LOCAL NEWS

Lessons learned after massive ‘float party’ gets shut down in Seattle

Jun 22, 2017, 1:40 PM | Updated: 2:54 pm
A view from Magnuson Park. (TIA International Photography via Seattle Parks flickr)...
A view from Magnuson Park. (TIA International Photography via Seattle Parks flickr)
(TIA International Photography via Seattle Parks flickr)

There are some disappointed swimmers out there after Seattle Parks and Rec and the police department shut down plans for a massive “float party” on Lake Washington.

The “Lk Washington Float Party 2017” scheduled for June 24 was canceled after the organizer received a letter from the city’s parks department on Facebook.

It has come to the Seattle Police Department’s attention that an unpermitted event is planned at either Green Lake or Magnuson Park on Saturday, June 24, 2017, which an estimated 1,500 people are expected to attend,” the message on behalf of the police department from the parks department reds. “Based on the nature of this event, and what has occurred at similar past events, Seattle Police Department is concerned about the safety of both event participants and visitors to Green Lake and Magnuson Parks.

According to the message from the parks department, the organizer of the event applied for a permit but was denied. The department believed people still intended to hold the event, and informed organizers of the law, which states it is unlawful to conduct an event involving 50 or more people in any public park without a permit — a violation can lead to a $500 civil penalty and up to a $5,000 fine for criminal trespassing.

More than 1,600 people said they planned to go to the event on Facebook. At least 14,000 said they were “interested.”

There’s reason to believe that the event organizer didn’t realize that something that began on Facebook and seemed innocent enough was going to get the attention that it has. But, it is clearly stated on the city’s special events page that an approved permit is required, even at a park.

The denial of the permit for this event does raise a question: What would have been the result if it was a free speech event?

First of all, yes, public demonstrations that fit within the definition of a “special event” in Seattle require a permit. Protests and rallies obtain them. But the city has had some difficulty saying no to protests and rallies.

Take the rally by ACT for America on June 10 that was held in opposition to Sharia law. An organizer of that event said he expected violence from a group of people that wouldn’t have otherwise been at City Hall Plaza if it weren’t for that rally. But the city allowed it.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray did condemn the march and rally against Sharia.

“To think that people would come to Seattle and have a hate march against Muslims is reprehensible, but under the First Amendment we’re going to respect their right to free speech,” he said.

And the recent rally in Seattle was permitted after two men were killed in Portland, while protecting two women who were the targets of racial slurs.

Even the ACLU has voiced support of controversial rallies recently, saying free speech outweighs arguments to shut them down.

Of course, the protests and rallies in Seattle are smaller — often much smaller — than an estimated 1,500 or more people. Controlling that kind of crowd would most likely require more than just a few police, because, unfortunately, there are always a few people looking to spoil a good time.

So next time you’re looking to host a summer event in Seattle, just make sure to keep it to fewer than 50 people. Or just say you’re protesting the heat.

Local News

Teen home run ball...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Teen from Puyallup catches home run ball that ended M’s 21-year playoff drought

17-year-old Marchany Roman, of Puyallup, caught the drought-ending home run hit by Cal Raleigh after the M's defeated Oakland Friday night.
1 day ago
smiley woke...
L.B. Gilbert

Tiffany Smiley criticizes Seattle Times over cease and desist letter

After being issued a cease and desist order, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley is now criticizing The Seattle Times.
1 day ago
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 30: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates with fan...
Nicole Jennings

Mariners will not be hosting playoff games this weekend

The Mariners will be playing in the first round of the MLB playoff games this weekend. So how likely is it that those games will take place in Seattle?
1 day ago
Aberdeen High School...
Sam Campbell

Boy accused of using Aberdeen HS TikTok to post shooting threats

Classes are set to resume in Aberdeen after they were canceled because of threats posted to one of the high school’s social media accounts.
1 day ago
Suspect in REI bike theft - Police said the suspect admitted to stealing the bike, and he was arres...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Man suspected of stealing bike from REI worth $2,400 arrested in Bellevue

A man suspected of stealing a bike worth $2,400 was arrested by Bellevue police on Tuesday.
1 day ago
Flood Insurance...
Ted Buehner

Rainy season is in a month, are you ready with flood insurance?

After an all-time record dry summer, it may be hard to believe that the Washington flood season is just around the corner.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Lessons learned after massive ‘float party’ gets shut down in Seattle