That's PubliCola's own Erica C. Barnett moments after getting pepper sprayed last night and then recuperating in an alley behind the Olive8 hotel and restaurant at 8th and Olive; she was trying to take a photo of a protester who was getting shoved to the ground and arrested by police. (Here's our account of that in last night's MayDay Fizz) and here's a photo Josh got between 6th and 7th of the protester getting thrown into the squad car.
Overall, there were 17 arrests after a day of smashed storefronts on Capitol Hill, tear gas and flash bombs from the SPD, a lively show of fireworks from the protesters plus rocks and debris hurled at police.
The evening of mayhem (which followed a peaceful immigration rights march earlier in the day) puts the spotlight on a question that came up at Monday night's mayoral forum at South Seattle Community College.
"Is the SPD ready for May Day?" emcee C.R. Douglas asked.
A recent report found that the SPD was not prepared for last year's May Day protests where broken windows and violence also erupted, including scary vandalism at Mayor McGinn's house; however, they insisted they were and at a late night press conference after the violence on Wednesday evening SPD Captain Chris Fowler said:
We reacted according to the plan we had in place. We had the immigration march that we staffed for, we sent for additional staffing up east based on the size and as they took the actions that they took, we adjusted the forces necessary to disperse the crowd, which they ultimately did.
Here's how the mayoral candidates responded to the SPD question on Monday night:
City Council member Tim Burgess: "Ask Mike."
City Council member Bruce Harrell: "Yes, my butt depends on it."
Neighborhood activist Kate Martin: "No?"
Socialist Mary Martin: "Prosecute and jail cops who kill and brutalize working people."
Mayor Mike McGinn: "They are working hard."
State Sen. Ed Murray: "Yes. Hope so."
Realtor Charlie Staadecker: "Yes. Hope so."
Former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck: "No, but hope so."
There's another mayoral forum tonight in North Seattle where, no doubt, the issue of police violence and accountability—already a major theme in the race because the SPD is under a federal DOJ consent decree due to a history of excessive use of force—will remain front and center.
Photos by PubliCola