6 arrested early Sunday as anarchists disrupt Pride Weekend

SEATTLE - Six people were arrested early Sunday after a large group of anarchists marched down the middle of several streets, clashed with police and damaged property during a noisy disturbance in the Capitol Hill area on Pride Weekend, police said.

The incident began just after midnight when a crowd began to assemble at the corner of 12th Avenue and Madison Street. The group quickly grew to about 40 people and then broke up about 15 minutes later, with most wandering north on 12th Avenue.

The group reassembled on 13th Avenue and began marching west on East Pine Street, then headed north on 12th Avenue, walking down the middle of the street, then east on Olive Way toward Cal Anderson Park, lighting off fireworks.

The group continued down the middle of Broadway, taking over the street, knocking over road signs and dragging garbage cans out into the street, said Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson.

At about 12:45 a.m. officers attempted to detain a woman who was in the process of dragging a trash can into the street, but she eluded officers and ran back into the crowd.

The group then continued east on East Pike Street, where they were met by a line of officers at 10th Avenue. The crowd of people stopped and began to dance and bang on drums. Several in the group yelled and screamed at officers while others placed bandanas over their faces.

After several minutes, the group began to move south along 10th Avenue to East Union, then east on Union to 11th, where officers reported seeing more members put bandanas on their faces. The crowd walked around, eventually ending up back at 12th and Madison, Jamieson said.

Shortly after 1 a.m., a police commander ordered the group to get out of the street and back onto the sidewalk. The group then left the street and assembled on the sidewalk.

At that point, a 25-year-old man who was on the sidewalk purposely stepped back into the street and proceeded to walk directly in front of the police commander. The man clicked his heels and stood at attention in front of the commander. The commander informed the man he was under arrest, and as officers took him into custody, the group grew agitated and began shouting verbal abuse and profanities.

Then the scene became chaotic as a man jumped on top of a parked car and begin to stomp and jump up and down on it. Officers ordered the man to get down off the car, but he refused and pepper spray was used.

Several members of the crowd surged forward and a 24-year-old man rushed forward and kicked the commander in the knee, police said. The man was pepper-sprayed and arrested on suspicion of assault.

As officers moved forward to assist in the arrest, a 30-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman who is well-known in the anarchist community immediately grabbed onto the man being arrested and attempted to pull him back into the crowd. Those two were both arrested.

As the disturbance continued, two other women, ages 22 and 29, were arrested for investigation of pedestrian interference and obstructing police.

All six suspects were taken to the East Precinct, where they were treated for the effects of pepper spray and later booked into the King County Jail.