SEATTLE, WA—On Sunday, August 9, demonstrators who are reportedly part of Antifa were seen burning an American flag, assaulting two people (including a reporter), and damaging stores.
Most wore masks and were dressed in all-black clothing, using the “black bloc” tactic. Many also carried black umbrellas, which are widely believed to have been used to protect their identities and shield their faces from tear gas.
A few dozen demonstrators were gathered by a road, and one stomped on an American flag after it was set on fire. Some carried signs that read “Defund SPD” (likely referring to the Seattle Police Department).
The same demonstrators were also filmed assaulting a bystander and a reporter. Police officers attempted to intervene and moved the onlooker aside. According to Jason Rantz (a radio host who recorded the videos), the bystander put out the burning flag.
Additionally, the group reportedly harassed people attending “Back the Blue” – a rally organized by the Seattle Police Officers Guild to oppose the defunding of the SPD.
Smoke grenades were thrown at protestors, but it is unclear as to who the perpetrators were.
Numerous shops were damaged by demonstrators. A Starbucks outlet was broken into and vandalized; “ACAB” — an acronym for the slogan “All Cops Are Bastards” — was spray-painted onto the café’s floor. A Chase Bank, Amazon Go store, and Whole Foods Market were all also broken into.