May Day protesters take to Portland streets

Credit: Pat Dooris, KGW Staff

Demonstrators gather in the South Park Blocks, before the May Day march through downtown Portland on May 1, 2014.


by Cornelius Swart, Staff

Posted on May 1, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Updated Friday, May 2 at 6:19 AM

PORTLAND -- Demonstrators marched through downtown Portland streets Thursday afternoon in support of federal immigration reform as part of The International Workers’ Day rally.

The march was part of May Day rallies happening around the country and world.

Raw video: Sky 8 over Portland May Day march

In the past, demonstrations in downtown Portland have turned violent. Over a dozen people were arrested during a May Day march in downtown in 2012.  That event came only six months after almost 50 were arrested during the Occupy Portland N17 street protest.

More: Photos of Portland's May Day march

Demonstrators traveled downtown around the South Park Blocks, ending at Shemanski Park Thursday evening. 

More: Violent anti-police posters surface before Seattle May Day march

“The gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen as corporate control of the economy grows and government corruption increases,” said Ben Marston of Unite Here, a union representing low-wage hotel workers. “Our members struggle to make ends meet and often have to rely on social services such as food stamps even though they work full time.”

More: 1,500 rally in Salem for May Day


Romeo Sosa of the immigrant rights organization Voz said his group wanted to highlight the plight of immigrants and undocumented workers.

“The immigrant population has always played a major role in the May Day event. Despite a growing attack on undocumented workers and their families, the community is standing strong in saying 'no more' to deportations that are separating children and parents,” said Sosa.

Photos: May Day rally in Salem