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Seattle businesses recovering after May Day violence

Niketown is not open Wednesday after a group of anarchists broke windows in the May Day protests in Seattle. (97.3 KIRO FM/Chris Sullivan)

Niketown and American Apparel are not open on Wednesday
because of the vandalism to their stores done during the
May Day protests in downtown Seattle yesterday.

Black-clad protesters used sticks and bats to smash stores
and automobile windows during the demonstrations.

“I looked down that block and it’s very discouraging to
see all that plywood up on windows.”

The head of Seattle’s downtown business organization is
discouraged by the May Day rioting, but she credits police
for preventing further damage to storefronts.

“Nothing happened the rest of the day. The rest of the
day was peaceful, the protest went on as planned, the
police obviously adjusted and were able to do a good
job,” said Kate Joncas, President of the Downtown Seattle
Association.

She said businesses were warned and prepared, thanks to
lessons learned from the WTO riots of 1999. Many
businesses quickly locked up and put up their plywood to
avoid damage.

As for the future, Joncas doesn’t believe Tuesday’s
violence will deter tourism even though it is frustrating
for businesses owners trying to recoup.

She said their safety ambassadors were out in the evening
talking to businesses and shoppers and early Wednesday
morning making sure the sidewalks were clear of broken
glass.

Damage done during the first demonstration prompted Mayor
Mike McGinn to issue a special order allowing police to
confiscate makeshift weapons. By Tuesday night, police had
seized about 70 such items, including one with at least a
dozen cigarette lighters taped together.

Meanwhile, police say vandals threw rocks through windows
at the mayor’s home Tuesday evening.

McGinn’s spokesman Aaron Pickus confirmed Wednesday that
the rocks sailed through his dining room and living room
windows around midnight. McGinn and his wife were home but
were not injured.

According to a police report, one of the suspects waved at
the mayor’s wife after she peered out the window.

The mayor plans to hold a news conference at noon on
Wednesday to address the protests.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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