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Seattle May Day protesters used Molotov cocktail, police say

By Allen Cone
Seattle May Day protesters used Molotov cocktail, police say
Some of the weapons collected at Sunday's protests in Seattle included Molotov cocktails. Photo courtesy of Seattle Police Department.

SEATTLE, May 2 (UPI) -- May Day protests turned violent in Seattle as five police officers were injured and nine people arrested Sunday night.

One officer sustained a facial laceration while another was bitten and a third hit by a Molotov cocktail.

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"It is unfortunate and deeply regrettable that in a city that goes to incredible lengths to respect First Amendment rights, there are some who disregard our values and engage in senseless acts of violence and property destruction," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said. "My thoughts are with the officers who were injured."

The march started peacefully but turned violent.

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The city deployed officers in riot gear to control dozens of protesters who had gathered for the unpermitted march shortly after 5 p.m.

Later that night, the protesters were herded out of downtown and into the city's Sodo industrial area.

Officers had attempted to disperse the crowd with pepper spray and fired "blast-balls."

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The arrests included eight men and one woman, ranging in age from 20 to 32.

Murray was pleased with the police response to the situation.

Earlier in the day, the annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights went from the Central District to a downtown rally outside the U.S. courthouse. There were no incidents.

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But then demonstrators, mostly wearing black clothing and masks, gathered for the anti-capitalist march at Westlake Center.

A large banner was unfurled that said, "We are ungovernable."

Last year, Seattle police arrested 16 people during May Day demonstrations. A December report had criticized the police tactics with the peaceful demonstrators.

May Day is recognized around the globe and is a public holiday everywhere except in the United States, which celebrates Labor Day in September. International Workers Day was declared by the International Socialist Conference after the violent protests in Chicago's Haymarket Square in 1886

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