Spring is in the air around most of the country (finally) and with it comes one of the lower profile holidays on the calendar. Yesterday was May Day, traditionally celebrated as a rite of passage from winter to the growing season, but it’s also taken on a decidedly anti-capitalist tone over the decades. With that in mind, leftist and neo-socialists took to the streets of Seattle for some peaceful demonstrations in support of workers’ rights and unions.
No… of course they didn’t They started a riot as you might have expected. (NBC News)
At least nine protesters were arrested and five police officers injured during May Day clashes in Seattle where flares, bricks and Molotov cocktails were thrown, authorities said.
The anti-capitalist disorder followed a peaceful march earlier in the day by advocates for workers and immigrants — one of several nationwide events Sunday calling for better wages for workers and work permits for undocumented migrants.
One officer was struck by a rock, one was hit by a Molotov and a third was bitten, the Seattle Police Department said. The nature of the injuries to the other two officers was not immediately known.
The anti-capitalist demonstrators carried signs including one saying: “We Are Ungovernable.”
There’s probably a hint there: We Are Ungovernable. Whenever you get a large crowd like this gathered in one place you tend to attract some anarchists, just as we normally see when there are meetings of the G-20 Summit or whatever number it is this year. But trying to shift the blame off entirely on them is a red herring because this crowd was definitely filled with union thugs and those demanding immunity and job rights for illegal aliens.
The tactics on display aren’t anything new either. There were the usual attacks on the police, with rocks and fire bombs being tossed. Fortunately, the five officers who were injured in the line of duty all seem to have relatively minor injuries which were not life threatening. As usual, both the police and observers in the crowd were documenting the mayhem on social media.
It’s interesting to see how the Left has adopted this modern meaning of May Day so proudly when you consider the history behind the event. This interpretation of the “holiday” dates back to the 1800s and the May Day Haymarket Riots in Chicago. That was a labor demonstration also, where workers were petitioning for goals such as the eight hour work day. What should have been a rather noble cause was quickly turned into a debacle with some foreshadowing of things to come. First of all, it was Chicago. (Enough said.) But more to the point, the peaceful demonstration quickly went south when somebody threw a dynamite bomb at the police. Seven cops and four civilians died with dozens of others being injured. Four of the rioters involved with the bombing were eventually sent to the gallows.
That’s a dark bit of history, but it’s worth revisiting when we see how things played out in Seattle yesterday. This is nothing new for either labor unions or anarchists, though the illegal immigrant angle is a more recent twist in the story.