Description of Demonstration in Downtown Kirkland

Published on October 10, 2023

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Media Contact
David Wolbrecht
Communications Program Manager

On Sunday, October 8, 2023, a demonstration by supporters of Palestine took place in downtown Kirkland.  As the demonstrations were impromptu responses to still-unfolding world events, a permit application process was not possible or required, but the Kirkland Police Department was notified by event organizers the day before about the group’s intention to assemble.   

Organizers stated the demonstration was scheduled to occur between 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and would consist of a march from Peter Kirk Park at Central Way and 3rd Street through downtown Kirkland and back to Peter Kirk Park. Organizers stated they would only use sidewalks and did not plan to impede street traffic.

Supporters of Israel also came to downtown Kirkland at that time. Both groups were within their free speech right to assemble and express themselves.

Kirkland police officers were present at the event to maintain peace and safety during this event. At one point, tensions between the groups elevated and violence appeared imminent. Police officers discharged a bio-irritant (PepperBall) into the street to maintain a safe space between the two groups with no reported injuries. No tear gas or gas of any kind was used during the event.  To help support a peaceful demonstration for all parties, police officers maintained a dialogue with each group until the event was over and the crowds dispersed.

The City estimates there was approximately 300 demonstrators involved in total.  No arrests were made, and no one was detained. Police are investigating accounts of minor injuries reported by two people.

During the demonstration, police posted on social media to notify the community about the demonstration and asked community members to please avoid the area, if possible.  The Kirkland Police Department appreciates the patience and understanding of our community due to any inconvenience this may have caused, as well as the cooperation of a significant majority of the demonstrators. 

The Police Department is currently conducting an after-action review of the event to help ensure the safety of the community and those who participate in demonstrations or free speech events. 

Updated 10/11 at 9:30 a.m. to correct the publication date from 10/9 to 10/10 and to add a Media Contact