May Day is known as a day of mass demonstrations in cities across the United States. In Seattle, however, it has become a day known for violent and destructive marches through downtown.
An annual, peaceful immigrant and worker march takes place during the day on May 1. But that message is generally lost as anarchists usually descend upon downtown during the evening.
Whether you’ll be protesting on May Day or avoiding the crowds, you can see a list aggregated by KIRO 7 News of activities throughout the day.
Veteran's Anti-War Formation March
The march, hosted by the Washington Veteran Action Network, says on its event page that it is calling for a formation of veterans and anti-war activists to hold a vigil for those who have died in “unjust wars,” and to unite with the working class to “defend the people by combating the oppression of all human beings.”
- When: 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
- Where: Participants will gather at the Garden of Remembrance, corner of Second and University, Seattle and then march to Judkins Park.
March for immigration workers’ rights
Socialist Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant and leaders with the "May Day of Resistance" say their march will reunited workers and immigrants who they believed are targeted by President Donald Trump’s administration. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend, according to the Facebook event page.
- When: Rally from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Where: The march will leave Judkins Park and heads toward Swedish Hospital, at 3 p.m. the march will go to the Amazon Doppler building, and it will end at the Seattle Center.
KIRO 7 News made this map based off the information so that you can avoid traffic delays.
Anonymous May Day March Seattle
According to a Facebook group, anonymous “stands in solidarity with the occupy movement in call for the May Day strike as well as the May Day march.” The group calls for no shopping or work this day.
- When: Rally time is not specific
- Where: Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill
University of Washington rally
A academic student employees union will gather to take action as part of a nationwide day of resistance. According to the event page, UW workers and students are joining the call for resistance across the country and against threats to their ability to work and study. It’s unclear if the rally will become a march.
- When: Rally time is not specific
- Where: University of Washington
Stand Against Communism rally
A group of about 50 pro-Donald Trump activists who are members of the group Patriot Prayer will travel from Vancouver, Wash. to Seattle, according to Seattle Patch. The organizer of the rally, Joey Gibson, told the Patch that some members will be armed with guns but has asked everyone in the group to remain nonviolent. Gibson expects Seattle-area conservatives to join the demonstration.
- When: 4 p.m.
- Where: Westlake Park in Seattle
Puget Sound Anarchists rally in Olympia
The Puget Sound Anarchists group in Olympia say May Day is an international day of action. It’s calling on protesters to “stop everything,” according to a blog post.
- When: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Where: 4 Avenue and Capitol Way in downtown Olympia
Bloc the Juvie! popup block party
A news release for the event says hip hop artists, musicians, educators and community builders will be participating in a general strike against facism. A pop-up block party will have numerous live performances, food and speakers.
- When: 5 p.m.
- Where: 12th and Alder
May Day antifascists rally
A Facebook event page calls for people to dress in black and gather at the King County Juvenile Detention Center as part of an “antifascists” rally. The group says instead of building a juvenile center that the city should “build community.”
- When: 6 p.m.
- Where: 1211 East Alder Street
Safety tips for May Day
Alert Seattle released tips for residents and businesses to consider during May Day events. Read it below.
Preparing for May Day in Seattle
KIRO 7 News went to a warehouse last week where police were training for May Day protests.
Police Captain Chris Fowler has organized Seattle’s May Day response over the past four years.
“We’ve seen officers hit with sticks, we’ve seen bottles, rocks thrown at officers, we’ve seen members of the media assaulted by those devices, we’ve seen the Molotov cocktail,” Fowler said.
“What’s a little bit different this year is we see multiple different groups starting in other parts of the city that are either going to converge at Judkins Park or will end up at the Seattle Center,” he said. “We also know of an event at the University of Washington. So we are taking all those into consideration as we develop our plan.”
Last year, officers successfully corralled anti-capitalist protesters in SODO.
Fowler says police will take cues from protesters in how they respond.
The general rule in Seattle is to allow peaceful protests and expressions of speech. But there are times when violence or property damage occurs, and that is where police draw the line.
© 2017 Cox Media Group.