Seattle Police Chief: “This is no longer demonstration management, this has turned into a riot.”
The past few days have been difficult for American law enforcement.
First, the Baltimore officers involved in the arrest and subsequent death of new civil rights icon, Freddie Gray, have had the legal book thrown at them.
Now, protests in several of country’s deepest blue and most “tolerant” areas have devolved into hostilities against police.
Crowds clashed with police during May Day marches in several U.S. West Coast cities late on Friday, as officers responded with stun grenades and pepper spray, police and media said.
Anti-capitalist protesters hurled wrenches and rocks at officers in Seattle, police said. Demonstrators in Oakland, California, and several other cities, rallied against a series of police killings of unarmed black men, local media reported.
Footage on social media showed protesters smashing shop windows in Seattle and crowds scattering as police in riot gear threw in “flashbang” grenades. Demonstrators set fire to garbage and damaged at least two dozen vehicles, police said.
The city’s top law enforcement officer shared this:
“This is no longer demonstration management, this has turned into a riot” -Captain Chris Fowler. #MayDaySea
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) May 2, 2015
Video post on News 24/24 shows a snippet of what Seattle law enforcement has been trying to contain.
The tweets from the demonstrations show many white Social Justice Warriors, as some professionally constructed signs amid the home-made variety.
It appears that the Seattle mayor may have participated at some point.
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) April 27, 2015
However, after violence erupted, Seattle’s chief executive had a change of heart.
“Tonight we saw assaults on police officers and senseless property damage, which cannot be tolerated,” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement. “Those who are violent will be arrested. We will work to disperse groups that are threatening the safety of our residents and businesses.”
Police also clashed with protestors in the progressive haven of tolerance known as Portland, too.
Portland police used tear gas, flash bangs and what they called “noise distractionary devices” to try and disperse protesters in downtown Portland Friday evening. At least one officer was injured during the clashes. The group Don’t Shoot Portland, protesting excessive force by law enforcement, marched through downtown Portland Friday afternoon and joined an unrelated May Day rally for immigrant rights.
Here is the modern-day activists’ idea of a trophy:
The total number of flash bangs were used against Tea Party protest participants during its entire history: Zero. But, I digress.
I will simply point out that, like in Seattle, the Portland demonstrations appear to feature more than a few white Social Justice Warriors and high quality signage.
— Mike Bivins (@itsmikebivins) May 1, 2015
On the other hand, related demonstrations in the Golden State were much calmer. May Day celebrations of “International Workers Day” melded into racial justice politics in several Northern California cities:
May Day activists who traditionally marched for labor and immigrant rights in U.S. cities on Friday broadened their message this year to lash out against police brutality and the “tech elite,” where in Silicon Valley, many are being forced out of high-priced, gentrified neighborhoods. That includes Black Lives Matter protests throughout the Bay Area – with official rallies, pickets and shutdowns on Friday in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose.
In my home town of San Diego, the demonstrations were also peaceful:
Demonstrators chanted “No justice, no peace, no racist police,” in San Diego as a symbol of solidarity with Baltimore protesters in their own march Wednesday. About 150 demonstrators marched in City Heights for the victims of police brutality, per CBS 8. Although there were reports of a demonstrator throwing a bottle, police say the protest was mostly peaceful.
Looking at all the information, I have to join the chorus of analysts asking, “who benefits” from this unrest?
I also project that we will see even more of these “organic” protests arise, as distractions from the failed, feel-good, progressive policies that have created the toxic economic conditions that may have led Freddie Gray to start his drug dealing in the first place.DONATE
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