discouraged migrant workers from going on strike. A good number of people came out, there were happy babies and people were energized.
The Anti-Capitalist march took place several hours later. It also started early, leaving pods of protestors distributed all across the city at various meeting points. After an hour or so, each of these pods found the main march, which circled the downtown-capitol hill circuit twice. The march meandered with no set path. It quickly became apparent that the vast majority of people there were by no means activists, nor were they from the city’s anarchist scene. After the riot of May Day 2012, the day’s anti-capitalist march has taken on a life of its own, attracting a diverse swath of youth from all over the city. There was no riot this year, despite several police attacks and tense standoffs. At one point a wealthy white man in Belltown had his corvette surrounded by the crowd. Seattle’s right-wing vigilante squad, led by Phoenix Jones, was there in force, and they got their assess kicked by anarchists and street kids with sticks. The one that dresses up like a power ranger was body slammed, shit-kicked and had his helmet ripped off. His face underneath the mask was red and very sad, like Peyton Manning.
After being split by the police several times, with a few arrests being made, the crowd recomposed itself and meandered back up to Capitol Hill, where people settled down to celebrate at Seattle Central. Police forced people out of the intersection at Pine and Broadway only to themselves be surrounded by the angry crowd. The police were encircled and shoved out of the intersection. For once, instead of the police shouting “MOVE” and pushing people back with their bikes, the people themselves were shouting “MOVE” and pushing the cops down Broadway. The police made a tactical retreat to gear up. Revelers started a fire in the middle of the intersection. The rest is narrated by the photos below.
Throughout the day, we only had the ability to photograph early on in the first march, at the very beginning of the anti-capitalist march, and after the fire was starting on Capitol Hill. Again: We’ll have some other videos from the interim and a more thorough narrative recap up within the next week.
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