May Day protesters march in downtown PDX; Salem rally supports immigration reform
PORTLAND, Ore. - May Day marchers made their way through the streets of downtown Portland Thursday in the support of workers' rights.
Hundreds of people took park as part in the celebration International Workers' Day. The Occupy Movement has also reclaimed the day.
A large number of police accompanied the marchers as they peacefully marched through the streets.
The march ended at around 6 p.m. where it started - at Shemanski Park in the South Park Blocks, where participants listened to speakers.
Victoria Hartt, a retired nurse, showed up to show her support. She said she knows the march is a traffic disruption but believes the message is important.
"It's just an inconvenience for a day or a few hours or something and there's a lot of people inconvenienced 365 days a year because their food stamps were cut or their unemployment benefits weren't extended. I think we can afford a little time in our day," she said.
In Salem hundreds of people rallied on the steps of the Oregon Capitol to support immigration reform, including allowing drivers' licenses for people who can't prove their legal residence.
The Thursday rally and a march through Salem were part of May Day protests in Oregon and around the country.
Union representatives, lawmakers and immigrant rights activists spoke from behind a podium with a sign that read, "Restore driving privilege to all."
Gov. John Kitzhaber last year signed a bill granting driving privileges, with some restrictions, to people who can't prove their legal presence. But critics collected enough signatures to refer the measure to voters in November and the driving rights are on hold.
Immigrant rights' groups have launched a campaign to mobilize Oregonians to vote for the driving rights.