Far-left activists in Seattle are now suing the city with claims that they need costly protective gear to protest safely against the police. In other words, they want the city to pay protesters to conduct demonstrations.
The plaintiffs, who claim that “only a privileged few” can perform demonstrations safely, allege that the Seattle police department’s anti-riot tactics have forced them to acquire expensive gear to enjoy their First Amendment right to assemble.
First reported by KIRO-TV news, five protesters who filed their lawsuit on Monday say that they attended the July 25 protest on Capitol Hill, which was later declared a riot, are calling upon the city to stop its police department from using less lethal anti-riot measures including pepperballs and pepper spray.
Seattle’s City Council is currently planning to defund the police by upwards of 50 per cent following the popular rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, urged on by Democrat politicians and far-left activists.
“Because protesters now must purchase expensive equipment to be assured that they will be able to protest safely,” the filing states, “the indiscriminate use of weapons by [the Seattle Police Department] implicates equal protection.”
The lawsuit states that “each of the Plaintiffs was unable to protest for a period of time for want of additional gear necessitated by SPD's unmitigated and indiscriminate tactics utilized without restraint.”
Protesters describe the use of pepper spray as “war munitions,” arguing that police turn the streets into a “pay-to-protest racket” where only protesters with money, or who are popular enough to crowdsource their equipment, have the privilege of demonstrating.
In response to the lawsuit, the Seattle City Attorney’s Office told KIRO-TV that it will look into the claims, as well as the protesters’ demands to order the city’s police from using less-lethal equipment to control demonstrations. The lawsuit also seeks payment from the city for riot equipment for use by the protesters.
As Rebel News previously reported, Seattle’s City Council previously ordered the police department to stop using pepper spray, tear gas and pepperballs. In response, the Chief of Seattle Police Carmen Best told local businesses that the department would be unable to protect their property. The US Department of Justice filed a temporary restraining order against the directive.