MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Will businesses be spared during May Day 2018?

Apr 30, 2018, 12:58 PM | Updated: May 1, 2018, 10:20 am

May day...

A "peace joint" is lit during the 2017 May Day protests. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The typical sounds of May Day were replaced last year with people coughing from a “peace joint” and cracking open a Pepsi.

May Day 2017: The winners and losers

But is there reason to believe that will be the case once again on Tuesday, and will businesses be mostly spared?

James Sido with the Downtown Seattle Association says people seem to be directing their frustrations at others with opposing viewpoints, instead of businesses. Just look back at the past eight to 12 months of protests.

Two of the most disruptive protests in the city occurred at the University of Washington campus. During an event featuring Milo Yiannopoulos last year, one person was shot during a confrontation between Trump and anti-Trump supporters. In February, several fights broke out during a “freedom rally” hosted by College Republicans.

And sure, it was just over a week ago when protesters opposing a new King County youth jail were arrested for blocking access to the construction site. In March, people protesting the same youth jail blocked traffic for six hours and were at least a partial cause of citywide delays.

Of course, there have been the usual protests against city policy and big business, with much of the focus being on Amazon and the city’s affordability problem.

RELATED: Thousands attend peaceful Women’s March

Sido says things during May Day have slowly improved since 2012. That year, masked marchers dressed in black shattered windows and doors on downtown banks and stores, tried to set fire to a federal building and vandalized vehicles. About 70 weapons were seized. Last year, only five arrests were made in Seattle.

Sido credits communication between business owners, police, and other interested parties as at least part of the solution to a better May Day. He also says the peaceful Workers’ Day protests that May Day is supposed to be all about should be commended.

Still, there are some Seattle businesses preparing for the worst. Especially after the riots last year in Olympia, which proved chaos is just one broken window away. Nine people were arrested after $50,000 in damage was done and two police officers sustained minor injuries.

KIRO 7 reports the Starbucks Reserve Roastery will once again board up its glass windows with plywood. The Roastery has done this for the past four years, according to KIRO 7. Others are taking similar preemptive action.

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Will businesses be spared during May Day 2018?