Filed under: Action, Analysis, Anarchist Movement, Anti-fascist, Northwest
Report back and critical personal reflection on recent mobilization against the Three Percenters in Seattle, Washington. Originally posted to It’s Going Down.
We arrived at Seattle city hall Plaza at 9am. Immediately the police began setting up the barriers for the protest. Slowly the cops boxed us in and secured the perimeter they wanted for the day. It was a skeleton crew of police until after 930 AM when they started denying a smaller bloc access to the plaza. By then the bloc was just under 40 people and we were effectively kettled. As time went on more police began to show. By 10am we were locked down in the plaza surrounded by the cops. We did our best to stay warm in the rain and danced to some tunes from an amp while we prepared ourselves for what might be a mass arrest or an effort to push us out. By 11AM the police had their overwhelming force they were seeking and began mobilizing for their plan to push us off the plaza towards 4th and cherry. The dispersal order was called around 1115 AM and bike cops made their way into the plaza while forming a wall of bikes. We were pushed off the plaza, down the steps, and into the intersection. I’m so fucking happy that no one got arrested in the plaza and that we were able to hold the space for over 2 hours. It took an army to jostle us out. So much love to all the comrades who put their asses on the line.
Once we were pushed to the intersection of 4th and Cherry we were surrounded by what must have been 120 to 150 riot and traffic cops. The bike cops pushed us out of the intersection and into the smaller bloc that had arrived too late to get into the plaza.
Huge thank you to everyone who showed up with us to oppose Matt Shea’s brand of hate at the WA 3% rally in Seattle!
Special thanks to @CLAFCoalition, the Sparkle Orchestra, and all those in shades of black helping to protect Seattle, at a time when many look the other way. pic.twitter.com/YTe2VQNWv3
— Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club (@PugetSoundJBGC) January 7, 2020
We were warmly welcomed by them and everyone was relieved that we were united. There was also the Puget Sound John Brown Gun Club on the sidewalk (which was super relieving as well). By this point it was 1140 AM. Police sectioned off cherry with barriers and the bloc had grown to 65+. We heckled the police, made at least 1 cop cry, yelled at the reactionaries gloating about the pigs doing their dirty work, and inspired bystanders to come join us in the streets. We held that position for just under half an hour and the bloc made its way to link up with the CLAF rally on 4th and James. Briefly we held the streets on James but the police had then pushed us to the sidewalk to be among the other protesters. The CLAF rally was an alphabet soup of anti-capitalist and anti-fascist orgs. Having multiple fireteams there was very comforting (thanks for that). The picketers made us feel welcomed as we regrouped. The elders in particular were a delight per usual.
#NotHateisStillHate has to be quarantined behind cordons of force pic.twitter.com/fvnCLTQ6Zo
— stupice (@stupice) January 5, 2020
As everyone caught their breath the threepers began to prepare to leave. So naturally we rallied to cut them off. The bloc and allies walked up fourth, crossed the street and then walked back towards city hall flanking the riot cops that had been fencing in the CLAF rally. The police really didn’t like that or expect it so they rallied their bike cops to start pushing us away from their flank. The police began making arrests after claiming gravel had been thrown and briefly kettled some of the bloc. The bloc was released after arrests happened and we regrouped. Then a cop car received some redecorating. The police got upset and staged a sloppy baton line that resulted in an elderly woman being knocked to the ground. She took it like a champ, didn’t give a fuck, and continued shaming the police for being a bunch of murderers. By this point the Bloc was at 4th and Columbia and there was a sea of fucking pigs. From within sight one could see over 120 in formation to deal with the bloc, the police still securing city hall, and the knowledge that more were escorting the three percenters. All together it had to be over 250 or 300 police (if you include traffic control and support roles) that were mobilized. The police out numbered the antifascists and the reactionaries combined. The police had lost their temper and continued to route the bloc away from the reactionaries. Yet people continue the step by step fight.
#RIGHTNOW: Patriot Prayer / Washington 3%ers getting total Seattle PD protection here at City Hall. pic.twitter.com/IIhtWKLpGm
— Sam Tyler (@RadNewsMedia) January 5, 2020
In reflection of the day it was frustrating, but impressive. The police’s hornet nest was kicked very hard and it took them hours to gain the control they wanted over downtown. The reactionaries had their rally delayed and the majority of the speakers (and significant portion of the attendees) were the usual grifters who will throw each other under the bus the moment one of them inconveniences the others’ grift. Half of the speakers didn’t even show up. I’m very proud for all who showed up even with concerns that the militiamen would shoot someone. It’s important that we don’t get discouraged by these threats.
For far-Right militias rallying in support of theocracy and authoritarianism the police offer protection. For the public standing up to them, violence. #Seattle https://t.co/lnI9eofN9K
— It's Going Down (@IGD_News) January 5, 2020
Comrades made great use of umbrellas and I encourage they become a staple of the bloc. Umbrellas are very advantageous for concealing the bloc, protecting against pepper spray, and are useful in obscuring click-bait footage obtained by right-wing youtubers. It would be helpful to bring extra masks for those that join off the street and for people with less ideal bloc. A big theme of the day was the bloc always being just out of reach of the police and people watching out for arrest risks. This is going to be a long year with many battles. It’s important to not succumb to the attrition of arrests and burnout.
We need to grow. We need to adapt. We need to take care of ourselves.
Our love for each other will be what keeps us fighting.
With Solidarity and Adoration,