• Hundreds attend May Day march, rally in Seattle

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - Hundreds took to the streets for the 20th March for Immigrant and Workers Rights march in Seattle on Wednesday. 

    Organizers said the march focused on justice, equality and awareness. 

    >> See photos of the march 

    Decades ago, May Day began as a demonstration in support of labor organizers who fought for fair pay and the 8-hour workday.

    In recent years, the focus had been improving immigration policy.

    "Today, immigrants (and) people of color - are rising up, fighting for our rights and making it known we are the backbone of this country. And it's more important now than ever that we stand up. That we fight," Roxana Norouci told KIRO 7's Alison Grande Wednesday.

    This year, concerns focused on the southern border where there have been family separations and restrictions on asylum seekers.

    "No ban. No wall. Justice for all," a demonstrator chanted during the march. 

    The event began at Judkins Park in the Central District with a noon rally. The march began at 1 p.m. and reached the US District Courthouse in downtown Seattle around 4:30 p.m.

    The march route started at South Jackson Street, then went to 20th Avenue South, East Yesler Way, 12th Avenue, Madison Street, Broadway, East Pine, Sixth Avenue, Seventh Avenue, and ended at the courthouse at 700 Stewart Street. 

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    A group rallied outside the courthouse, but no arrests were made. 

    "Repeat after me: All immigrant rights are human rights. Immigrant rights are human rights," a demonstrator chanted outside the courthouse. 

    Seattle city leaders predicted May Day would mostly be peaceful, but as in years past, said there could be unplanned events.

    The city told construction workers to secure their sites for loose material and debris that could become projectiles and says contractors are responsible for maintaining safe conditions for the public at all times.

    The possibility of vandalism had some businesses doing the prep work and boarding up windows as a precaution.

    KIRO 7 has followed protests for years and has seen destruction, but last year, no real problems popped up. 

    Meanwhile, Olympia also hosted a May Day event of its own at Sylvester Park.

    Organizers of the Celebration of International Workers' Day said it was a family-friendly event with music, food and games.

    But Thurston County has seen its share of May Day destruction in the past.

    PHOTOS: Group vandalizes bank in post May Day attack

    There was vandalism last year at a bank in Lacey where someone smashed glass doors and spray painted "Happy Mayday" and '”Money equals death.”

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