PORTLAND -- May Day demonstrations were gaining momentum in Portland Tuesday after high school students marched to City Hall, Occupy activists said they 'reclaimed' a foreclosed home and protesters were arrested downtown.
Interactive Map: May Day events in Portland
The day began with a student rally. They waved signs and chanted slogans to protest school budget cuts and teacher layoffs. Then they marched across the Broadway Bridge, into downtown Portland, to Lincoln High School and then on to City Hall. Police traveled on motorcycles alongside the marchers, keeping traffic moving safely around them but allowing the protesters to move forward.
The student rally was followed with a "Land Liberation and Space Reclamation" event that began in Woodlawn Park at 9 a.m. Members of the Occupy Portland movement also "reclaimed" a foreclosed home near the park as part of their protest.
A "general strike rally" began at 11:30 a.m. under the Burnside Bridge and then those protesters began to march into downtown Portland. Just a few blocks away, the mounted patrol made one arrest after a confrontation. And then shortly after that, officers on bicycles appeared to be making more arrests. The remaining protesters were ordered to stay on the sidewalk.
The only permitted event was a downtown Portland rally and parade expected to start around 3:30 p.m. and last for about three hours. The parade route goes north on Broadway, east on Burnside Street, south on Southwest Second Avenue, west on Columbia Street and then back up to the South Park Blocks. (See parade route map below.)
The final event of the day was supposed to be a party, starting at 6 p.m. in the South Park Blocks.
The Portland Police Bureau said bike and horse patrols would be out all day and extra officers would be standing by. Sgt. Pete Simpson also said police were working with business owners to ensure protesters could not occupy any buildings.
"The Portland Police Bureau has expressed concerns to organizers about unaffiliated groups attempting to disrupt the permitted event and engaging in illegal behavior," Lt. Robert King explained in a statement to the media Monday. "Those who willingly commit illegal acts must be aware of the consequences of those actions, which include requests to cease illegal activity, citations, or arrests."
May Day protests were planned across the nation Tuesday, as labor, immigration and Occupy activists rally support on the international workers' holiday. The events were expected to disrupt the commutes in major U.S. cities with demonstrations, strikes and acts of civil disobedience. This will likely include the most visible organizing effort by anti-Wall Street groups since Occupy encampments came down last fall.
In 2010, the May Day march swelled to more than 4,000 people and at least 11 rallies were held across Oregon and Southwest Washington.