Seattle business leaders gearing up for May Day chaos

by: David Ham Updated:

SEATTLE —

 Anarchists caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage and even triggered a civil emergency last year when they smashed windows during last year's May Day protests.

Niketown was one of the hardest hit businesses, but its employees aren't worried about this year's protests.

"As far as what happened last year and this year, I think things will be just fine," said a manager at the store at Sixth Avenue and Pike Street.

Major retailers in the core, like American Eagle Outfitters, American Apparel and H & M, said they will all be open on May Day and are not taking any extra precautions.

However, the Downtown Seattle Association is gearing up to try and protect businesses.

"We also have some new ability to email people along the route to let them know the march is coming," said Associate President Kate Joncas.

She added, "For us, we have a new database so we can work with the police department on when the march has started."

The Puget Sound Anarchists have not released a route, but plan to meet at Pine and Broadway at 6 p.m. on May 1st.

Immigration reform group El Comite Pro Reforma y Justicia Social is planning a peaceful protest that day starting at Judkins Park at 10 a.m. and ending at the Federal Building in downtown at 3 p.m.

Seattle police said it has a May Day plan and said it will share details of it on Monday.

Mayor Mike McGinn's office said the mayor will wait and see if there's a need to put another civil emergency into effect.

"We will make our decisions on May 1 based on the facts of the ground. SPD has a plan and is staffing to that plan, along with communicating (with) the business and larger community in advance of May 1," said spokesperson Aaron Pickus.

Seattle Parks and Recreation said that the Puget Sound Anarchists have not filed for a permit to protest on May Day.

A Parks and Recreation staff member said while there's no deadline to file a permit for May Day, the office will probably cut off applications around mid-day April 30. 

If protestors do not have a permit, Seattle police decides if they are allowed to march or not.