Wed, May 03, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Thousands rally in US for, against Trump

AP, SEATTLE

A police officer yesterday threatens to use pepper spray during May Day protests in Seattle, Washington.

Photo: Reuters

Tens of thousands of people across the US peacefully chanted, picketed and protested on Monday against US President Donald Trump’s immigration and labor policies on May Day, despite a small pocket of violent unrest in the northwest.

Peaceful protesters flocked to the streets in Chicago.

At the White House gates, they shouted: “Donald Trump has got to go.”

However, police shut down a protest in Portland, Oregon, that they said had become a riot, after marchers began throwing smoke bombs and other items at officers.

Police said they made more than two dozen arrests as a group of anarchists wearing black bandanas and ski masks grew unruly, reportedly breaking windows of businesses, setting fires on downtown streets and damaging a police vehicle.

Five people in Seattle were arrested, one for hurling a rock as pro and anti-Trump demonstrators faced off.

In the Washington State capital of Olympia, police ordered protesters to disperse, calling them “members of a mob” as some threw bottles, used pepper spray and fired marbles from slingshots at officers.

Objects struck nine officers and nine people were arrested, Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts said.

In Oakland, California, at least four protesters were arrested after creating a human chain to block a county building where demonstrators demanded that county law enforcement refuse to collaborate with federal immigration agents.

Despite the west coast clashes, most nationwide protests were peaceful, as immigrants, union members and their allies staged a series of strikes, boycotts and marches to highlight the contributions of immigrants in the US.

Trump, in his first 100 days, has intensified immigration enforcement, including executive orders for a wall along the US-Mexico border and a ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries.

Teachers working without contracts opened the day by picketing outside schools in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Advocates in Phoenix petitioned state legislators to support immigrant families.

Thousands of union members and advocates marched in the shadow of some of the biggest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, including a hotel that bears the president’s name.

In a Los Angeles park, several thousand people waved US flags and signs reading “love not hate.”

The White House did not respond to requests for a response to the May Day demonstrations.

In Providence, Rhode Island, about the same number of people gathered at Burnside Park before a two-hour protest that touched on deportation, profiling and wage theft.

In Oakland at a later march, more than 1,000 people marched peacefully representing labor groups along with Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino and other immigrants.

While union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers’ rights around the world, the day has become a rallying point for immigrants in the US 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 returned this year, prompted by Trump’s ascension to the presidency.

Several protesters, such as Mario Quintero, 39, outed themselves as being in the country illegally to help make their point.

“I’m an undocumented immigrant, so I suffer in my own experience with my family,” said Quintero at a Lansing, Michigan, rally. “That’s why I am here, to support not only myself but my entire community.”

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