Seattle charges demonstrators who blocked traffic

SEATTLE (AP) — Prosecutors have filed criminal misdemeanor charges against 15 demonstrators who blocked downtown traffic for several hours in May to protest tar-sands development.

The Seattle Times says Seattle City Attorney Pete Homes this week charged protesters with pedestrian interference and obstruction in Seattle Municipal Court.

Holmes said he plans to file charges against activists who blocked the same street in June to protest federal immigration policies.

In May, climate activists blocked traffic for several hours by sitting on wooden tipis they built in the middle of the road. The protest was aimed at getting JPMorgan to stop funding new tar-sands projects.

Alec Connon, an organizer with the group 350 Seattle, took part in that protest. He called the charges absurd and questioned why Holmes is cracking down on peaceful protesters.

Holmes said protesters should expect charges when expensive resources are used to clear them.