May Day: Tens of thousands march across US

Riot declared in Portland

Arrests and clashes in several cities

A Journal of People report

Tens of thousands of people marched in May Day rallies in major US cities while police declared a riot in the northwest US city of Portland after “anarchists” threw rocks, smoke bombs and soda cans at officers during a May Day rally. There are reports of arrests and clashes in several US cities.

Media reports from the U.S. said:

In major cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, thousands took to the streets on the historic May Day. Their protests included president Trump’s policies.

New York’s initially peaceful demonstration of some 4,000 participants grew tense in the evening as protesters clashed with Trump supporters. A number of the Trump supporters brandished placards featuring the president’s slogan “Make America great Again”.

Black-clad anti-Trump supporters, their faces uncovered but carrying anarchist black flags, also entered the scene.

Several dozen police officers quickly arrived to separate the two groups and prevent violence. The protest began to disperse after sunset.

Earlier in the day, 500 protesters marched through midtown Manhattan and rallied in front of offices of Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Twelve were arrested, according to a spokesman for Make the Road New York, an immigrant advocacy group that claims 20,000 members.

The two banks were targeted because of their dealings with private companies that have built or manage some immigrant detention centers for the government, according to Jose Lopez, Make the Road New York’s co-director of organizing.

More than 100 groups joined the march in Los Angeles.

Police said at least one person was arrested after masked protesters threw rocks at supporters of Trump holding a rally in the downtown area. The protesters also burned an American flag.

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the crowd at one point, vowing that the city would push back against Trump’s policies and protect its large immigrant community.

“As long as I am mayor, the LAPD will never be a deportation force,” he added. “They will be your police officers.”

In Los Angeles, dozens of pro-Trump protesters stood across from a large crowd of May Day marchers, waving American flags and blasting patriotic songs. The group left before any clashes or trouble emerged between the two sides.

Marchers in Chicago, represented a wide variety of issues including activists for immigrant rights and the environment, labor unions demanding a higher minimum wage, and supporters of reproductive rights.

There were colorful rallies before and after the two-mile march, with participants carrying American and Mexican flags, the rainbow flag representing gay rights, and signs such as “Stop the Trump Agenda”.

Labor groups representing laborers, hospital and home nursing care workers, food workers, teachers and others, called for a higher minimum wage.

Abortion rights supporters held up signs in support of Planned Parenthood, a non-profit health provider that Republicans and the Trump administration are seeking to defund.

Thousands of union members and activists marched in the shadow of some of the biggest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip during May Day.

The loud and colorful demonstration on Las Vegas Boulevard drew stares from tourists from Chicago, Boston and California, and remained peaceful.

A march toward downtown Chicago on May Day took up several city blocks, with organizers estimating an attendance of 20,000 people.

One of the participants is artist Brian Holmes, who says Monday’s demonstration is the latest step in fighting policies issued by president Trump.

Many signs in the crowd called for an end to deportations. But advocates of several organizations pushed for numerous causes including workers’ rights, environmental justice and a higher minimum wage.

A handful of Trump supporters wearing baseball caps with his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” were in attendance.

An estimated 15,000 people participated in May Day rallies throughout Los Angeles, California.

Similar protests were staged in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as other cities and towns.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, more than 4,000 people marched.

At least a thousand took to the streets in Homestead, Florida.

In Philadelphia, reported, the focus was more local for teachers who shut down a busy section of North Broad Street to protest the lack of a contract. About 1,000 of them skipped school, many taking personal time to highlight what they view as unfair working conditions.

The teachers began picketing Monday morning outside city schools, and rallies and marches were planned throughout the day. Many took sick days to protest. Supportive parents picketed at some schools.

The educators have been working nearly four years without a contract and nearly five without a pay raise. Schools were open and the district says it’s working with principals and the company that provides substitute teachers to ensure there will be no disruptions in the classrooms.

A “May Day rallies across U.S. target Trump immigration policy” headlined Reuters report said on May 2, 2017:

“Rallies elsewhere across the US were boisterous but mostly orderly, even festive.

“In some cities, immigrant-run convenience stores and other businesses closed their doors in solidarity with the May Day rallies, and many protesters themselves gave up a day’s wages to make their voices heard.

“‘Money will come back later, but not this opportunity, not this day,’ said David Anaya, 44, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, who chose to forfeit the $300 he would have otherwise earned at his job as a welder.

“He was one of thousands who gathered at MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles for what organizers called a show of ‘resistance, unity and defiance’, then set off on an animated but peaceful march across town to City Hall.

“A crowd of several thousand also assembled in Washington’s Dupont Circle for a rally ahead of a planned procession to Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House.”

In Olympia, Washington, police ordered protesters to disperse, calling them “members of a mob” as some threw bottles, used pepper spray and fired rocks from slingshots at officers.

About 200 people in Portland, Oregon, including some families with children, joined many thousands of others across the country in pro-labor, pro-immigration and anti-President Donald Trump rallies on May Day.

In Portland, dancers in bright, feathered headdresses performed to the beat of drums on Monday afternoon.

Several dozen people dressed entirely in black and wearing black bandanas and ski masks on their faces stood around the fringes of the gathering holding signs that read “Radicals for Science!” and “No cuts! Tax the rich!” as police officers looked on.

In Providence, Rhode Island, about the same number of people gathered at Burnside Park before a two-hour protest that touched on deportation, profiling and wage theft. The group followed a flatbed truck that stopped for speeches and booing in front of the sites such as the Federal Courthouse and City Hall.

Activists and immigrant advocates marked the May Day with another day of action in the Phoenix area after a weekend of marches and rallies that called for support of immigration and labor rights.

Organizers for Promise Arizona met with legislators at Arizona’s capitol Monday to deliver postcards with messages of hope regarding International Workers’ Day.

Demonstrations were also are held in dozens of smaller cities including Ft. Lauderdale.

In many places, activists urged people to skip work, school and shopping to show the importance of immigrants in American communities.

Other media reports said:

Maria Svart, national director of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), says the DSA’s membership has grown from 5,000 to more than 20,000 since Trump’s election.

The Socialist Alternative, a national left-wing party says it has experienced a surge in membership since Trump’s election.



An AFP report said:

At least three people were arrested, and several businesses in Portland’s downtown area were vandalized by persons wearing black masks. They were seen breaking storefront windows, throwing incendiary devices and attacking a police vehicle.

The “Riot declared during US May Day protests in Portland” headlined report said:

“The violence prompted authorities to cancel the permit for the march and warn that anyone remaining on the streets risked being arrested. People were advised to stay away from the area.

“‘Due to actions of anarchists in #MayDayPDX march, permit was cancelled. Law-abiding participants asked to use sidewalks and leave the area,’ the Portland police said in a tweet.

“‘If you do not need to come to Downtown Portland, please stay away. #MayDayPDX is now considered a riot.’”

The Chicago datelined report said:

The rally had kicked off with speakers denouncing the recent crackdown by president Trump’s administration on undocumented immigrants and discussing workers’ rights. But as the crowd marched in the downtown area, police said “anarchists” disrupted the march. Some Portland marchers threw cans of soda at police.

A May 2, 2017 datelined report headlined “25 arrested after Portland May Day march turns into riot” said:

“Portland police arrested 25 protesters, on charges ranging from arson to assault, criminal mischief and theft. All 25 suspects were cited for failing to obey a peace officer, and police said the arrests will be reviewed for additional charges.

“Three minors, ages 17, 14, and 17, were among those arrested (full list of names and charges below). All three were charged with riot and released to their parents.”

Other media reports said:

Police fired stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.



A Fox Business report headlined “The Latest: Seattle police arrest 5 in May Day rally” said on May 2, 2017:

Seattle police say five people were arrested in May Day protests downtown.

Seattle police tweeted Monday night that those arrested ranged in age from 19 to 51. A 26-year-old man was arrested after reportedly throwing a rock as a group of Trump supporters met up with other protesters in Westlake Park.

Police Chief Ronnie Roberts in Olympia, Washington, said Monday night that nine people were arrested in a May Day protest-turned-riot and that all were booked on a felony riot charge.

Roberts says rioters hit nine police officers with rocks or marbles flung out of slingshots but no one was seriously injured thanks to helmets and other gear.



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