Today is May Day, international workers' day. Veterans will get up up early to march for peace. Workers will take the day off to march for immigrants rights. Anarchists will wear black and break shit. President Donald Trump will demand your loyalty. Some Seattleites will heed his call.
Stuck at work? Homebound? Feeling particularly dejected over the efficacy of mass protest in the face of overwhelming darkness? We've got your back. Follow along with The Stranger as we hit the streets for May Day 2017, from march to MAGA to mayhem. We'll tweet, take pictures, file dispatches and more. Stay tuned.
10:29 p.m.: Police successfully dispersed the crowd at Westlake Park without much incident. Officers made five arrests at Westlake on charges of aggravated assault, theft, obstruction and possession a fixed-blade knife. It was actually really boring.
Meanwhile, speakers blared on outside the King County Youth Detention Center, where protesters have been holding a "Block the Youth Jail" party.
Also, we're headed to bed. Good night.
8:33 p.m.: Cops have started pushing people out of Westlake Park, doing that thing they do with their bikes.
8:27 p.m.: Read Steven Hsieh's interviews with protesters at the "No New Youth Jail Block Party" outside the juvenile detention center.
8:20 p.m.: After dispersal order is issued, another arrest. Is the witching hour about to begin?
8:17 p.m.: Heidi files her dispatch from the first-ever pro-Trump May Day rally at Westlake Center. She spoke to someone who thought she paid antifascists to be there. It is special.
7:44 p.m.: Let's see what happens.
7:35 p.m.: Something has gone horribly wrong. Back at Westlake, pro-Trumpers and antifascists are sharing a joint and... a Pepsi.
In Portland, Pepsi did not work as advertised:
7:18 p.m.: Steven's at the juvie, where Nikkita Oliver is speaking.
Mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver: "It's important for our county to know what it means to double down on building cages." #MayDaySea pic.twitter.com/l03P94w7ka
— Steven Hsieh (@stevenjhsieh) May 2, 2017
6:40 p.m.: Things at Westlake are looking pretty uneventful. Steven's heading to the demonstration outside the juvie.
5:40 p.m.: Steven witnesses his first May Day arrest ever. Welcome, Steven!
4:05 p.m: Heidi is enjoying this Stand Against Communism rally near Westlake.
Eli brings us these shots from the El Comité march:
3:20 p.m: And Sydney filed some more interviews, this time from the El Comité rally at Judkins Park: three students, two immigrants, a warehouse worker and a carpenter. Here's Pedro Espinoza:
"If you want to make this country moves forward, then you have to make sure the workers are treated right, that the workers have safe conditions to work in, and that the workers are better paid so they can live and progress in this country," he says.
2:20 p.m: Sydney filed some interviews she did with Army veterans at this morning's Veterans' March for Peace. Here's Kelly Greer, Army veteran, with Hancock, a dog:
"We're not the world's policemen and we shouldn't be. If there's homeless people here and people dying here, why are we worrying about foreign affairs? Let's take care of us before we take care of someone else."
2:15 p.m: The annual El Comité march has been going strong without incident.
This year, organizers set up quick, "action" stops along the march's route.
1:26 p.m: The march has left Judkins Park.
12:35 p.m: People have been gathering at Judkins park for the El Comité march, which is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sydney and Eli are there.
The cops, meanwhile, are having coffee.
10:40 a.m: Eli went to 23rd and Union, where we heard a Black Lives Matter march was supposed to kick off, but no one seems to be showing up.
10:00 a.m: Sydney is covering the first scheduled event of today, a Veteran's Anti-War Formation. Roughly 35 people, including veterans, turned up bright and early to the Garden of Remembrance and are currently making their way towards Judkins Park.
Garfield students are waving from their classrooms. Vets shout and motion for them to come out, "Out of the school and into the streets!" pic.twitter.com/jr6yurhhX5
— Sydney Brownstone (@sydbrownstone) May 1, 2017
Check back later for photos and interviews from the veterans' march.
9:25 a.m: Eli reviews The Stranger's coverage of May Day since 2012, when black bloc vandalism became an annual ritual. He also runs down today's events:
This time around, the morning brings anti-war veterans protesting at 8:45 am, a Black Lives Matter march setting off from 23rd and Union at 10 am, the El Comité March for Workers and Immigrant Rights at 11 am, and a hoaxy sounding March on Amazon that's set for noon.
Well, Anonymous & Co. say they'll be in Cal Anderson Park "all day," a group promising to combat communists and anticapitalists with prayer and Trump flags plans to be at Westlake at 4 pm, the anticapitalists of the Revolutionary People's Party will be at the King County Juvenile Justice Center at 6 pm, and the Seattle Antifascists will be at Judkins Park, also at 6 pm.