May 1 demonstrations planned around the city today

As a reminder, today is May 1, also known as “May Day,” and demonstrations are planned around the city that could lead to traffic and other delays. The City of Seattle says known demonstrations include the annual May Day March for Immigrant and Workers Rights from Judkins Park to downtown Seattle, an Occupy Seattle-sponsored General Strike, and rallies scheduled throughout the day at Westlake Park. The City also says the Seattle Department of Transportation advises that delays should be expected downtown during the Tuesday afternoon commute.

In addition to the planned demonstrations, a statement from the Office of the Mayor warns of possible criminal activities:

We also have evidence that other people may be coming to Seattle on Tuesday with the intention of using the public demonstrations as an opportunity to commit violence, damage property and disrupt peaceful free speech activity. There has been a significant increase in graffiti and posters alluding to violence around the May 1 events. Websites have described trainings in how to conceal weapons beneath signs and banners, and how to target police officers on horses. At a protest at the Port of Seattle in December 2011, several people used peaceful demonstrators as a shield to throw projectiles and incendiary devices at police officers.

…Seattle Police command staff and Mayor’s Office staff have been working with protest organizers, property owners, and other stakeholders to facilitate peaceful, constitutional demonstrations. Officers will respond appropriately to criminal acts and threats or harm directed against participants, non-participants, and property.

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