May Day is an interesting day for this great Seattle city.
In the past, the day seemed worldly focused more on festivities, associated with some kind of pole. Now and especially in Seattle, May 1 is part of the International Workers’ Day movement. So, there are big massive public gatherings of protest and solidarity. In most, the participant organize well with much shouting and marching with a focus on worker and human rights. However last year, the city had its troubled incidents involving the Black Bloc anarchist group, the Seattle Police Department and a local famous superhero.
Yesterday, I took an errand-filled evening walk on this bright and sunny day, almost forgetting the May 1st significance. Then, I heard the chanting and cheering. Streets closed, and a march through the downtown city streets happened. All seemed to move well, as I joined with curious intent.
For 2013, the majority issue was on immigration rights and reform. For this particular portion, the atmosphere was positive and feel good. I listened to the loud voices, chanting with the American flags waving and large signs held high. Not all was agreeable, some messages were unclear. Overall, I felt reassured and positive for this society where peaceful gatherings are allowed, encouraged, and attended with many participants.
Also noticeable, were the large number of people snapping and recording visuals. Many will spread online, especially to the great social networks where the message will go global and observed with inspiration. Also, much police stood aside and ready; keeping the peace as they should. Other places and times nearby not so much, as violence broke out and questionable tactics happened, ending with 17 arrests, 8 police officers reported injured.
Here below, are my low-res phone pics on the lighter side of Seattle’s May Day 2013.