Thousands March in May Day Rally for Immigration Reform
Thousands of people from throughout Central Washington participated in the annual May Day march in Yakima on Wednesday. Yakima Police say the crowd was much larger than last year estimated at between 15 hundred and 5 thousand people. The march started at Miller park. People marched through downtown and then back to the park. Those in the crowd want Congress to pass an immigration reform bill that's now being debated in the US Senate. A counter protest by Grassroots Yakima Valley was held at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and North First Street. Police say it was a quiet event with no problems reported. The march was one of about a half dozen marches being held throughout the state. One of the marchers, Margarita Sanchez speaking in Spanish tells KIT News “I just want people to know that we are hard working people who just want to be part of the community part of America.”
Wednesday’s May Day March in Yakima was coupled with the start of a boycott. A Yakima organization is asking for a boycott to push the message of immigration reform in America. The organization We Are Community is asking Hispanics to avoid shopping for three days to show how important they are to the economy and send a message that immigration reform is needed in the country.
While Yakima’s May Day March was peaceful that wasn’t the case in Seattle. The Associated Press reports police used flash bangs and pepper spray as officers and protesters clashed late Wednesday as a May Day rally turned violent in Seattle.
Protesters threw several objects, possibly rocks and other items, at police officers and news crews.
Officers responded by using flash bangs and pepper spray and using their bikes as shields. A few people were seen taken into custody.
Earlier, thousands of people marched peacefully through downtown.
The violence broke out later in the evening after a separate march started at the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Many of the protesters are self-described anarchists.