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Capitol Hill businesses are fed up with protests


Businesses on Capitol Hill have had enough of these random protest marches that end in violence and property damage.

It was the small businesses that took the brunt of the window smashing this year. The May Day mob struck their blow against corporate America by smashing windows at places like Bill’s Off Broadway and Sun Liquor.

They stood in for the Niketowns and the Chase Banks of the world.

What says corporate America better than a small restaurant and bar like Bill’s Off Broadway? It’s served this community for 33 years. On Thursday, it has a piece of plywood covering its front window.

What’s the message in that? What point does that serve?

“It’s my neighbor,” Mia Lawrence said. “I’m really mad.” Lawrence runs the coffee shop across from Bill’s. She understands that prime targets like major downtown Seattle retailers need to be protected, but she wondered why more wasn’t done to protect the little guy.

“Shouldn’t you protect small business people?” she asked.

Lawrence said she doesn’t understand why these protests, with no particular message, need to come with vandalism and property damage. “I don’t understand what they’re thinking,” she said.

And she, like many other businesses in this neighborhood, is tired of it.

“Hopefully, this will never happen again,” she said. “Even though they say everything is going to be fine and they will be quietly walking around, always something happens.”

So far six people arrested have been charged. The City Attorney’s Office said three more people who posted bail overnight will be considered for charges at a later time.

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