Hundreds of Seattleites marched through downtown and occupied a major intersection in peaceful protest on Saturday.

PROTESTS IN SUPPORT of the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in New York have been growing in Seattle over the last few weeks. I can hear them, and occasionally see them, from my apartment, but until yesterday I never joined in. While I applaud those who voice their opinions through civil disobedience, I (and many others, it seems) was unclear on exactly what they were protesting.

I headed to Westlake Center for Occupy Seattle‘s planned march Saturday evening. Signs and statements ranged from reasonable to comical to Communist. I didn’t agree with everything I heard and saw, but that’s not the point. The point is when this many people ranging so drastically in ages, religious beliefs, political beliefs, occupations and personalities come together because they feel something is wrong, it’s probably worth paying attention to what they have to say.

1

Occupy Seattle 1

In response to the city regulations stating that structures such as tents, tarps and even unattended umbrellas are not allowed in Westlake Park, one protestor has set up a "box home" directly across the street from the park. Occupy Seattle is encouraging protestors to call the mayor's office and insist they be allowed to protect themselves from the rain, as sleeping under the awnings is also forbidden.

2

Occupy Seattle 3

Minutes before the march began, protestors prepared signs to hand out to newcomers.

3

Occupy Seattle 4

Crowds began gathering Saturday morning at Westlake Park for a rally at noon. When the march began, many left behind messages in chalk on the ground.

Intermission
27

These are your Occupy Wall Street protestors [PICS]

by Francisco Collazo
14

Fox News producer owned by Occupy Wall Street protestor [VID]

by Carlo Alcos
1

Anonymous joins the 99% in #occupyWallStreet

by Richard Stupart
4

Occupy Seattle 5

The march started at 5pm with chants of "They say cut back, we say fight back." Protestors headed down 4th Avenue, keeping to the sidewalk and obeying traffic lights.

5

Occupy Seattle 6

Protestors marched through the financial district and past the public library before turning left on Marion, heading for the Columbia Tower.

6

Occupy Seattle 7

Many parents brought their children, some carrying signs, others sitting in strollers festooned with banners and ribbons. Later, protest organizers asked that parents remove their children from the sit-in when police began calling for back-up.

7

Occupy Seattle 8

The march stopped at the Bank of America 5th Avenue Plaza. Some protestors gathered around the front of the building, while others followed this anonymous "pied piper" up the escalators to the second level patio.

8

Occupy Seattle 9

The atmosphere turned festive, with a small group of protestors playing drums and guitars while others danced.

9

Occupy Seattle 10

One group lay down in protest, while others chanted "banks got bailed out, schools got sold out."

Intermission
21

Remaining human: A Buddhist perspective on Occupy Wall Street

by Michael Stone
11

Occupy Wall Street spreads: Where is the mainstream media?

by Carlo Alcos
4

The 99% occupy Wall Street to demand change [VID]

by Carlo Alcos
10

Occupy Seattle 11

A Republican elephant head made an appearance, "99% > 1%" taped to one ear and "May Peace Prevail on Earth" taped to the other.

11

Occupy Seattle 12

Protestors who weren't chanting huddled in small groups, discussing the war, school budgets and why they were closing their bank accounts in favor of a credit union.

12

Occupy Seattle 13

Police accompanied the protestors throughout the march, some standing guard at the entrance to the Bank of America Plaza, others walking through the crowd.

13

Occupy Seattle 14

Other officers remained on bike patrol on the streets. Several discussed the protest with participants.

14

Occupy Seattle 15

Seattle is incapable of holding any sort of event without zombies making an appearance.

15

Occupy Seattle 16

After half an hour in front of the plaza, the march continued back to Westlake Center.

Intermission
1

Canadian premiere of ‘Occupy Love’ set for October 4

by Carlo Alcos
2

Musician performs for the Obamas wearing “Occupy With Aloha” t-shirt [VID]

by Michelle Schusterman

Protestors good entertainment for champagne-sipping Wall Street folk [VID]

by Carlo Alcos
16

Occupy Seattle 17

This time, protestors filled the streets, blocking traffic on 4th Avenue.

17

Occupy Seattle 18

Demonstrators chanted "We are the 99%" and "Whose street? Our street."

18

Occupy Seattle 19

At the intersection of 4th Avenue and Pike Street, the group sat. One protest organizer on a megaphone informed the crowd that the police had asked them to move, and that they were free to do so if they wished.

19

Occupy Seattle 20

Police on bicycles and on mounted patrol controlled traffic. After ten minutes of sitting, a protest organizer informed the crowd that police had called for back-up.

20

Occupy Seattle 21

Protest organizers asked parents to remove their children from the sit-in. When police issued another warning, one organizer asked the crowd if they would like to hold the general assembly scheduled at 6:30pm there in the street, or if they would prefer to move back to Westlake Park as planned. "We'll take a vote. We're a democracy," he said. Organizers helped tally the votes.

21

Occupy Seattle 22

Demonstrators voted to move the general assembly to Westlake Park and cleared the streets. Two protestors chose to stay seated in the intersection. According to The Seattle Times, they were arrested.