LOCAL NEWS

Seattle protest ends just before Friday afternoon commute

Mar 2, 2018, 8:30 AM | Updated: 2:27 pm
protest...
(WSDOT image)
(WSDOT image)

After nearly six hours, protesters in downtown Seattle ended their demonstration. But not before traffic came to a screeching halt on surface streets, I-5, and westbound I-90.

Open letter to City of Seattle

“The demonstration has moved out of the road at 5th and Stewart,” Seattle police tweeted around 2:20 p.m. “Officers will be reopening streets shortly. Thank you for your patience today as we worked to bring this to a safe resolution.”

Patience? While no injuries or road rage incidents were reported, drivers and bus riders could hardly be described as patient. Maybe tolerant. They dealt with long backups, detours, and some even got out to walk to places like Harborview Medical Center.

“If they want to continue to march around the city, we’re going to continue to let them march around the city,” Seattle Police Detective Patrick Michaud explained to KIRO Radio. “We prefer they do it on the sidewalk, but if they want to march in the street, they have that right.”

PHOTOS: Protest backs up I-5, I-90

KIRO Radio learned that the protesters did not have a permit for the protest, but Michaud said the department doesn’t track permits for protests. It’s a city function rather than police function.

Among the protesters was former Seattle mayoral candidate and activist Nikkita Oliver, who wrote:

“They are protesting the building of a $233 million children’s jail being built in King County in Seattle, WA. We don’t need a new jail we need services, equity and trauma informed care.”

A delivery driver told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson, “If you stop one ambulance from getting to the hospital, it stops being non-violent, in my opinion.”

Check the Traffic Map

Another driver fed up with traffic took matters into her own hands.

KING 5’s Alex Rozier tweeted a video of the driver pushing her way through the Seattle protest.

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Seattle protest ends just before Friday afternoon commute