The hope is for a peaceful marches and rallies to bring focus to immigrant and workers rights. But, police in Seattle and other cities are preparing for the possibility of anarchists and other rioters during Wednesday's May Day activities following the destruction that came to downtown Seattle last year.
At least three groups of protesters are expected to converge on downtown throughout the day, but only one group, El Comite, has a legal permit.
Over 500 Seattle Police officers will work on May Day. They have gone through special training on crowd control.
El Comite, which plans to march peacefully, is concerned any unrelated mayhem will drown out their message.
"My concern is the way it's portrayed in the news - violence erupts and taken over by a peaceful march. They were not even close to us," said Juan Bcanerga of El Comite, May Day organizer.
El Comite is expected to march Wednesday starting at 3 p.m, starting at Judkins Park and following this route.
- Along 20th Ave. S to South Jackson Street
- West on South Jackson to 4th Ave
- North on 4th Ave to Union Street
- West on Union Street to 3rd Ave
- South on 3rd Ave to Columbia Street
- West on Columbia Street to 2nd Ave
- North on 2nd Ave to the Jackson Federal Building (Rally planned for 4:30 p.m.)
At some point Wednesday in Westlake Park, a group called the "Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army" is set to protest social injustice.
At 6 p.m., protesters are expected to march from Seattle Central Community College. Seattle Police say there is no official route map for that.
The wild card is anarchists. Online, they claim to be preparing for some sort of demonstration. Last year, anarchists made their way into the crowd and vandalized businesses and other buildings.
Police are being ordered to move in at the first sign of trouble – everything from damaging property to harming bystanders.
The police captain overseeing the May Day enforcement says use of pepper spray is not out of the question.