At 6pm on Wednesday May 1st, a few hundred people converged on the Seattle Central Community College campus on Capitol Hill in Seattle for a May Day Anti-Capitalist and Anti-State rally and demonstration. The call out for the march itself had endured weeks of hype and hysteria from the local mainstream media and Seattle Police Department. It seemed that people from all over the city from media outlets, to the cops, to anarchists, reformists, and all sorts of people were speculating and fusing over this year's Anti-Capitalist demonstration. Many expected the crowds to be small and the energy to be low. On the contrary, the atmosphere was festive full of many colors, flags, banners, music, fireworks, and flares. People took to the streets throughout Capitol Hill, eventually winding down towards the long sought after Westlake Park where everyone held various intersections along the way. Throughout the demonstration, members from the media were covered with silly string and pushed out of the crowd. The notorious Seattle Superheroes were present yet easily forgotten, although they also experienced silly string action. The Superheroes were unable to make much of a presence let alone enact their citizen-cop desires.
The march became more rowdy as it approached the downtown sector. Tension was high as people passed by Niketown, one of the main targets of last year's Anti-Capitalist march, a bottle was thrown that amounted to no consequence. A block later, people stopped in the street and danced over air vents while simultaneously spraying the media with silly string and pushing them out of the crowd again. Arrests were made a block later near Westlake Park yet people refused to leave the area. After that, the police steadily pushed people away for blocks in a game that would result in protestors pushing back, that continued all the way back up to Capitol Hill and included the police deploying flash bang grenades and streams of pepper-spray at all those in reach. Once back on the Hill, the group began throwing dumpsters, newspaper boxes, and other items into the streets to defend themselves from the approaching police force. Windows were broken at local businesses and one corporate business. The scramble continued as police laid on heavy assaults and protestors tossed fireworks and other small items. In the end 18 people were arrested, several people were injured from police violence and flash bangs, some police were injured in retaliation, and an overall sense of collective rebellion mixed with the fear and excitement of fighting the police and taking back space filled the air.
Amidst all the fear mongering from the media and the police, people proved themselves to be a force in Seattle, once again. Undaunted by the hysteria and anxiety of the FBI intimidation days before and the almost year long Grand Jury process, social antagonists in Seattle came together as an anti-capitalist festival of chaos and joyful rebellion that one can only hope is becoming a tradition. Happy May Day!