Anarchists Attempt to Disrupt Seattle Pride Weekend
Several hundred anarchists marred Seattle Pride weekend when they vandalized stores and smashed windows in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood early on Sunday, June 26.
According to the Seattle Police Department, the disturbance began shortly after midnight when a flash mob gathered to dance. It soon grew out of control and began to create havoc.
Witnesses say the anarchists marched down 12th Avenue and Broadway, yelling and chanting. Some carried rainbow flags; others wore masks and carried red-and-black flags. The group ultimately began to smash storefront windows and spray paint slogans-the anarchists even broke a patrol car’s windshield. The SPD reported the mob also damaged a bank ATM.
Armed with gas masks and riot gear, officers swarmed the crowd of anarchists. They arrested one person and Tasered another.
The crowd quickly dispersed.
SPD officials say the mob action did not appear to be directly linked with the weekend’s gay Pride festivities. A post on the anarchists’ website, however, said the flash mob was a protest over what they described as the assimilation of gay Pride into the commercial mainstream-a radical LGBT group used similar rhetoric to justify the vandalism of the Human Rights Campaign’s Washington, D.C., store early on Wednesday, June 29.
"Right before midnight last night, near everyone’s favorite gay bar, big groups of people began to assemble on the corners of 12th and Madison. Anxiety and excitement filled the air as everyone waited for the music to start," posted the Seattle anarchists on their website. "At the stroke of midnight, the music started, unfortunately quietly, but the energy in the crowd surpassed the need for music and people jumped and cheered with their friends. The crowd began to move quickly turning down a quiet street, which was occupied by one of the anti-youth ’beer gardens’, people jumped on the fence attempting to tear it down as others ran around attacking two empty police cars on the street."
What started as a crowd of 200 shrunk to roughly 150 after the anarchists smashed the police car’s windshield.
"But the fabulously queer and fierce crowd continued down Broadway, the main drag of Capitol Hill, the music could barely be heard yet the screams and cheers of everyone running through the streets penetrated the normally banal existence of the Hill," continued the anarchists’ blog post. "A Bank of America ATM was smashed in front of the now 100 or so group of defiant queers. The cops were tailing still at this point but were not willing to advance. Chants of "We’re here, we’re queer, we’re anarchists, will fuck you up" or the same except for "We’re fabulous, will fuck you up. Toward the end an American Apparel was descended upon as a majority of the windows were broken. At this point people began to run as the number of cops increased behind the crowd," said the anarchists.