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 What Phoenix Jones and his sidekicks encountered on May Day

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GoldenAerie

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PostSubject: What Phoenix Jones and his sidekicks encountered on May Day   Mon May 06, 2013 10:01 pm

What Phoenix Jones and his sidekicks encountered on May Day




By Martha Kang








Enlarge image

Credit Justin Steyer
Phoenix Jones and a sidekick are seen on May Day 2013.








When mayhem broke out late May Day, Phoenix Jones and his wife were having dinner at a restaurant.
Jones, having attended earlier events with his sidekicks, had thought the day would end peacefully.
“All of a sudden, the phone trips and there’s a riot going on,” he said.
Jones
and his wife, also a self-claimed superhero who goes by Purple Reign,
rushed to the car to suit up, then hit the streets. Reign was in full
suit, but Jones only had on his bulletproof vest instead of his full
signature garb.
“All they saw was probably a funny May Day suit,” he said.
As
mayhem unfolded in Capitol Hill, the two set out to fight crime, says
Jones, confiscating sticks and at least one trash can from rioters. Some
seemed puzzled by the interference from Jones, who, without his
suit, appeared to be an ordinary bystander.
“They were a little shocked,” he said. “I represented a concerned citizen."
At one point, Jones found himself cornered in an alley, dodging punches.
“About
15 of them were on me … I got punched, and took a few of them out
before they all ran away,” said Jones, who says he has earned a black
belt in three different disciplines of martial arts. “The second guy was
unconscious by the time he went down, I’m pretty sure, because I was
running forward at full speed.”
Jones sustained a swollen lip. Reign was not hurt.
Clowned by marchers dressed as clowns





Enlarge image
Credit Justin Steyer
A superhero is seen on May Day 2013. Jones
had been on patrol earlier with some 30 of his sidekicks from the Rain
City Superheroes Movement—Evocatus, Tomahawk, Captain Karma, to name a
few.
Some were in full regalia and some dressed for undercover work. They had with them 20 small covertly-designed cameras.
“We
take footage primarily to aid us in our investigation of why we did
what we did,” said Jones, whose real name is Benjamin John
Francis Fodor.





Enlarge image
Credit Aaron Hushagen
Two superheroes are seen at May Day 2013. As
thousand marched for workers’ right and immigration reform, the only
trouble the superheroes encountered came in the form of a silly-string
attack by marchers dressed as clowns. When one tried to spray Jones, “I
put my hand up and my pepper spray, and I said, ‘You don’t want to be that guy,”’ he said.
Jones said he and his sidekicks accomplished what they set out to do.
“Absolutely,
and here’s why. When we were out at the protest, there were thousands
and thousands of people on the streets. Not one of us was hurt,” he
said. “And that’s what we try to do—keep people safe.”
‘We can’t be under siege every May Day’





Enlarge image
Credit Justin Steyer
A police officer is seen talking to Phoenix Jones and a sidekick on May Day 2013. Of
course, Seattle police were also heavily present for the march and
rallies. Police say they don’t mind the superheroes as long as they stay
out of the way.
“As long as they’re not interfering with what
we’re trying to accomplish, they’re free to do whatever they want,” said
Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson. “We just ask that if they see
something that needs 911 help, they call 911.”
While Jones takes credit for helping keep the peace, he says police deserve kudos for their work as well.
“And I’m not even a cop lover, and I’m giving them a thumbs up,” he said.
The rest of the city, though, needs to shape up, said Jones.
“Our
mayor and our city council really got to step it up,” he said. “We
don’t have time for you to bike around the city and legalize marijuana …
We can’t be under siege every May Day.”
'Hopefully, he's learned'





Enlarge image
Credit Justin Steyer
A superhero who goes by the name Captain Karma is seen being interviewed by KPLU reporter Gabriel Spitzer. Police, for their part, hope Jones, 24, has become more cautious since he first set out to fight crime in 2009.
“At
least he’s gotten better. He used to run head-long into these
disturbances, and it used to escalate the problem,” Jamieson said.
“Hopefully, he’s learned from that.”
Jones acknowledges the past few years have been a learning process.
“Once
I understood what their concerns were, it was a lot easier to work with
them,” he said. “They don’t want to shut me down; they just want to
know I’m not breaking the law.”
Police say the superhero scene is not new to Seattle, or elsewhere.
“The
one difference here is Phoenix. (He) is very good at getting his name
out there, and that’s the one kind of novel thing,” said Jamieson. “And
then it sort of evolved. He sort of took it upon himself to solve
crimes, and I still don’t know how he does that.”
Jamieson added Jones had not solved any crimes to date.
“Maybe
his presence has broken up a couple of fights out on the streets or
something like that,” he said. “The bottom line is they’re sort of going
to be a target, because they show up in suit … People want to be
around them, or people want to antagonize.”
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