The celebration of May Day originated in pre-Christian times and is best known for dances around the May Pole and the welcoming of summer, basically a fun and light-hearted holiday. However, according to Wikipedia some May Day celebrations often became “raucous celebrations”.
The breaking of windows in retail businesses, the courthouse and even personal vehicles in Seattle is what most people will remember about May Day 2012 which is unfortunate for those who had hopes of a peaceful protest in downtown Seattle.
Unfortunately for those hoping for a peaceful demonstration down the streets of Seattle, the raucous behavior became the focus and all of the credibility the demonstrators had was thrown out the window by a handful of unruly and law-breaking citizens.
Several people have been arrested for their part in the May Day mess. Among them is an art student, a barista, an ER Tech and a law firm secretary. Many have been charged with felony assaults.
Because of the violent manner in which this small group of protesters were behaving, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed an emergency order allowing police to confiscate sticks, tire irons, hammers and any other instrument that could be used as a weapon.
Three hundred peaceful protestors marched towards Westlake Center and were joined by around 75 black-clad protestors wearing masks.
The black-clothing wearing group soon started attacking places like Starbucks and Niketown. Ironically, one news station showed someone breaking the windows at Niketown while wearing Nikes.
Others flailed their sticks and hammers at bank branches of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, HSBC and Homestreet banks.
One of them had a long stick with bolts screwed into the ends of it.
Police even recovered homemade incendiary devices made out of toilet paper rolls and fruit juice boxes.
Why do the antics of a few have to ruin the peaceful and civil protests of the majority, and why does this seem to always happen in Seattle?
Unfortunately for those uncivilized individuals all the public sees is how crazed they are and they lose all credibility. Basically, they are now seen as bullies.
Along with that they have now ruined the integrity of those who wanted to pursue their constitutional rights to a peaceful demonstration.
I don’t know what the answer is because selfishness seems to out-trump the good of the whole in so many circumstances these days.
Police will have to continue to protect the safety of the public at these demonstrations and hope that their efforts will not be in vain.
Hopefully these disruptive thugs will grow up and see that their need to trash property only gets them a criminal record.