Update: Because I was back at Federal Way early the next morning, I never had a chance to read the paper and learn what the protest was really about. Apparently it turned violent later that evening.
The demonstration was spurred partly by the death of Jose Ramirez-Jimenez of Olympia, who was shot and killed after a police chase in November in Lacey, participant Jeff Berryhill of Olympia said Saturday.The streets of Olympia were fairly empty otherwise; when it's as cold as it was, people mostly crowd in the clubs or huddle near the entrances, smoking. From what I could see, there were very few spectators, and the demonstrators were able to block only one street.
Some demonstrators held road flares, torches and signs; others played banjo and guitar. After gathering about 10:40 p.m. Friday and circling through downtown a couple of times, protesters made their way across the Fourth Avenue Bridge and up the Harrison Avenue hill, Berryhill said. The group was followed by Olympia police and was met by more officers at Thomas Street and Harrison Avenue, diverting them down Perry Street toward a police substation, he said.
Police say protesters then threw lit torches against the station wall and a police car, which were quickly extinguished.