Some think of it as a day to welcome Spring with Instagram worthy activities (think Maypoles and floral crowns), while others place importance on May 1st as a day to recognize workers worldwide. Seattleites however… Well, our city has come to view May Day as a day of peaceful protests followed by anarchy.  In fact, if you live or work in Seattle, it may be difficult to recall a time that May Day activities were solely peaceful. Whether you are practicing to dance around a Maypole, getting ready to peacefully march, or simply planning on another Wednesday at work, there are some things that you should know (and some precautions that you can take) to avoid a mayday situation during this year’s May Day in the Emerald City.

  • The 20th Annual May Day March for the Rights of Immigrants and Workers plans on peacefully making its way through downtown Seattle on May 1st from approximately 1:00pm until 4:00pm. According to the Facebook Page, the meeting point will be at Judkins Park, and staging will be located at 20th Place South and South Dearborn Street with events starting at noon.
  • While the 20th Annual May Day March is expected to attract a large number of protestors, there will also be other causes to support throughout the city. For example, there is a rally planned at 4:00pm to bring awareness to Amazon security officers who are organizing to form a union. This will take place as the March makes its way past the Doppler Building.
  • Though events like the Annual May Day March for the Rights of Immigrants and Workers is a permitted event, other groups (think anti-capitalists and anarchists) frequently choose to proceed with their own demonstrations on May 1st. These generally follow the day’s peaceful protests and can continue into the evening hours. Vandalism, violence and unrest may occur; as a result, it is best to avoid downtown the evening of May 1st.
  • The Seattle Police Department is well aware that issues may arise throughout the day and into the evening, leading to extra precautions. Sergeant Sean Whitcomb has assured Seattleites that downtown will be “super well-staffed” in preparation of May Day.
  • Between the peaceful protests and possible anarchist activity, it is wise to plan on longer commute times as people fill the streets. Be aware of the congested areas, changing your route to work if necessary.
  • The following is a map of the planned March route found on their Facebook page to help you plan your commute.

While we have no idea how the events will unfold tomorrow, a little foresight will help you to avoid a mayday situation this May Day.