Black Lives Matter protesters disrupt Seattle traffic after downtown demonstration

SEATTLE — Nearly 1,000 people protested in what has become an annual protest on Black Friday in downtown Seattle.

See photos here.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators gathered at Westlake Center to disrupt holiday shopping. They marched from downtown to South Lake Union, where the protest ended.

Here's a log of events as they happened.

Real-time updates: 

  • 5:45 p.m. The protest appears to have ended. No arrests were reported.  
  • 5:15 p.m. The march at Westlake and Mercer is dissipating.
  • 4:50 p.m. Seattle protesters now blocking Westlake and Mercer. Cars are being diverted off Mercer. 
  • 4:44 p.m. Protesters have surrounded a KIRO 7 photographer so that he can no longer move in the march. KIRO 7 is now streaming chopper 7. 
  • 4:30 p.m. At Westlake, a group is gathering, but they are likely spectators for the tree lighting. The protesters are still marching on Westlake Avenue near Denny. 
  • 4:32 p.m. The protesters are on Westlake Avenue heading toward Denny. The group is chanting "Black Lives Matter."
  • 4:15 p.m. The march is going eastbound on Pike Street from 7th Avenue. 
  • 4:05 p.m. It appears the demonstration is moving again, this time marching south on 5th. 
  • 4 p.m. Protesters remain in downtown Seattle, holding signs. The protest coincides with the tree lighting downtown, which will start around 5:20 p.m.
  • 3:30 p.m. Demonstrators are sitting at Westlake Center as protesters speak. Speakers address protesters about immigration, racism, political prisoners. One young man spoke over a megaphone, "it's important we give Trump an inauguration he never forgets." Earlier in November, councilwoman Kshama Sawant called for a "shutdown" on Trump's inauguration. Read about that here.
  • 3 p.m. Group of demonstrators are back at Westlake Center. 
  • 2:45 p.m. March stops at Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street.
  • 2:30 p.m. Demonstration appears to separate into two groups marching around downtown Seattle. 
  • 2 p.m. People gather for the protest near Westlake. 

The protest happened during the annual tree lighting ceremony, which is smaller this year, but organizers say the reason for the small ceremony is not because of the now-annual protests.

>> Related: Westlake holiday tree lighting to be downsized

The protesters on Friday were not in Westlake during the tree lighting.

In 2014, dozens of Black Lives Matters demonstrators stormed the tree lighting and Westlake Mall.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators say they want people to remember the racial injustice throughout the year.

A Facebook page for the event said, “#BlackLivesMatter, Not Black Friday,” and" No school, no work, no shopping, no excuses. Just hit the streets.”

Seattle police were in the area to keep the protests peaceful.

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