It started out doubtful with some horrid weather, but as Mama Tits revealed on The Grill on Broadway’s stage at Saturday’s Capitol Hill Pride Festival, a little prayer to brand new Saint Donna Summer apparently worked and the sun returned early Saturday afternoon, then reappeared again Sunday morning resulting in a BEAUTIFUL couple of days.
It was only marred by some ugly reactions by the Seattle Police Department on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. The SPD were out in full force all over the Hill in partial reaction to last year’s incident involving a “queer street dance party” that turned into a protest resulting in some broken windows, damaged ATM’s and graffiti. Determined to avoid a repeat of that incident , the SPD had a large force present on the Hill including at least six police cruisers lined up in a battle formation on 11th. When a crowd 0f 50 or so appeared to organize near 10th and Pike to confront the police, they were pushed back and eventually retreated to Madison between Pony and Madison Pub where the SPD began to disperse the crowd with pepper spray and force. Several were arrested and others were treated on site for exposure to the spray. From the SPD Blotter:
Shortly after 1:00 am, a police commander gave the group the order to get out of the street and back onto the sidewalk. The street was cleared and the group left the street and assembled on the sidewalk. A 25 year old male, who was on the sidewalk, purposely stepped off the sidewalk back into the street and proceeded to walk directly to, and in front of, the police commander. The man clicked his heels and stood at attention in front of the commander. The commander informed the man he was under arrest, and directed officers to arrest him. When the man was taken into custody, the group grew agitated and verbally abusive.
Officers saw an unknown man jump on top of a parked car and begin to stomp and jump up and down on it. Officers ordered the man to stop and get down off the car. The man refused, and pepper spray was used. Several members of the group surged forward and a 24 year old male rushed forward and kicked the commander in the knee. Pepper spray was again used on the suspect. That man was arrested for assault. As officers moved forward to assist the officer, a 30 year old man and a 31 year old woman immediately grabbed onto the man being arrested and attempted to pull him back into the crowd. The 31 year old female had been arrested earlier in the week for trespassing and is well known in the anarchist community. The two were arrested for Hindering Law Enforcement. A 29 year old woman was arrested for Pedestrian Interference and Obstructing, while a 22 year old woman was arrested for Pedestrian Interference during the disturbance.
There is video of the confrontation and the Seattle Police Department doesn’t come off very well. Their reaction to the incident seems extreme…knocking over trash cans and being cheeky to cops really aren’t capital crimes. And, notice how the official report makes frequent use of the word “anarchist”. That word has quickly become a demonizing label to attach to anything against the status quo. It’s become a “Boogeyman” word similar to how the word “Communist” was deployed in the 1940s and 50s. Random acts of stupid violence don’t solve anything except to annoy the majority of people but knocking over trashcans is a petty crime and not quite one worthy of this reaction. It was an ugly and largely unnecessary incident on an otherwise pretty terrific weekend.
The heavy police presence on Capitol Hill this weekend might have helped prevent random incidents like muggings, assaults and bashings, but it’s tough to defend the SPD when they use excessive force to prevent violence against trash cans and spontaneous bursts of disco dancing in the middle of Madison…