Four arrested after rally in downtown Seattle
A far-right rally in downtown Seattle called United Against Hate brought hundreds of protesters Sunday afternoon.
Bullhorns, drums and chanting brought a lot of attention – including dozens of officers using bicycles to form walls and break up protests. Seattle police report that four people were arrested and that two police cruisers were damaged in an hours-long standoff.
Protesters were attracted to the rally by the speakers at Sunday’s rally. Among them was Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson, who spent a good portion of the afternoon advocating for state Rep. Matt Shea. Shea has drawn condemnation from within his own political party for recent actions and reports accuse him of “domestic terrorism.” Nonetheless, Gibson called him a patriot.
“They’re trying to send a message to every single elected official, either stand with us, the feds, or you’ll be labeled a domestic terrorist,” said Gibson.
Across the street, protesters like Cynthia Whetsell – a member of Refuse Fascism – were armed with bullhorns.
“They’re cowards,” said Whetsell. “They’re the ground troops for (President Donald) Trump. When people are silent, it’s like they resign themselves to this.”
Whetsell and a number of other far-left activists took to the streets in an attempt to block out the messaging. In reality, the activists protesting the rally outnumbered the actual attendees of the far-right event. Among the crowd protesting, there were John Brown Gun Club members armed with rifles, Antifa members and the Refuse Fascism.
Bus routes were canceled or postposed for a portion of the afternoon as streets around Seattle City Hall plaza had to shut down as police and protesters faced off.
At least one protester was caught on camera throwing something into a crowd. Police have not responded to calls for comments about what unfolded but have released a statement indicating that three adults were arrested for throwing rocks or gravel.
By Matt Smith, KIRO 7 News