Seattle is notorious for its problem of violent protestors, the yearly smashed windows and stolen merchandise businesses are forced to endure due to the May Day protests serve as prime example. Well, according to the president of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild, it’s because Seattle has attracted “professional protestors.”
Ron Smith, the guild president, recently pointed out something odd about the protestors who, on Monday, took to the streets of downtown Seattle to protest the Ferguson decision for the fifth time. It appears that officers are noticing a lot of familiar faces in the crowd of those who wreaked havoc on the city, faces they remember from “each and every May Day” protest.
Smith told King 5, “We saw the same people, the same troublemakers… Even I think someone sitting home watching television, watching news coverage, you’re going to see the same people. The ones engaged in violence, breaking the law, you’ll see the same ones over and over again.”
Smith called the familiar faces “professional protestors.” He informed King 5 that “there are even groups that hold seminars on how to disrupt events and defeat police officers’ crowd control tactics.”
On Friday, hostile protestors managed to force the shutdown of Westlake Center mall a few hours early. The Seattle Times points out that, so far, protesters in Seattle have “snarled traffic and disrupted holiday celebrations.” Additionally, “They’ve been the source of attacks on property, police and the general public. They’ve provoked pepper spray and percussion grenade responses from restrained police. And 11 of them have been arrested.”
If it sounds a lot like every May Day protest in Seattle, now we know why.
Picture courtesy of The Seattle Times.