FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A20 in Seattle…Rough Stuff with the Police

On Saturday, April 20, 2002, I witnessed two shocking and unprovoked attacks by Seattle police officers on peaceful citizens demonstrating against U.S. economic, foreign and domestic policy.

The first incident occurred at Broadway and Thomas on Capitol Hill, where a peaceful crowd had occupied the intersection. The atmosphere was pleasant and festive, with drums, music and dancing. No acts of violence or vandalism were being committed.

Suddenly about 15 officers on bicycles came zooming around a sidestreet corner and rode at full speed through a banner and into the crowd of people. There was no warning, no order to disperse, no threat of arrests. The officers simply came speeding around the corner and careened into the crowd. Since the banner blocked the officers’ view, they could not see who they were going to hit _ they could have easily struck small children or old people crossing the street.

The impact on the human body of a bicycle going at top speed is no trivial matter. Several lost shoes lay in the street afterwards, testifying to the force of the collision. I saw police arresting one man whose face had been bloodied either from that impact, or from having his face pushed roughly into the ground.

About 15 minutes later, as people walked peacefully back to Seattle Central Community College, several bicycle officers rode up onto the sidewalk and threw two young men walking near me violently to the ground. One of their victims hit either the sidewalk or a brick wall, and lay dazed with blood streaming down his face. Police prevented others, including a man who identified himself as a medic, from approaching to assist the injured man. A police officer finally treated him only after an organizer repeatedly urged police to calm down and to help the victim.

I understand that the SPD has taken flak for not arresting the freeway protesters last week, but this action was completely unnecessary and over the top. There are ways to clear a peaceful crowd other than a full-on Robocop assault. Police could have first made an announcement asking people to leave or risk arrest. If people refused, officers could have simply carried them out of the street.

The police are charged with protecting public safety. Causing bruises and bleeding, and risking broken bones or worse, grossly endangered the public. It also escalated the situation by provoking extreme anger among the onlookers. It’s amazing that a riot didn’t ensue.

An article in the next day’s Seattle Times indicated that “No injuries were reported.” Since an SPD medic treated an injured man, the police know full well that at least one injury had occurred. Did the SPD withhold this information from reporters?

The police assault seemed intended to send a message that people who engage in acts of peaceful protest do so at their own risk. These are the tactics of a police state, not a democracy.

Jean Fallow lives in Bellingham, Washington. She can be reached at: jfallow@yahoo.com

For more of Jean’s photos of the rally and arrests click here.

 

More articles by:
July 19, 2018
Rajai R. Masri
The West’s Potential Symbiotic Contributions to Freeing a Closed Muslim Mind
Jennifer Matsui
The Blue Pill Presidency
Ryan LaMothe
The Moral and Spiritual Bankruptcy of White Evangelicals
Paul Tritschler
Negative Capability: a Force for Change?
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: ‘Social Dialogue’ Reform Frustrations
Rev. William Alberts
A Well-Kept United Methodist Church Secret
Raouf Halaby
Joseph Harsch, Robert Fisk, Franklin Lamb: Three of the Very Best
George Ochenski
He Speaks From Experience: Max Baucus on “Squandered Leadership”
Ted Rall
Right Now, It Looks Like Trump Will Win in 2020
David Swanson
The Intelligence Community Is Neither
Andrew Moss
Chaos or Community in Immigration Policy
Kim Scipes
Where Do We Go From Here? How Do We Get There?
July 18, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
Politics and Psychiatry: the Cost of the Trauma Cover-Up
Frank Stricker
The Crummy Good Economy and the New Serfdom
Linda Ford
Red Fawn Fallis and the Felony of Being Attacked by Cops
David Mattson
Entrusting Grizzlies to a Basket of Deplorables?
Stephen F. Eisenman
Want Gun Control? Arm the Left (It Worked Before)
CJ Hopkins
Trump’s Treasonous Traitor Summit or: How Liberals Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New McCarthyism
Patrick Bond
State of the BRICS Class Struggle: Repression, Austerity and Worker Militancy
Dan Corjescu
The USA and Russia: Two Sides of the Same Criminal Corporate Coin
The Hudson Report
How Argentina Got the Biggest Loan in the History of the IMF
Kenn Orphan
You Call This Treason?
Max Parry
Ukraine’s Anti-Roma Pogroms Ignored as Russia is Blamed for Global Far Right Resurgence
Ed Meek
Acts of Resistance
July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail