This is a very short, incomplete recap of the most recent events in Seattle. It concerns only the anarchists, not the protests organized by the family of the deceased. Undoubtedly, someone else will write a more thorough analysis for those of you who don't live in Seattle.
FIRST NIGHT (picture below)
On the night of Tuesday, February 15, the media began reporting that the City Prosecutor had decided not to prosecute police officer Ian Birk for the murder of John T. Williams. Soon after, an event appeared on Facebook, calling for people to meet at 6pm on Wednesday, February 16, for a night of protest at Westlake Plaza, a busy shopping district in the heart of Downtown Seattle. The next day, anarchists leafletted for the demonstration throughout Capitol Hill and into downtown. The first protest brought 600-700 people into the street, all marching without a permit. The crowd marched up to Capitol Hill and met a line of riot police guarding the East Precinct. The crowd was angry and volatile but there were no major incidents that evening, and the march was unable/unwilling to break the police line.
SECOND NIGHT (picture below)
Another Facebook event appeared that night, urging further action despite Ian Birk's resignation from the police force. The second protest, on Friday, February 18th, brought a fluctuating group of about 150 people out onto the streets, most of whom marched behind anarchist banners and some of whom held black flags.
Once again, the march took off without a permit. Thousands (literally) of anarchist leaflets were thrown into the air. Chants such as "An eye for an eye, the pigs gotta die" and "Cops and judges, we don't need 'em, all we want is TOTAL FREEDOM!" were yelled at the police.
Meanwhile, it was overheard on the police scanner that at around 6 PM, the West Precinct's outside gas line was disconnected and the entire building had to be evacuated. It is unknown whether this was related, or if it is true.
The anarchist block numbered about 50. There were perhaps 15 RCP acolytes, but they remained marginal throughout the protest (at one point, the chant "boring leader" was directed at them by the crowd). Most of the crowd was supportive and gravitated towards the anarchist block. The dozens of flags on wooden poles that were passed out by the anarchists were gladly accepted, as were stacks of leaflets to be thrown into the air.
The anarchist block pushed out the media when they tried to get inside their space during the beginning of the march. Road flares illuminated the march as it wound through the Belltown district. At one point, a Bank Of America had one of its windows smashed out. When the march reached Downtown again, the crowd had grown to just over 200. After the march took a turn into oncoming traffic, the rear window of a police cruiser was smashed out. The pig inside got out of the car but forgot to put it in park. The cruiser then smashed into the police van ahead of it, making the crowd go wild in applause and jubilation. In a panic, the police flooded the area and began to pepperspray people and back them up with their horses. Multiple cops were observed getting hit by objects and fists from the crowd. In one notable instance, undercover cops were outed by the crowd and then one was hit in the skull with the butt of a flag pole. A smoke bomb was thrown at the horse cops, causing even more confusion. At this point, the crowd in the area left and resumed the march.
Later, as the march continued, one person was arrested for (according to mainstream media reports) allegedly breaking the cruiser window. The march went to the jail and about 70 people held a noise demo for the people inside. After that, the marchers proceeded to Pioneer Square where they broke through a police line, fought with the police, and then marched up to Capitol Hill. There, it circled the streets and drew people out of the bars with chants of "Out of the bars, into the streets!". The march again went to the East Precinct, the place where a police cruiser had been smashed a week earlier in a smaller march. The precinct had been under siege and guarded by 60 riot police for the entire evening from 6 until at least midnight. When the march arrived, they yelled and threw objects at the police. After this, they left and continued onward. It is unclear when it ended, exactly.
The composition of the crowd that began the demo at 6 PM differed considerably from the crowd that confronted the police at the precinct at 10:30 PM, meaning that many hundreds of people participated in the march. The only things that remained consistent were the black flags, the anger, and the determination. The march functioned autonomously for 6 hours, drawing in members of the population who, at this point, do not hesitate to chant "What do we want? DEAD PIGS! When do we want them? NOW!"
Later that night, at 3:30 AM, the mainstream media reported that a community police station had been set on fire.
More info forthcoming.
Footage of cruiser collision and arson: http://www.kirotv.com/video/26925128/index.html
http://www.q13fox.com/ ... kcpq-protesters-take-to-the-streets-again-in-antipolice-march-20110218,0,1728864.story