SEATTLE (AP) — Marchers and protesters have taken to the streets in Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and other Northwest cities for annual May Day demonstrations.
For the 20th year, May Day in Seattle featured a March for Immigrant and Workers Rights. That and other rallies merged together at times downtown Wednesday afternoon.
In Portland, a crowd of protesters marched to the city's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters and were told by police to move onto sidewalks or be arrested. Conservative group Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson traded taunts with protesters there but no arrests were made. Many protesters said they were next headed to a Northeast Portland park for a rally.
In years past, May Day has been marred by self-proclaimed anarchists and far-right activists who have clashed with police and damaged property. However, last year's May Day was marked by a peaceful march and little mayhem.
While those major cities saw relatively large turnouts for a variety of causes, a smaller band of demonstrators gathered at Vogel Plaza in Medford after 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Some of the activists, organized by the Unete Center for Farm Worker Advocacy, held signs displaying their support for driver's licenses "for all" — including undocumented immigrants.
Immigrant rights advocates have been pushing for this measure for years, seeing both success and setbacks with lawmakers over the past two decades.