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News Analysis Jan 4, 2021 12:52 PM EST

Seattle activists ring in New Year with protests and vandalism as City Council decriminalizes crime

There were minimal ramifications for the crimes and Seattle officials have made it clear that they are determined to let the mob run the city and dictate policy.

Seattle activists ring in New Year with protests and vandalism as City Council decriminalizes crime
Ari Hoffman Seattle, WA

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be up to date.

Seattle protesters and activists spent the beginning of the new year the same way they ended the last one, by blocking freeways, protesting and vandalizing businesses.

There were minimal ramifications for the crimes and Seattle officials have made it clear that they are determined to let the mob run the city and dictate policy.

It began on New Year’s Eve when members of The Morning March and the Black Indigenous Coalition caused miles long backups by blocking area freeways including the I-90 floating bridge and the 99 tunnel.

The demonstrations were broken up by the Washington State Patrol and several protesters were arrested.

In the Capitol Hill neighborhood, near the former site of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, another group held a “No Justice” for Tamir Rice protest and used the occasion to burn an American Flag and harass the Seattle Police Department, even though the Rice shooting was in Cleveland. They also launched fireworks at the King County Youth Services Center. Some activists were arrested and found to be in possession of molotov cocktails.

BLM activists were photographed carrying communist symbols on signs during the protest.

Multiple businesses were also vandalized in the area by BLM activists. According to KOMO News, the attacks were retaliation against businesses that signed a letter asking the city to clear the homeless encampments and activists from nearby parks last month. Two people were arrested for destruction of property. The BLM activists who claim to march for racial justice, destroyed several minority owned businesses.

According to local neighborhood safety group, Safe Seattle, “…the cops put up a massive show of force with elaborate dispersal orders. At one point in the order, they described the physical effects of chemical agents that would be used against protesters if they don’t disperse.”

The evening of January 1, the Morning March, not deterred by the arrests the previous evening, blocked freeway entrances near downtown Seattle just in time for the weekend rush hour.

According to Safe Seattle the protesters held traffic for 45 min and not a single SPD car showed up to stop them. The freeway exit is right near the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, so it was likely that people missed appointments because any delay over 30 minutes usually gets rescheduled 2 weeks out.

Saturday night a group of protesters attempted a “chalking” event of graffiti against the East Precinct. The effects were minimal because the group was using chalk in Seattle rains. Police arrested four people for pedestrian interference, and obstruction at demonstrations outside the East Precinct.

Those who were arrested, will most likely be quickly released as part of Seattle’s revolving door justice system.

On Christmas Eve, the office of the Seattle City Attorney released a prolific offender with a history of assault as well as other charges, after another assault arrest where he was not charged. The suspect then nearly stomped a 62 year old man to death just a few hours later with kicks “so forceful and loud” a witness heard it from inside a car.

In response to spiking crime, the Seattle City Council will be taking up legislation to decriminalize misdemeanors, a plan back by the City Attorney. This will potentially decrease crime, as crimes will no longer be considered crimes and will therefore not be considered as such.

With a massive spike in crime and Seattle’s number of homicides doubling from the previous year in the wake of the council defunding the police department, it is clear that activists, rioters and criminals have gotten the message that no one is going to do anything to stop them. Officials have instead decided to doubled down on the failed policies that caused the urban chaos which catapulted Seattle into national headlines.

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