Sure a couple hundred protestors caused a ruckus after dark Wednesday night. But let’s not forget that thousands upon thousands of demonstrators rallied peacefully for social and political causes.
For most of May Day, it was all about the chants and drumming, the homemade placards and the flags. You know, the way protest rallies are supposed to be.
At dinnertime May Day, the demonstrators were happy.
“The day went wonderfully. It went wonderfully. You can’t argue with happy people out supporting such a great cause,” said one demonstrator.
The cops were happy too:
“That went off without a hitch today. The officers provided great traffic control and escort duties for that, again that was thousands of people and they exercised their first amendment right and it finished without any incident,” said Seattle Police Captain Chris Fowler.
Immigration reform drew the most marchers, with up to 4,000 people moving from Judkins Park through the International District to the Federal Building in downtown Seattle.
My favorite sign from this rally? “To heck with weed, legalize my Mom.”
The U.S. Senate is considering a bill that could end up legalizing as many as 10 million “illegals” now in this country.
May Day is traditionally a celebration of labor, in this country and around the world for that matter, and many rallied under banners celebrating the working class and advocating for workers’ rights.
“May Day is about labor. It’s about honoring those who organized and who formed unions and who wanted to make a difference and did,” said one person who turned out for the march.
And sure things got ugly Wednesday night, something that dismayed Mayor Mike McGinn, but he did put the whole day in perspective.
“I think we really have to take a look at the fact that, that first march came downtown it was absolutely peaceful. I walked out of my office in city hall and went down to Fourth Avenue, said hello to people going by. It was almost a festive affair, and they had some very serious messages too they wanted to express.”