Seattle’s superheroes turned out in force in an effort to help keep things under control at the May Day demonstrations. Of course Seattle’s best-known self-proclaimed superhero, Phoenix Jones, was there, but there were a few less familiar names too.
“I’m El Caballero, C-a-b-a-l-l-e-r-o,” the superhero spelled out.
“My name is Tomahawk, that is T-o-m-a-h-a-w-k,” said his mate.
When you have to spell out your superhero name I guess it means that you haven’t quite established your street cred yet.
They were detained by the police because some were worried about the weapons they were carrying.
“Someone in the protest march was concerned because they saw that we had pepper spray on us,” said El Caballero, who said he was carrying a Taser and flex cuffs.
“They were concerned that we had weapons that were illegal to possess in public. None of the weapons that we carry are illegal to possess in public,” said Tomahawk.
So why do they carry any weapons at all?
“You carry it not because you will always need it but God forbid there is a case where someone is hurting someone and there is no police to be around. They say that when seconds count, police are only minutes away,” said Tomahawk. “We think that the best solution is citizens themselves getting involved firsthand stopping crime where they see and reporting it and getting the proper authorities involved.”
The superheroes didn’t need their weapons on May Day. They did get hit with a stream of silly string and hassled by a few anarchist clowns who threw things at them(another story for another day), Phoenix told the Luke Burbank Show there were no real conflicts and best of all, no property damage during the day.
“I gave them pretty clear warning. I said ‘you throw another object and I’m going to citizens arrest you. How does that feel?'” he said.
The Seattle Police Department quickly moved in and quelled the conflict, recapping it in what’s become one of the most reposted tweets of the day.
“Brief disturbance earlier at Fifth and Jackson between super heroes and clown . Everything’s under control,” tweeted a police spokesman.
The only trouble happened after Phoenix had stood down for the night. He had just sat down to dinner with his wife at a local restaurant when trouble making protesters set their sights on downtown, facing off with police.
“This ruined our dinner, didn’t it?” his wife said as Phoenix rushed to the street. He didn’t have his “supersuit”, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt as he ran into a crowd of about 15 thugs about to throw a trash can through a business window.
“I was able to grab that trash can to the ground and the guy sucker punched me so I hit him back. And he went down,” Phoenix said. “And all the other rioters backed up and the other like 14 decided they didn’t want to fight and they just took off running up the road.”
Despite the mayhem that saw 17 arrested, Phoenix had plenty of praise for Seattle Police, crediting them with keeping damage to a minimum while giving marchers plenty of leeway.
“They handled the protest like bosses. I mean this year was so much better,” he said. “They were completely professional, they used ridiculous amounts of restraint. And you know I’m not a cop fan and I can’t tell you how well they did. They were just great.”
Clowns, superheroes, silly string and hooligans. Only in Seattle.