Obama Mute After May Day Riot Re-Ruins Seattle
Unlike Baltimore, Seattle is not governed entirely by members of the president’s Democratic party. One Seattle city council member belongs to the Socialist Alternative party
Tim Cavanaugh writes: The morning after hipster rioters turned a May Day demonstration into a replay of the 1999 Battle in Seattle, President Obama boarded Marine One and departed for an overnight retreat without commenting on unrest in U.S. cities that has spread to the Pacific coast.
“We’ve seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals — primarily African-American and often poor — in ways that raise troubling questions.”
— President Obama, last Tuesday
The president stopped to fist bump with the child of an Associated Press staffer on a sunny Saturday before choppering out of the capital. But he made no comment on the Friday night rioting in Seattle, Wash.
“But he provided no such context for Friday’s confrontation between Seattle police and a crowd of largely white anarcho-syndicalists.”
Seattle rioters threw bottles and bricks at police; smashed and tagged property; and attacked reporters and other civilians in unrest that left three officers injured. Police Chief Chris Fowler declared Friday evening that the situation had “turned into a riot.”
“Obama beguiled readers of his exquisitely wrought memoir Dreams From My Father with tales of his youthful friendships among Marxist poets and punk rockers….”
Obama’s silence on the mayhem in one of North America’s most progressive cities contrasted with his loquacity earlier in the week, when the president as well as his staff spoke at length after Baltimore erupted in destructive but non-lethal rioting.
“But the president has been less eager to attach himself publicly to historic economic-justice movements, or to their extensive legacies of violence.”
“We’ve seen too many instances,” the president announced Tuesday, “of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals — primarily African-American and often poor — in ways that raise troubling questions.”
“He is presently lobbying Congress for a bill that would give more power to the executive branch in order to conclude a Pacific Rim trade treaty — an agreement strongly opposed by his own party’s left wing.”
But he provided no such context for Friday’s confrontation between Seattle police and a crowd of largely white anarcho-syndicalists. White House pool reporters did not ask the president about the violence in the Emerald City, and the White House has not issued a statement. Read the rest of this entry »
May Day: 3 officers hurt as rioters march through Seattle
SEATTLE — Police say black-clad May Day marchers hurled wrenches and rocks at officers and hit police with sticks as a Friday evening march through Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood turned violent, injuring three officers — two seriously.
Police responded with pepper spray, pepper balls and flash bang grenades. Officers said several dozen vehicles were damaged. Windows were broken in neighborhood businesses.
“The march quickly went violent. The officers made the appropriate decision to stop that march at that point.”
— Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said one officer had a dislocated shoulder, a second had a broken wrist, and a third had a burn injury to his leg and ankle. They’re recovering at Harborview Medical Center.
“Thankfully, they’re all conscious,” O’Toole said. “We talked to them. They’re in good spirits. Just happy the situation didn’t become more serious.”
The injuries occurred at 7:30 p.m. when officers issued a dispersal order to the group and attempted to clear the street at Broadway and Howell, Seattle police said.
Protesters hurled bottles, rocks, bricks, wrenches, and other projectiles at police, who responded by utilizing pepper spray and pepper balls to break up the increasingly violent crowd, police said. They added protestors also began pushing barricades and trash cans into roadways, and raided a fenced construction site for items they later burned in the street.
Capt. Chris Fowler declared the evening event had “turned into a riot.”
The protestors marched west to the cusp of I-5 near Pine Street, briefly forcing the closure of the northbound offramp to Olive Street. But several dozen police officers used their bicycles, flash bangs and pepper spray to push the protestors back up toward Capitol Hill and eventually hemmed them in at the Seattle Central College plaza where they began what was billed as an anti-capitalist march.
“The march quickly went violent,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said. “The officers made the appropriate decision to stop that march at that point.”
The protest crowd dwindled by late Friday night.
Rioters severely damaged one media SUV, bashing in its windows and tossing a smoke bomb inside.
In all, officials said 15 men and one woman were arrested for investigation of assault, obstruction, and failure to disperse. Read the rest of this entry »