Dozens arrested as May Day marches turn violent in Northwest

Dozens arrested as May Day marches turn violent in Northwest

PORTLAND, Ore. — May Day protests turned violent in the Pacific Northwest as demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, threw smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails at police while elsewhere thousands of people peacefully marched against President Donald Trump’s immigration and labour policies.

From New England to the Midwest to the West Coast people chanted and picketed against Trump along with the traditional May Day labour rallies. Protesters flooded streets in Chicago. At the White House gates, they demanded “Donald Trump has got to go!”

In Portland, Oregon, police shut down a protest they said had become a riot and arrested more than two dozen people. Police in Olympia, Washington, said nine people were taken into custody after several officers were injured by thrown rocks and windows were broken at businesses in Washington’s capital city.

In Seattle, five people were arrested during downtown protests and in Oakland, California, at least four were arrested after creating a human chain to block a county building where demonstrators demanded that county law enforcement refuse to collaborate with federal immigration agents.

“It is sad to see that now being an immigrant is equivalent to almost being a criminal,” said Mary Quezada, a 58-year-old North Carolina woman who joined those marching on Washington.

She offered a pointed message to Trump: “Stop bullying immigrants.”

The demonstrations on May Day, celebrated as International Workers’ Day, follow similar actions worldwide in which protesters from the Philippines to Paris demanded better working conditions. But the widespread protests in the United States were aimed directly at the new Republican president, who has followed aggressive anti-immigrant rhetoric on the campaign trail with aggressive action in the White House.

Trump, in his first 100 days, has intensified immigration enforcement, including executive orders for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a ban on travellers from six predominantly Muslim countries. The government has arrested thousands of immigrants in the country illegally and threatened to withhold funding from jurisdictions that limit co-operation between local and federal immigration authorities.

In Chicago, 28-year-old Brenda Burciaga was among thousands of people who marched through the streets to push back against the new administration.

“Everyone deserves dignity,” said Burciaga, whose mother is set to be deported after living in the U.S. for about 20 years. “I hope at least they listen. We are hardworking people.”

In Shemanski Park in Portland, Oregon, before the violence broke out hundreds of people, including some families with children, gathered and watched dancers in bright feathered headdresses perform to the beat of drums.

Friends Marian Drake and Martin Anderson watched from a nearby park bench as they held balloons supporting the International Workers Union.

“Things are so screwed up in this country. You’ve got a city right here that’s full of homeless people and you’ve got a president …whose budget is going to cut 40 per cent to the EPA and end Meals on Wheels. We don’t like those kinds of things,” Anderson said.

In cities large and small, the protests intensified throughout the day.

Teachers working without contracts opened the day by picketing outside schools in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Activists in Phoenix petitioned state legislators to support immigrant families.

In a Los Angeles park, several thousand people waved American flags and signs reading “love not hate.”

Selvin Martinez, an immigrant from Honduras with an American flag draped around his shoulders, took the day off from his job waxing casino floors to protest. “We hope to get to be respected as people, because we are not animals, we are human beings,” said Martinez, who moved to Los Angeles 14 years ago fleeing violence in his country.

The White House did not respond to requests for a response to the May Day demonstrations.

Several protesters, like 39-year-old Mario Quintero, outed themselves as being in the country illegally to help make their point.

“I’m an undocumented imigrant, so I suffer in my own experience with my family,” said Quintero at a Lansing, Michigan, rally. “That’s why I am here, to support not only myself but my entire community.”

In Miami, Alberto and Maribel Resendiz closed their juice bar, losing an estimated revenue of $3,000, to join a rally.

“This is the day where people can see how much we contribute,” said Alberto Resendiz, who previously worked as a migrant worker in fields as far away as Michigan. “This country will crumble down without us.”

He added, “We deserve a better treatment.”

In Oakland at a later march, more than 1,000 people marched peacefully representing labour groups along with Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino and other immigrants.

While union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers’ rights around the world, the day has become a rallying point for immigrants in the U.S. since massive demonstrations were held on the date in 2006 against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.

In recent years, immigrant rights protests shrank as groups diverged and shifted their focus on voter registration and lobbying.

___

Taxin reported from Los Angeles. AP writers Lisa Baumann in Seattle, Steve Peoples in New York, Jessica Gresko in Washington, D.C., Kristen De Groot in Philadelphia, Adriana Gomez Licon in Miami, Sophia Tareen in Chicago, Deepti Hajela in New York, Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, Lisa Adams in Charlotte, North Carolina, Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon and Crystal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island contributed to this report.

Gillian Flaccus And Amy Taxin, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired Mission teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Alan Sweet taught in school district for 10 years, investigators seeking further witnesses

Members of the Abbotsford Community Action Team include (from left) Bev Olfert, Rebecca Tice, Tally Clement, Const. Mary Boonstra, Mandy Aujla, Wanda Phillips and Devinder Dherari-Sidhu. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford group raises awareness about sexual exploitation of youth

Community Action Team uses posters, stickers and online information

The driver of a pickup truck failed to stop after knocking down a wooden fence on March 3, 2021. (screen grab)
VIDEO: Footage catches pick-up driver smashing fence on Abbotsford/Langley border

Driver came forward after video circulated on social media

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Two men taken to hospital after fight on Keeping Road in Abbotsford

One of the men suffers serious injuries in incident on Thursday night

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

The family of injured Willoughby resident Ronald Gerald Jesso is hoping someone saw something that will help solve the mystery of how he came to be so badly hurt on the morning of Feb. 22. Jesso is still in hospital. (Jesso family/Special to Langley Advance Times)
An appeal to help solve the mystery of an injured Langley man

Family of Ronald Gerald Jesso asks witnesses to come forward

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. RCMP Lower Mainland District officer, Asst. Commissioner Stephen Thatcher presents RCMP blankets to (from left) Chief James Hobart, Chief Maureen Chapman, Chief Derek Epp and Chief Mark Point. (RCMP)
Historic agreement significantly expands Indigenous role in Lower Mainland policing

Community Safety Agreement builds relationship of ‘trust, communication and prevention,’ says Chief

Most Read