Rather than engage in a war of attrition with the RCP, some anarchists
decided to call for a distinct demonstration in solidarity with Ferguson
rebels for Saturday night November 29. The call-out was titled “Ferguson’s
burning. What’s Seattle gonna do?”. The intention was to create a space where people could act their rage however they saw fit, instead of trying to manage and control popular anger for a narrow political platform.
A crowd of about 60 people (most of whom were dressed in all black with faces covered) met at Seattle Central Community College on Capitol Hill at 10pm. There were at least three large banners with anti-cop slogans painted on them, and a noticeable absence of protest signs and placards that permeated the week’s previous events.
The march departed from SCCC and went north on Broadway. As has become common in the last couple of years, cops on bikes flanked the march on both sides. The cops allowed demonstrators to take (and keep) the street, but the wall of bikes had a definite effect of preventing marchers from doing much other than marching in the street at first.
Everyone marched north on Broadway, then circled a block and went south on
Broadway again. Drunken cheering was heard passing the Highline (Capitol Hill
punk bar for punks who can no longer afford Capitol Hill). At Union Street
the cops tried to prevent the march from going East, at which point people
turned around and jogged through a maze of police vans and back around the
corner to Pike. In the process someone threw a paint bomb at the driver’s
side window of an (occupied) police van. The paint bomb was followed by a
rock through the same window, which reportedly hit the pig who was driving
the van in the face.
As the march made its way up Pike, some people succeeded in blocking off the bike cops by pushing construction sidewalkway barricades to block their path. The bike cops were incredibly slow to respond to being fenced in, and seemed very confused about how to dismount and push their way out of the newly fenced-in path. Another rock was chucked at another police van, but only succeeded in denting the exterior.
The march took a right on 13th Ave. More rocks were thrown at the Bank of
America but no windows were broken (aim for the corners). The police still
had not managed to regroup their bike flank by this point and were lagging
On Madison the march turned down the hill, to the right. The police seemed
worried that the angry crowd would go back to the Pike/Pine corridor, and
formed a line of bikes to block off 12th. In their haste to block the street,
they either didn’t notice or didn’t care about the Ferrari dealership (later
referred to as a “local business” on the SPD blotter) left completely
unguarded on the corner. One of many large windows on the dealership
was busted out, sending shards of glass raining down on a luxury car.
After the attack on the Ferrari showroom the march became a game of cat and mouse with the cops. At points it seemed that the cops were allowing marchers to go where they wanted, other times they seemed to be funneling everyone to a particular place, but the bloc was strong in numbers and in outfits which allowed people to remain anonymous and free while still causing trouble. By the time it got to the back entrance of the QFC parking lot many people had split off from the march. No one was arrested.
This march was the rowdiest that Seattle has gotten in a couple years, and
definitely the rowdiest things have been since the police began their
strategy of letting people take the street by lining the sidewalk with bikes.
The themes of this march were markedly different from other events around
Mike Brown’s murder in Seattle. While more propaganda to hand out would have been useful, many people did a good job of not allowing the narrative to get narrowed down to a single-issue campaign. Calls for justice for Mike Brown are painfully limited – what could justice even look like in a world ordered by capitalism, the state, the police and their necessary pillar of white
supremacy? We refuse to settle for half-measures and reforms; it’s all got to
go. People did a great job of looking out for each other. Take care of each other and let’s do it again!