Demonstrators take to the streets on May Day

May Day demonstrators rallied throughout the day on Tuesday and while some protested peacefully, others clashed with police.

Activists across the U.S. joined in worldwide protests, with anti-Wall Street demonstrators leading the way in some cities as they tried to recapture the enthusiasm that propelled their movement last fall.

Many of the rallies, which drew activists pushing a variety of causes, did not have the same drawing power that gatherings had last year for the Occupy movement or a half-dozen years ago for May Day rallies for immigration reform.

In recent years, activists in the U.S. used May Day to hold rallies for immigrant rights, but the day has been associated for more than a century with workers' rights and the labor movement both in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Here's a look at the demonstrations that took place across the Pacific Northwest and beyond:


The Rogue March

A few hundred protesters began marching through downtown around noon and scuffles with police broke out when some of the demonstrators got off the sidewalk and started filling the streets.

A protester is arrested during a May Day march in Portland, Ore. on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

The group did not have the proper permits for a march but police knew it was going to happen ahead of time and were there to try to keep the peace - and keep traffic moving as well. At times, that proved difficult.

Cell Phone Video of an Arrest from Reporter Bob Heye

The Official Rally and March

The Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition and May Day Coalition organized a rally and march to show a united front for workers. They obtained the proper permits to do so.

Cell Phone Video of the March from Reporter Anita Kissee

A couple of thousand people showed up and marched along a pre-determined route. Police closed off some of the streets for the march and led the group around.

The protest continued into the evening hours. About 300 protesters gathered near the Justice Center while about 40 police officers on bikes and horses looked on.

Police led demonstrators through downtown Portland during a permitted march on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Photo by Shannon L. Cheesman, Producer/Reporter.

The Foreclosure Protest

Earlier in the day, protesters showed up at a house near Northeast 6th and Dekum to move a former homeowner back into her foreclosed home.

Protesters smashed a realtor's lockbox, took the key out and handed it off to Alicia Jackson, who then invited the crowd inside the home she had lost last year.

Demonstrators gathered outside a foreclosed Northeast Portland home on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Photo by Shannon L. Cheesman, Producer/Reporter.

Police did not move in to stop the protesters. Instead, they held back a block or two and then left when the crowd dissipated. We asked what police plan to do about the situation and they said they would deal with it, but it was not a priority on this day.

Jackson told us she had lost her job and had a hard time finding a new one. She struggled to pay her mortgage and could not keep up with the payments. The Portland Liberation Organizing Council, which headed up the effort to get Jackson back in her home, said they plan to liberate many more homes in the area.

The Vandalism

Police reported that two banks were vandalized on May Day. An ATM was damaged at the Wells Fargo branch at Southeast 37th and Hawthorne and glass doors were broken at the US Bank branch at 321 S.W. 6th Avenue in downtown Portland.

The Arrests

On Wednesday, the Portland Police Bureau announced that they had made 36 arrests (35 adults and one juvenile) in connection with May Day demonstrations.

The people were arrested on a variety of charges that included assaulting a public safety officer, interfering with a police officer, second-degree disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal mischief. Most were booked into the Multnomah County Jail. Some were issued citations to appear in court.


In Salem, folks began gathering late in the day on the steps of the capitol for a May Day rally that organizers said would be the largest in the state.

The event was organized by Causa, the largest Latino and Latina civil, human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. Labor union members, students and elected officials were expected at the rally.

The issues of importance to Causa are restoring driver's licenses for immigrants, healthcare and living wage jobs. They also want every child in Oregon to have access to a college education, regardless of their immigration status.


May Day demonstrators who marched through Seattle turned violent Tuesday, with black-clad protesters using sticks and bats to smash stores and automobile windows.

A Seattle police officer is seen during the May Day protest in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Photo by Joshua Lewis.

The violence prompted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to issue an order grant police emergency powers to try to prevent further violence.

"Using the emergency powers of the mayor's office, I'm issuing an order for the limited purpose of giving police the authority to confiscate items that can be used as weapons," McGinn said.

Beyond the Northwest

Riot police move in on protesters during an anti-capitalism rally in Montreal on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Hundreds of activists joined the worldwide May Day protests on Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)