“This protest is over” – SPD: Second #Blacklivesmatter protest on 12.06 meets heavy police response

12.07.14

Following the original permitted a #Blacklivesmatter protest that started at Garfield High school and ended with a sit-in outside the Seattle Police Department Headquarters, a breakaway protest formed and headed North through downtown Seattle. The march chanted, dodged SPD bike squads & cars, twice attempted to access the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and conducted a largely peaceful protest. Protesters were apprehended during the course of the march – SPD reported making seven arrests – and use of force was frequently employed via pepper spray, tackle take downs of protesters, shoving, and other forms of aggression. This reporter witnessed no property damage or physical assault of police officers committed by protesters. Below are photos and video taken during this protest.

SPD officers guard off ramp from Alaskan Way viaduct.

SPD officers guard off ramp from Alaskan Way viaduct.

“Who is paying you guys to be here?”  asks SPD officer guarding Alaskan Way viaduct off ramp. Crowd laughs.

Protesters march North up 1st avenue against traffic.

Protesters march North up 1st avenue against traffic.

Protester tries to get patrons of adjacent coffee shop to join march

Protester tries to get patrons of adjacent coffee shop to join march

Car driver on 1st shows solidarity

Car driver on 1st shows solidarity

March enters Pike Place market. Several white males were spotted mocking the protesters, taking pictures in front of the march with their hands up and mimicking shooting guns at the crowd.

March enters Pike Place market. Several white males were spotted mocking the protesters, taking pictures in front of the march with their hands up and mimicking shooting guns at the crowd.

Protesters moving through Pike Place Market

Protesters moving through Pike Place Market

Shortly after exiting Pike Place Market and heading north on Western Avenue, oen SPD officer pepper sprayed a protester on the sidewalk of , briefly spattering a legal observer (in the neon green hat). Note that the protester who was pepper sprayed was on the sidewalk.

At this point tensions were high between protesters & police, with SPD initially utilizing pepper spray and again stopping and attempting to arrest protesters as they neared an on-ramp to the Alaskan Way viaduct at Western & Bell street. I witnessed one protester deliver a kick to a SPD officer’s shin in response to a shove from said officer while trying to get around the march. One arrest was made during this incident.

SPD reported protesters throwing rocks at officers. This reporter witnessed no rock throwing.

Protester silently faces SPD at Western & Bell street, holding photo of Trayvon Martin.

Protester silently faces SPD at Western & Bell street, holding photo of Trayvon Martin.

SPD face down protesters at 1st & Bell street, calling for arrested protester to be arrested. At this point SPD began encircling march from behind.

SPD face down protesters at 1st & Bell street, calling for arrested protester to be arrested. At this point SPD began encircling march from behind.

SPD Officer with a big fing weapon surveys protesters.

Ready for war: SPD Officer with a big f***ing weapon surveys protesters.

Protesters continue up Bell Street away from SPD, with officers in riot gear close behind.

Protesters continue up Bell Street away from SPD, with officers in riot gear close behind.

Protester marches on sidewalk while SPD officer maneuvers around her.

Protester marches on sidewalk while SPD officer maneuvers around.

SPD officer overlooks protest at Blanchard & 8th

SPD officer overlooks protest at Blanchard & 8th

Protester gives a speech via bull horn at Blanchard street & 8th. "Property is more important to them than us," she said. "If we were Christmas trees, they would protect us," she added in reference to SPD shielding the black friday Westlake Center tree lighting from protester disruption.

“Property is more important to them than us.” “If we were Christmas trees, they would protect us,” this protester said in reference to SPD attempting to shield the black Friday Westlake Center tree lighting from protester disruption.

Property is more important to them than us

Shortly after requesting crowd to disperse, SPD officers apprehended and presumably arrested a POC protester, who was also a mother of several minors in the crowd. In the video the son can be heard shouting “get the fuck off my mom!” It is unclear to this reporter the reasoning behind her arrest. The SPD twitter feed does not mention this arrest at Blanchard street & 8th.

Son of arrested protester grieves.

Son of arrested protester grieves.

Protester with bullhorn leads march. That individual was tackled and arrested by SPD while he was walking peaceful in front of crowd at intersection of Denny Way & Fairview Avenue.

Protester with bullhorn leads march. That individual was tackled and arrested by SPD while he was walking peacefully in front of march at intersection of Denny Way & Fairview Avenue.

March turns East on Denny Way after dodging SPD in Belltown area.

March turns East on Denny Way after dodging SPD in Belltown area, police following close behind.

As the march approached the intersection of Denny Way & Fairview Avenue, SPD tackled protester leading the march with a bullhorn (featured above in pic), arrested him, and pushed the entire march onto the protest. Above is some of local journalist Casey Jaywork’s coverage.

March turned East on Denny Way, sticking to the sidewalk as commanded by SPD. SPD followed closely, weapons drawn and multiple vans & squad cars blocking the entirety of street. Over a loudspeaker, SPD called for protesters to disperse for purposes of “public safety” and that they should “go home”.

March continued without incident up Denny onto Olive Way.

Protesters chanting on Denny.

SPD officers squirm as protester points out skewed funding priorities.

March ended peacefully with protesters briefly occupying the intersection of Broadway & Olive.

Discourse in the protest aftermath:

The Public Defender’s Association [PDA], a public defense firm in Seattle, is currently investigating SPD’s tactics used in response to protests. Slog reported a PDA staff attorney saying the firm would consider “litigation and other approaches to ensure that people raising issues of racial bias in the justice system have the same freedom to walk the streets and sidewalks and express their views as Seahawks fans after the Superbowl.”

Food for thought: a UC Berkeley study found that Police showing up in riot gear to public demonstrations escalates situations and fuels violent confrontations.

3 thoughts on ““This protest is over” – SPD: Second #Blacklivesmatter protest on 12.06 meets heavy police response

  1. Pingback: Photo Essay: 12.06 #Blacklivesmatter march & protest in pictures | Josh Kelety

  2. Pingback: The law and justice are not the same thing: the double standard of reactionary actions | Josh Kelety

  3. Pingback: SPD misappropriates my footage, uses it to justify harsh response to protests | Josh Kelety

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