Permit for march revoked after smoke bombs, projectiles thrown at police officers
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland and Salem were among dozens of U.S. cities holding rallies and marches on May Day to protest the treatment of workers and President Donald Trump’s efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.
Participants inPortland’s May Day eventmet at Shemanski Park around 3 p.m. and began marching about a half hour later. People chanted “hey hey, ho ho, deportations have got to go,” as they moved through downtown streets.
A window in the Federal Building was broken as marchers passed by.
By 4:15 p.m., police warned families to leave the event due to acts of violence. Minutes later, police said the event’s permit had been canceled “due to numerous incidents of thrown projectiles, incendiary devices and other unsafe conditions.”
“Anyone remaining in streets may be subject to arrest,” police said.
Anarchists sparked a fire in the street near SW 3rd Avenue and Morrison Street. Shortly afterwards, a group of police in riot gear charged toward them and cleared the area. Another fire was reported near SW Broadway and Morrison Street.
Just before 5 p.m., police tweeted that 3 people had been arrested.
Video captured people breaking windows and throwing flares into the downtown Portland Target store. Police said they also destroyed a police patrol car.
Before the violence began, Marco Mejia with Immigrants Rights Coalition told KOIN 6 News there were a few reasons people were planning to attend the rally.
“We want to keep building community and the second (reason) is we want to come up with our messages…and tell the world,” he said. Mejia added, “This (Trump) administration is really bad for everyone in the community.”
At least 2 banks along Portland’s Woodstock Boulevard, Chase Bank and Key Bank were vandalized at some point over the weekend when superglue was applied to ATMs. It is not completely clear if the vandalism is linked to May Day protests, although financial institutions have been May Day targets in the past.
KOIN 6 News will be at both events and will provide updates throughout the day.
Nationally and around the world
In many places, activists are urging people to skip work, school and shopping to show the importance of immigrants in American communities.
While union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers’ rights in countries 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. Larger crowds are expected to return this year as immigrant groups have joined with Muslim organizations, women’s advocates and others in their united opposition to Trump administration policies.
“We have never seen such an outpouring of support since we have since the election of Donald Trump,” said Kica Matos, a spokeswoman for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement.
As Trump approaches his first 100 days, he has aggressively pursued immigration enforcement, including executive orders for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a ban on travelers 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 cooperation between local and federal immigration authorities.
In response, local leaders have vowed to fight back and civic participation has seen a boost, including February’s “Day Without Immigrants.” The travel ban and sanctuary order were temporarily halted by legal challenges.
In addition to rallies, immigrant rights activists in communities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas and elsewhere are calling for strikes to show Americans the demand for immigrant labor and immigrants’ purchasing power.
“On this day, we will not go to work. We will not go to school. We will not buy anything,” said Francisca Santiago, a farmworker from Homestead, Florida.
Immigrant advocates said they hope their message will reach Trump, congressional lawmakers and the public, as well as provide a sense of unity and strength to those opposed to the administration’s policies. In spite of Trump’s avowed crackdown on illegal immigration, many said they hoped a show of strength would help persuade politicians to rethink their plans.
Tom K. Wong, a professor of political science at University of California, San Diego, said the Trump administration’s focus on immigration is generating more support for immigrant rights advocates.
“Every pivot back to the issue of immigration gives the immigrant rights movement another opportunity to make its best pitch to the public,” he said.