Seattle businesses amp up security for May Day events



Posted on May 1, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Updated Thursday, May 1 at 6:09 PM

SEATTLE – The annual May Day march and rally was impacting businesses in downtown Seattle on Thursday.

At first it was hard to tell if it was the beautiful weather or the threat of protesters that was driving people from the downtown core.

"Last year and this year our employer let us leave early,” said Janet Boehner, who works at a title company

Her company let all its employees go home early.

"Make sure everyone gets out of the office and stays safe,” said Boehner.

Security guards were making their presence visible outside several banks.

Construction crews covered pillars with paper hoping to discourage any taggers passing by.

Employee Matt Marth said the Carhartt store would stay open, but had a backup plan.

"If there gets to be some problems, we plan on locking our doors and securing everything to make sure our customers and the employees are all safe,” said Marth.

Security guards stood watch outside Niketown. More than a dozen of them ready to protect the massive windows that rioters shattered in past years.

A few blocks up on Capitol Hill, restaurants were hoping the only thing heated was on the stove.

Mia’s cafe was closing early. Barrio - a restaurant tagged with graffiti early Thursday morning - brushed it off as a no big deal.

Classes at Seattle Central College were canceled.

"Our professor told us to be off campus and away from here no later than five,” said student Sarah Carson.

"You don't want be in the wrong place at the wrong time because you never know what can happen.”