SEATTLE -- The weather was a challenge for the annual Christmas Tree lighting at Westlake center.
But it was Ferguson protestors making the biggest impact on the family event.
“We’re fairly appalled,” said John Liebling, who came to see his son sing as part of the 5th Avenue Choir. The kids were frightened off the stage by activists that disrupted and drowned out the festivities. “They stepped on the whole thing, and to nobody’s advantage.”
Hundreds showed up for the kick-off to the holiday season, but more than 100 protestors made their way front and center.
Some in the crowd supported the continued outrage over the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
“I get that they’re a disruption, but a huge thing happened in our country that affects all of us,” said Wanda Omdahl, who came down for the tree lighting.
But most said it was not the time, or place, for such a protest.
“The lighting is like a family ceremony, it’s not really a place for protests,” said Callie Webber.
Nina, a protestor said, “Unfortunately there’s a lot of kids who live really harsh realities every day, black or brown, and I’m sorry we can’t protect everyone.”
No one was hurt during the protests in outside Westlake Mall. Before arriving at the mall, demonstrators spent the day marching through the downtown shopping district, sometimes confronting the police, who were following them. That led to five arrests.