May Day

Chuck Taylor / Flickr

Demonstrations went underway Friday in Seattle's Central District as part of annual May Day protests for workers and immigrant rights.

Alex Bautista is with the group El Centro de la Raza.

He said Friday's gathering was to raise awareness of immigration policy reform. He worried some ralliers had a different goal.

In Olympia, May Day protesters faced-off with police in riot gear Wednesday night. But the two sides did not clash. A group of about 50 mostly young people – some of them wearing face masks - marched for more than an hour through the streets of downtown Olympia, disrupting traffic.

May Day Protests In Seattle Turn Ugly Again

May 2, 2013
Deborah Wang / Northwest News Network

May Day began peacefully in Seattle with a march for immigration reform. But in the evening, hundreds of protesters clashed with police.

Several social justice groups marked International Workers Day with a march and rally through downtown Eugene Wednesday night. As KLCC’s Jes Burns reports, earlier in the day lawyers filed a motion to dismiss charges against homeless rights advocates arrested during a protest in January.

A May Day march in Olympia remained peaceful Wednesday. Protesters had planned what they called a “shut down the banks” party.

There were about 60 marchers. Some of them wore bandanas to disguise their identifies, although most went without. They marched through the streets of downtown Olympia and tied up some traffic. They passed by some of the corporate bank branches in downtown Olympia -- Chase, Bank of America, and U.S. Bank. But there was no vandalism or property damage.

Immigrants rights groups and labor unions held May Day rallies across the northwest Wednesday. It was a joyous occasion at the Oregon capitol, where thousands of people were on hand to celebrate a pair of legislative victories.

At first blush, this rally seemed a lot like the May Day rallies of past years. People chanting: "Si se puede, si se puede"

But instead of "yes we can" perhaps the marchers should have said "yes we did."

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he'll convene a workgroup to study possible changes to the state's driver's license laws for undocumented immigrants. That news prompted cheers at a May Day rally in front of the state capitol Tuesday evening. Thousands of people marked the day with demonstrations in Salem, along with other cities across the Northwest. Correspondent Chris Lehman has this report from the march in Salem.