Antifa agitators have filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, claiming that a heavy handed police response to “protests” has forced the group to invest in more expensive riot gear.

KIRO 7 News reports that Antifa is complaining that police use of blast balls, sponge rounds, pepper spray, and other crowd control methods has meant the rioters have had to buy “expensive” protective gear.

“Because the Seattle Police Department has acted above and outside the law in dispensing its unbridled force, and the City has failed to prevent same, the government effect is to establish a de facto protest tax,” the lawsuit claims.

“Individual protesters subjected to SPD’s unabated and indiscriminate violence now must purchase cost-prohibitive gear to withstand munitions – even when peacefully protesting – as a condition to exercising their right to free speech and peaceable assembly,” lawyers also suggest.

“The continued misuse of war munitions by SPD against civilians turns the streets – a public forum and site of protest – into a pay-to-protest racket where only a privileged few who are wealthy enough or popular enough to crowdsource funds to purchase gear akin to that used by the police department they fund can truly be in the streets,” the lawsuit continues.

Police declared a previous “protest” on July 25th by the Antifa members as a riot.

Close to fifty people were arrested, with more than 55 police officers sustaining injuries. Antifa rioters set trailers set on fire, smashed windows, damaged cars, and threw explosive devices, bottles, and rocks at police officers.

Following this and several previous incidents, the city council has put an ordinance into place preventing police from using ‘less lethal tools’.

Seattle police chief Carmen Best has warned that if the city appeases the rioters, her force will have no way of protecting residents.

“Simply put, the legislation gives officers NO ability to safely intercede to preserve property in the midst of a large, violent crowd.” Best wrote.

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