Seattle mayor praises May Day protesters

May 2, 2017, 8:50 AM | Updated: 9:25 am

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is praising May Day protesters and says the city was “a model of collaboration” on a day that usually turns chaotic.

“Seattle residents proudly set the example for national resistance to the Trump agenda on May Day when thousands came out and peacefully marched for immigration and labor rights,” Murray said in a statement.

“The Seattle Police Department also came through as a model, supporting the marchers and ensuring their important civil rights message was heard.”

This year’s unpermitted Seattle May Day events were relatively calm compared to what they have been since 2012 – the first time in the anarchists disrupted local May Day events with violence.

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This time instead of clashing, some rolled marijuana joints on the back of a protest sign. (Warning: The following tweet contains profanity)

“Look we all fight, but then we roll some weed and come together,” one protester said.

“Doesn’t matter the political party,” another protester said with a smile.

Seattle Times reporter Bob Young also caught video of the opposing protesters sharing a Pepsi, mocking the Pepsi commercial featuring Kendall Jenner that was pulled after the soda company was accused of trivializing Black Lives Matter.

KIRO Radio’s Josh Kerns called this “the most unexpected May Day” he’s seen over the years.

“In fact, there were far fewer demonstrators of any kind on the streets of Seattle than we’ve seen for many other demonstrations, even over the last few months,” he said. “Police had sent strong signals into the community that they were not going to tolerate even the slightest bit of violence or property damage and that may have dampened the crowd somewhat. But on a day that started with Starbucks boarding up its iconic roastery, at the end of it, the Capitol Hill area and into downtown was quieter than even more normal Monday nights becuase so many people had been scared away from the area.”

Still, Seattle police still had to issue a dispersal order to demonstrators in Westlake Park. Five people were arrested overall during Seattle demonstrations. Tensions rose slightly later in the evening, but it was mostly between officers and protesters as Seattle police attempted to clear the area. The protests were more chaotic in Olympia, where nine people were arrested and two injured, as well as in places like downtown Portland, where 25 protesters were arrested for reportedly hurling bottles and Molotov cocktails at police.

In Olympia, the clashes weren’t between cops and protesters but between demonstrators and onlookers who were fed up with the damage being caused.

KIRO 7 contributed to this report.

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