May Day | KNKX

May Day

Officers "recovered a carton of eggs — containing both eggs and eggs filled with paint—after a bystander was pelted on the street" near 7th and Olive in downtown Seattle, Seattle PD tweeted on Saturday..
Seattle Police Department

At least 20 people were arrested during May Day demonstrations in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, in support of immigrants and worker rights, officials said.

People gather for an immigrant rights march on May Day 2018 in Seattle.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

May 1 is celebrated around the world as International Workers’ Day. But in the Seattle area, the celebrations have long emphasized immigrant workers in particular.

This is the 20th straight year that local activists will mark May Day with a march for immigrant rights, according to organizers with the Seattle group El Comite. The event, which begins in Judkins Park at 1 p.m., has drawn hundreds of people in past years. 

The Puget Sound Region Prepares For May Day

Apr 26, 2018
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Local leaders, police and businesses around the Puget Sound region are preparing for May Day on Tuesday.

May Day is International Workers Day. In Seattle and other Northwest cities, it has become a day of protest for immigrant and workers rights where demonstrations are routinely quite large and have in recent years turned violent.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In the week leading up to May Day, Seattle prepared for the worst. For the past five years, peaceful May Day marches have been overshadowed by violence and property damage.

Those demonstrations unfolded peacefully for the most part this year. In the end, five people were arrested. Two of those people were released and three face charges for assault, resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer.

KNKX spent the day with demonstrators around the city. Here is how May Day unfolded in Seattle.

Preparing For The Worst

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — 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 labor policies.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Demonstrators threw smoke bombs, Molotov cocktails and other items at police Monday in Portland, Oregon, during May Day protests and storefront windows were broken during rowdy protests in Olympia, Washington.

Portland police arrested more than two dozen people near Pioneer Square after a protest permit had been cancelled "due to actions of anarchists." Police say the anarchists destroyed a police car, set several fires in the street, damaged storefront windows and attacked police.

No injuries were immediately reported.

Police in Olympia, Washington say a May Day protest there quickly became a riot as officers ordered the mob to disperse.

Olympia police said on Twitter Monday evening that news crews, restaurant patrons and passersby in the area were being targeted by the mob. Police encouraged people to avoid the area.

Police said the group had been throwing rocks, bottles and using pepper spray. Police said anyone who didn't leave would be subject to arrest.

Don Ryan / AP Photo

Updated at 5:25 p.m. PST

Portland police say officers have arrested three people near Pioneer Square during a May Day rally and march which they now consider a riot.

Police said on Twitter Monday afternoon that anarchists destroyed a police car, damaged numerous windows and property, started fires in the streets and attacked police.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Updated at 5:16 p.m. PST

SEATTLE (AP) — Chanting "Stand up, fight back," hundreds of people marched through downtown Seattle Monday to support immigrants and workers on May Day.

Authorities braced for demonstrations to turn disruptive, with some businesses boarding up windows and erecting barricades.

Native American dancers walked in front of the larger gathering of protesters. The march followed a rally at a city park where speakers, including Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, urged resistance to President Donald Trump's policies.

May Day protests and rallies around the world and across the U.S. are celebrating labor, calling for greater protections and benefits for workers and highlighting the contributions of immigrants.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

It’s been five years since the 2012 May Day protest that left windows shattered in downtown Seattle. May Day events usually turn violent at night, but police were caught off-guard that year when a small group of protesters lashed out in the middle of the day.

Seattle is no stranger to protests that end in chaos, arrests and injuries. In 1999, World Trade Organization protests shocked people around the world. And on every May Day in recent years, after peaceful daytime marches wrap up, mayhem creeps in.

Marches in support of worker rights and labor unions are taking place around the world Monday, dubbed "May Day." Here in the U.S., they're expected to draw larger than usual crowds due to President Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration.

In heavily Latino Los Angeles, where labor unions also hold big sway, community organizers spent much of the last weekend doing last minute planning and logistics, as well as peacekeeping training.

Tim Durkan

Seattle police arrested nine people during an unpermitted May Day march that involved a scuffle between an anarchist and a man dressed as a superhero, wardrobe changes by the anti-capitalist marchers and no major property damage.

The fight between the anarchist and the man in costume broke out near Fifth and Pike when the anarchist sprayed silly string at the man, who responded with a punch to the face. The incident lasted only a few minutes before police intervened, and the march resumed with protesters chanting "F--- the police!" and setting off fireworks.

Ted S. Warren / Associated Press

What’s the best tool when you have boisterous crowds mixing with police officers in a dense urban area? For the Seattle Police Department, it might be bikes. SPD officers took a refresher course last week on managing demonstrations on bicycles. Captain Chris Fowler, Commander of the West Precinct, said when the department trades tactical tips with other agencies, that’s what they always want to know more about.

Aaron Hushagen

As May 1 approaches, downtown business owners are getting ready. In recent years, factions of May Day protesters have broken windows and taken over the streets. Police officers have responded with tear gas and bike barricades. Anarchists have indicated they plan to march again Thursday.