Mayday 2014

Fire to Fire


The following is not a report-back on May Day 2014 in Seattle, but rather a brief piece of inquiry and research. It therefore excludes many events from the day in question, though some of this (such as the issues raised by the earlier Immigrant Rights’ march) will be returned to in later articles. Note: Based on discussions with others, a few things have been freshly highlighted, and others that were cut for space have been added back in from earlier drafts to clarify several more controversial points.

The Roving Crowd

We were chasing after disparate pods of people who had come for a march no one could seem to find. It was supposed to have started at the Juvie, but by the time we showed up there were only a handful of folks with a sound-system surrounded by hundreds of armored police. Helicopters swooped low overhead. People crouched down to shield themselves from the sound as they yelled through their phones, trying to figure out where the march had gone.

By the time we caught up with it, the crowd was downtown, following a meandering path with no one in the lead. There were hundreds present, mostly young people who looked like they’d never been in a march before, their eyes shining from the sheer power of it. Everything echoed. The cops kept their distance.