Clean-up begins after Seattle May Day violence

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by Associated Press and KING News

KREM.com

Posted on May 2, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Clean-up began Thursday on the streets of Seattle following clashes between police and some protesters during a May Day march.

Seattle Police say 17 people were arrested during the “anti-capitalist” march that started at Seattle Central Community College on Capitol Hill and worked its way downtown.  The march, which did not have a permit, started around 6 p.m. and included about 200 people.

PHOTOS: Seattle May Day protests turn violent

As the group moved closer to downtown, the tone and mood changed an erupted into violence as some people including some self-described anarchists, threw rocks and other objects at police officers and news crews. Eight police officers were hurt, mostly with bumps and bruises. Police said one officer was hit in the knee with a fist-sized rock.

A woman who was driving by the scene was injured when someone hurled a glass bottle at her car, shattering her window. Police said she was treated at the scene for cuts from broken glass.

Police pushed the crowd back using “flash bangs” and pepper spray, and bicycles to form a moving wall.

“In terms of the actions of the protestors, they provided criminal behavior downtown. That's illegal. We’re going to take action against that. We allowed them to march quite freely throughout the city until they created criminal acts,” said Assistant Police Chief Paul McDonagh.

Several cars and businesses were damaged between the downtown corridor and Capitol Hill.

Police say they will form a task force to investigate all the criminal activity and anyone with photos or video is asked to save them. The department said it will also review how officers responded to the violence.

The violence was in stark contrast to a peaceful march earlier in the day by a group called El Comite, which made its way from Judkins Park to the Federal Building in downtown Seattle. Their mission was to bring awareness to the need for immigration and workers rights.

Self-styled Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones and his team were also working Thursday. Police did not restrict Jones during May Day, despite a recommendation by an outside review that they do so. Jones said his mission Wednesday was to keep an eye and ear on the situation and flag down the nearest police officer to handle it.

The scene was far different in Olympia, where there was no vandalism and violence during May Day events. A large police presence was on hand to march with the hundreds of people who attended. That march also did not have a permit.

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