Despite prior knowledge of anarchists’ planned activities in downtown Seattle on May Day, it took a full morning of violence and damage for Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to issue an emergency order to protect citizens and businesses.
Komo News: Some May Day protestors ran rampant in Downtown Seattle Tuesday afternoon, smashing windows at businesses and cars as they marched through city streets and causing Seattle’s City Hall to go into lockdown.
The chaos and property damage prompted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to grant emergency police powers to deal with any potential new riots that could crop up during the rest of the afternoon.
“Using the emergency powers of the mayor’s office, I’m issuing an order for the limited purpose of giving police the authority to confiscate items that can be used as well. McGinn said dozens of black-clad protesters were using items that looked like flagpoles as weapons. He said his order would enable police to take those items away from people before they are used to cause damage. McGinn said his action would help protect public safety as protests continued into Tuesday evening.
“My direction to the police is that I expect them to respond to lawbreaking swiftly and aggressively,” McGinn said. “The First Amendment uses of 5-foot-long, 3-inch rod sticks is outweighed today by our desire to preserve public safety and confiscate weapons.” McGinn said.
Citing student safety, Seattle Schools officials say their buses will be running up to 90 minutes late due to the May Day protest.
All five downtown Wells Fargo Bank branches, including one at Fourth Avenue and Seneca Street where windows were broken, have been closed for the rest of the day, said Lara Underhill, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman.
Why did this damage to private property even have to occur? Mayor McGinn had full knowledge of the intention of individuals to use the public demonstrations as an opportunity to commit violence and damage property.
If I were an individual or business owner I’d be sending my property damage bill directly to the Mayor’s office.