It was the weekend in Bellingham at Western, a cold Friday or Saturday in mid October. The winds that often blow through town had a message on them that night. All week people had been talking about the block party. A party that encompasses an entire apartment complex and parking lot. The party of the year, one that was accessible to everyone, even freshman. I got ready in the dorms and headed out to a friends house to further prepare for the night. We were planning on departing around 10:30pm, the party was planned to start at 9pm. As we ‘prepared’ we sat on the front porch watching the belligerent students sloshing by.
We got some updates from passerbys that by 10pm the party had already gotten out of control and the cops had showed up to break things apart. People were getting angry. The majority of the 15,000 students at Western had heard wind of this party and they were on the trail. Because the block had been shut down the mob moved into the street. Swaying their ground the blocked off one of the roads, impeding traffic and a main bus line.
Another group was waddling up the street towards campus, it was 10:30pm one last update before we make our move. The group informed us that the party was stationed on the corner of Lorell park. Lorell park was pretty close to my friends house so we started walking towards the fray. Crossing the grass we could see a crowd had gathered on three sides of one intersection blocking all three streets. On the ‘unoccupied’ street cop cars began filing into line for about half a mile down the road.
Tensions were rising fast, the students began to chant, I cant remember what they were chanting at first.. slightly inaudible, but then the second chant came around and it was clearly identifiable. “Sea Hawks! Sea Hawks! Sea Hawks!” I cringed inwardly, the mob gained momentum with this seemingly classic hit. The energy of the mob swelled with their voices, they found strength in the verbal reassurance of their entity. Someone threw a bottle. It found its landing strip and shattered accordingly spewing glass across the pavement towards the first cop car. Again, this action turned to sound ignited and fueled the mob, more bottles were launched, vagabonds ran into near by houses and grabbed anything that would satiate this audible need for chaos. Plates and glasses and mugs were swiped and thrown up into the air. Someone started yanking the stop sign loose on the corner, others seemed to agree and went to assist. A few minutes later the stop sign was free from its gravestone grounding and air born, chucked by a stray piece of the mob. Why did they rip out the stop sign you may ask? Why are they mad you may ask? What happened next you may ask??