PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — From Portland to Salem, May Day demonstrators were seen hitting the streets and are expected to carry on into the evening.
May Day, also known as International Workers Day, celebrates the working class and laborers all over the world. Some use the day to protest for better working conditions, job protections and even basic human rights.
May Day demonstrations and protests are a tradition in Portland, and this year was no exception amid the backdrop of nearly a year of constant protests and direct action demonstrations since the police murder of George Floyd last May.
This year’s planned events caught the attention of both businesses and law enforcement. Many businesses in downtown Portland either boarded up their windows or kept them already boarded. And police agencies will monitor what transpires as the possibility of vandalism and destruction remains.
Demonstrators march across Tilikum Crossing Bridge to ICE building
Demonstrators from the International Workers March trekked across Tilikum Crossing Bridge to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) building Saturday afternoon.
Protesters were heard chanting, “migration is a human right.”
One speaker at the demonstration said that ICE is a “terrorist organization that separates families.”
The ICE facility has been a frequent target for protests in Portland since last summer. Demonstrators at these events typically advocate for the abolition of ICE and police.
Some federal law enforcement officers came out of the building telling protesters that the building is closed and that anyone who trespasses on the property will be arrested.
Man with weapons, body armor arrested downtown
A 26-year-old man was arrested at the intersection of Southwest 4th Avenue and Jefferson early Saturday afternoon, Portland Police reported.
Michael Isaacs was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on menacing and disorderly conduct charges.
Portland Police also reported several large gatherings and marches and a caravan impeding traffic, mostly downtown.
Portland DSA rally for ‘PRO’ Act at Holladay Park
The Portland Democratic Socialists of America gathered at Holladay Park in Northeast Portland at 11 a.m. They also met at Columbia Park at noon before a car caravan and march at 2 p.m., demanding “justice for our migrant communities.”
They also want a stronger labor movement and advocate for the Green New Deal.
DSA co-chair Laura Waldin told KOIN 6 News that they were also rallying around the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. She said the federal bill would further protect and enable labor unions.
“It would protect people who are currently in a union, it would make it so undocumented workers have recourse when their rights are violated which is currently not the case and it would protect gig workers from being incorrectly classified as independent contractors,” she said.
‘Mayday 2A Rally’ in Salem
Around 200 people gathered in Salem Saturday for an event billed as a “Mayday 2A Rally” in support of the 2nd Amendment and gun rights started around noon Saturday at Riverfront Park in Salem.
Speakers included State Rep. Mike Nearman, who is now facing charges for allegedly letting people into the Oregon State Capitol in late 2020, and QAnon supporter Jo Rae Perkins, who lost a bid for the US Senate against Jeff Merkley last November. Other right-wing groups attended the event as well.
Magen Marie, who helped organize the event told KOIN 6 News that she is tired of proposed legislation that she feels would take away her right to defend herself.
Speakers at the event also advocated for recalling Gov. Kate Brown. Brown recently rolled back several counties in Oregon to the “extreme risk category,” requiring businesses, gyms and restaurants to drastically reduce capacity to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
‘May Day Zine Fest’ hosted at Peninsula Park
The PNW Youth Liberation Front hosted a “May Day Zine Fest” at 1 p.m. at Peninsula Park. The event was billed as having workshops, friends and fun.
There are other events expected to take place in downtown Portland and at the Salmon Springs Fountain.
‘Autonomous demonstrations’ planned for Shemanski Park, ICE
There are also two “autonomous demonstrations” promoted on social media that are expected to begin around 9 p.m. Saturday at Shemanski Park and the ICE facility in South Portland. These events are planned and organized by the same groups that have vandalized businesses and set fires in various locations.
Earlier this week, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese amended booking criteria for the Multnomah County Jail. Now, people charged with reckless burning and 2nd-degree criminal mischief “are eligible for booking” into the jail.
KOIN 6 News will have more information as events develop.