Was given the opportunity to photograph May Day in Seattle this year for Reuters Pictures, on a day that would start peaceful and end with violence, arrests and injuries.
I happened to be visiting Seattle during 2012 and was able to witness the demonstrations and police response, and was interested to see how things would change in 2013.
Upon arrival in Westlake Park in downtown Seattle in the morning, there was already a police presence and other media around. The Salish CIRCA (Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army) May Day demonstration were slow to start, with some people speaking their thoughts and taunting law enforcement with little response.
As morning turned to noon, people were making signs and preparing for a rally later in the day at the Federal Building where a traditional May Day immigration march ended.
The immigration march was peaceful and well-organized, with jubilant faces enjoying the warm sunny day and expressing themselves in a non-violent way.
When the immigration march approached closer to the Federal Building near Pioneer Square, there was a increased level of demonstrators who were mocking and provoking law enforcement still with little response.
My next stop would be Seattle Central Community College in Capitol Hill, where demonstrators would gather and march from the school with no published destination.
The march zigged and zagged throughout the neighborhood and made it’s final descent down the hill into downtown near Pacific Place and Westlake Park.
As the crowd neared NIketown, an area where violence erupted in 2012, police and private security were blocking the building. Tension between police and demonstrators was now growing, police became more vocal and standoffish after bottles were hurled at them from the crowd.
This seemed to be a turning point in the day, as the demonstration reached Pacific Place & Westlake Park again it became a standoff between police and anti-capitalist demonstrators.
The rest of the evening turned into violence and chaos.
Was really glad to see some of the photos end up with my colleagues’ photos in slideshows around the United States and beyond.
Thanks for looking.