Activists gathered peacefully to push for peace and immigrants’ rights during the day, while two groups of demonstrators — one showing support for President Donald Trump and another against him — briefly clashed in the evening at Seattle's Westlake Park downtown.

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What you need to know:

  • During the day, hundreds of activists gathered peacefully to push for peace and immigrants’ rights, joining a series of marches and rallies throughout Seattle.
  • Later, two groups of demonstrators — one showing support for President Donald Trump and another against him — briefly clashed at Westlake Park downtown.
  • Police arrested four people near the park on suspicion of various offenses. Officers forced demonstrators out of the area by 8:30 p.m.
  • Meanwhile, violence erupted at May Day protests in Portland in Olympia.
  • Seattle Times photographers and reporters provided live updates throughout the day.

[This post is no longer being updated. Read more about a moment of peace between demonstrators Monday night and how marches unfolded earlier.]

Several events are planned Monday throughout downtown Seattle.
Several events are planned Monday throughout downtown Seattle.

Update, 10:14 p.m.

Seattle police made a total of five arrests Monday in and around Westlake Center:

  • A 26-year-old Olympia man for attempted assault;
  • A 30-year-old Olympia man for unlawful possession of a  a fixed-blade knife;
  • A 51 year-old Colorado man for obstruction;
  • A 27-year-old Seattle man arrested for obstruction;
  • A 19-year-old Seattle man for misdemeanor theft after he stole another demonstrator’s flag.

All five men were booked into the King County Jail.

Police received no reports of property damage during the evening, and there were no injuries to officers.

Update, 8:30 p.m.

Officers have seemingly cleared Westlake Park and the surrounding area of people.


Update, 8:16 p.m.

Police say they have arrested a fourth person near Westlake Park.

The suspect, a 27-year-old man from Seattle, was arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice, police said.

Officers are telling demonstrators, “Move back, move back.”


Update, 7:46 p.m.

Police issued a dispersal order, which is a notice to a particular group to clear an area to “prevent or control a serious disorder, and promote the safety of persons or property,” according to the Seattle Police Department manual.

Minutes later, Westlake Park was mostly cleared. Officers were seen holding their bicycles to push demonstrators from the area.

A Seattle Times staff member reported being shoved.

Meanwhile, a crowd roughly 2 miles away outside the King County Juvenile Detention Center has shrunk.

Many have drifted away from the “pop-up bloc party,” though a group of roughly 100 people danced and sang along with local rap artists, who passed the microphone outside the south wall of the Youth Services Center

One singer jumped on top of a Chevy Suburban, turning the vehicle into a stage. A generator set up in the bed of a pickup provided power for the speakers and DJ equipment.

“I love a peaceful demonstration, don’t you?” one man proclaimed and was answered with cheers.

Mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver spoke at the event, denouncing the incarceration of juveniles and advocating for a community of people to “decide to be the net that works.”

In recent months, activists, including Seattle rapper Macklemore, have put pressure on King County officials over a proposal to build a new youth jail in the Central District. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sent a letter in late January asking the county to reconsider the project’s design, which the county’s judges defended.

Nikkita Oliver addresses the crowd at the “pop-up bloc party” protesting youth incarceration. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Update, 7:45 p.m.

Police say they have arrested a third person near Westlake Park.

The 51-year-old man, who’s from Colorado, was arrested on suspicion of obstruction of justice, police said.

About 60 miles away in Olympia, police arrested 10 people after a couple officers were injured by thrown rocks. Windows were broken at area businesses, police said.

Olympia police said on Twitter that news crews, restaurant patrons and passers-by in the area were being targeted by a mob. Police encouraged people to avoid the area.


Update, 7:22 p.m.

The scene: downtown Seattle.

The characters: two groups of activists with opposing political stances.

The solution, at least for now? Weed … and Kendall Jenner.

Demonstrators from opposite groups — one in support of Trump and the other against him — shared a “peace joint” and some laughs mocking the controversial Pepsi ad that showed the Kardashian sister stepping away from a modeling shoot to join a crowd of smiling, young protesters.

Pepsi pulled the ad after it was widely mocked and criticized for appearing to trivialize protests for social justice causes.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Update, 6:59 p.m.

Seattle police have arrested a second person at Westlake Center.

The 30-year-old suspect, an Olympia resident, was arrested on suspicion of unlawful possession of a weapon, police said.


Update, 6:47 p.m.

Two groups of activists are near Westlake Park downtown: One that supports Trump and another that doesn’t.

So, what are they saying to each other?

“We don’t believe that he (Trump) is working not only in the interests of us as people, but also you guys,” one woman said to a small group of Trump supporters.

A woman responded:

“He’s only had 100 days. Give him a chance, please,” she said. “He’s got Republicans against him; he has Democrats against him; he has the whole world against him.”

She continued:

“I’ve never seen a person who’s had so many people against him, but he’s still pressing on. He’s still trying to do things,” the woman said. “I believe he’s a reasonable man.”

Here’s a video of the conversation:


Update, 6:24 p.m.

The group of Trump supporters has left Westlake Park and is now marching downtown near Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street.


Update, 6:07 p.m.

At a Monday evening news conference, Mayor Ed Murray said he was surprised by the size of the crowds protesting Monday.

“The fact that there are only about 100 people at Westlake is a much more manageable situation than we’ve seen in other years,” he said.

He said Monday’s turnout for May Day events is the smallest he’s seen in his four years as mayor.

“It’s a surprise. I had expected something more close to what we saw at the women’s march,” Murray said.

He said police were monitoring some of the groups, as well as reports that a far-right group called the Proud Boys was coming to Seattle.

That group was responsible for violent confrontations at counter protests in Berkeley and New York in recent weeks.

So far, no violence in Seattle has been reported.

“I only heard about them today,” the mayor said of the Proud Boys. “I thought they were a boy band from the ‘90s.”


Update, 5:41 p.m.

Seattle police have arrested a 26-year-old Olympia man on suspicion of attempted assault.

Police said the man reportedly threw a rock in the area of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street near Westlake Park.

No further details on the arrest or man were immediately known.


Update, 5:38 p.m.

Here’s a video recap of what’s happened so far at Westlake Park, where dozens of Trump supporters have gathered for a rally:

Dozens of pro-Trump demonstrators marched through Seattle on May Day, ending by sharing marijuana, hugs and Pepsi back in Westlake Park. Note: Video contains strong language. (Seattle Times Staff)

Meanwhile, an impromptu block party is under way outside the King County Juvenile Detention Center.

The “pop-up bloc party” is being staged by a group of music-management and artist-collective organizations to protest the incarceration of marginalized youth and migrants.

Rap artist Bypolar, one of the main organizers of the event, said they have not secured permits from the city but will have lawyers and police liaisons on site to “have a conversation” with any police or city officials who potentially try to shut down the event.

In recent months, activists, including Seattle rapper Macklemore, have put pressure on King County officials over a proposal to build a new youth jail in the Central District. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sent a letter in late January asking the county to reconsider the project’s design, which the county’s judges defended.

Bypolar, a 31-year-old Seattle native, describes himself as an artist and community organizer who opposes construction of a new juvenile detention center — and incarceration of marginalized people. He and other members of High Gods Entertainment, “an art collective for radical change,” set up music equipment outside the south wall of the King County Youth Services Center in hopes that juveniles inside would hear the music and feel supported.

Young people gathered around a smoking charcoal barbecue as hip-hop and street music filled East Spruce Street.

“We’re not for prisons at all. We need to invest that money into our communities,” thereby addressing the underlying causes of crime, Bypolar said. “I’m saying there are other avenues. Prisons aren’t the answer.”

Rap artist Bypolar, one of the main organizers of a “pop-up bloc party” outside the King County Juvenile Detention Center, discusses his event protesting the incarceration of marginalized youth and migrants. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Update, 5:18 p.m.

Tension among groups of protesters is rising at Westlake.

With shouts, people against Trump are clashing with those who support him.

Meanwhile, protesters in Portland have destroyed a police car, damaged numerous windows and property, started fires in the streets and attacked police, the Associated Press reports. Police have arrested three people.


Update, 4:58 p.m.

After a rally at Westlake Park, the pro-Trump group briefly marched on Fourth Avenue, while police officers on bicycles offered surveillance.

Shortly later, the group returned to the park.


Update, 4:23 p.m.

A group of dozens is rallying at Westlake Park in support of Trump.

Among those in the crowd is Francis Marion, of Vancouver, Wash, who said he’s an “American freedom keeper.”

He said he attended the rally to protect and support free speech, and he has participated in similar counter-protests before, such as in Berkeley.

“We’re here to protect speech for everyone,” Marion said. “We will risk our lives as necessary. The ultimate goal is to avoid violence.”

He said anti-fascist and anarchist groups have used violence to suppress speech.

When asked if he expects violence in Seattle Monday night, Marion said: “I’m prepared for violence.”

And when asked if he is armed, Marion noted that Washington had a concealed weapon permit law.


Update, 4:13 p.m.

Our videographers captured some sights and sounds of today’s marches and rallies at Judkins Park and downtown:

Scenes from the annual March for Workers and Immigrant Rights in Seattle on May Day 2017. (Seattle Times staff)

Update, 3:45 p.m.

While a crowd of hundreds marches downtown, a smaller group is at Seattle Center getting ready for another rally.

They’re preparing signs that say, “No wall, no raids, no war; Resist Trump,” for instance.

Logan Swan, 28, an ironworker from Des Moines, is among those setting up.

“I don’t want to work 40-60 hours a week to make this city a playground for the rich,” he said.


Update, 3:10 p.m.

The March for Workers and Immigrant Rights, which has attracted several hundred people, is getting to the heart of downtown.

Police in riot gear are standing nearby.


Update, 2:30 p.m.

The March for Workers and Immigrant Rights has reached Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood.

Meanwhile, a group is protesting on Amazon’s campus in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

According to a Facebook page for that event, the group has a list of several “demands” for the tech corporation and its CEO, Jeff Bezos, including “free community college for everyone in King County” and funding “so that everyone in the region has free transportation.”


Update, 1:45 p.m.

Transportation officials are warning of traffic delays in Seattle’s International District as the March for Workers and Immigrant Rights moves downtown.

The group’s destination is Seattle Center.


Update, 1:07 p.m.

With morning May Day events under way, Seattle Police Capt. Chris Fowler told reporters police are “expecting a little more organizational response” from a pro-President Trump group later on.

He named a particular group — The Proud Boys — as having been actively recruiting in the Northwest and calling for a rally. The group describes itself on a Facebook page as “pro-Western fraternal organization” for men who “refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.”

Members of The Proud Boys may gather at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle Monday afternoon, Fowler said.

“They give speeches and those types of things, so we’ll shift our attention over to there in the next couple of hours,” he said.

Captain Chris Fowler of the Seattle Police Department answers questions from the media about police staffing and what to expect throughout the day. (Mike Carter / The Seattle Times)

Police are prepared in case different crowds of protesters clash Monday, Fowler said.

Years past, we’ve seen violence of property damage against the businesses, last couple years it’s been against the police,” he said. “This year, I think it’s really much more a crowd-on-crowd threat, certainly we’ve seen that nationally.”

Fowler added:

“Taking that into consideration with our staffing and our tactics — I think we’re prepared to be able to deal with that if it happens.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes The Proud Boys as an alt-right “fight club.”


Update, 12:15 p.m.

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is addressing a crowd of several hundred at Judkins Park.

Last month, Sawant proposed a resolution to the City Council affirming the right of city employees to request unpaid leave to attend May Day activities, without retaliation. The council passed the proposal unanimously.

Kayla Weiner, 74, a retired clinical psychologist, was among those in the crowd. She said she protested during the civil-rights movement, as well as during the Vietnam War, and today’s activism shows a similar embrace of the intersectionality of different human rights issues.

“People are coming to realize that we have to work together,” she said.


Update, 12 p.m.

A group of bicycle officers, which was monitoring a small demonstration at the University of Washington’s Red Square, is leaving the area.


Update, 11:20 a.m.

A veterans anti-war march from downtown to Judkins Park has finished.

That group of activists has joined another at the park for Seattle’s March for Workers and Immigrant Rights.


Update, 11 a.m.

Seattle is one of many U.S. cities where immigrants and their allies, as well as labor rights advocates, are rallying and marching for May Day.

Here’s a breakdown of how people have marked the holiday in Seattle and elsewhere in years past.

Today, events are again planned in places spanning the country, from New York to Los Angeles. Demonstrations are also expected in dozens of smaller cities, such as Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Portland.

Much of the action is expected in the afternoon and evening.

The White House had no immediate response to the May Day demonstrations.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Update, 10:40 a.m.

Activists have gathered at the University of Washington’s Red Square.

Police are offering surveillance close by.

Meanwhile, the veterans anti-war march is getting closer to its destination: Judkins Park.

While passing Garfield High School, the group chanted, “Out of the schools and into the streets!”

Those are just the first in Monday’s series of May Day events in the Seattle area.


Update, 10:20 a.m.

At St. Mark’s Cathedral on Capitol Hill, roughly 200 people from several congregations gathered to announce the relaunch of the “sanctuary” movement, offering help and protection to immigrants threatened by deportation.

The original sanctuary movement began in the 1980s as churches provided refuge to immigrants fleeing civil wars in Central America. It was revitalized amid stepped up immigration raids at the tail end of the George W. Bush administration.

Now, amid President Donald Trump’s promises to crack down on illegal immigration, faith communities again see the need to step in.

“We declare that should the opportunity arise, we are prepared to provide sanctuary to an immigrant and their family, providing them with a means to continue to resist their deportation while hosted in a safe space for their body and spirit, the ability to remain with their family and community, and a public platform to proclaim their prophetic message regarding just and humane immigration policy,” said Unitarian Universalist minister the Rev. Beth Chronister in a statement.

Congregations throughout the area have been planning how to do this for months, and in some cases are gearing up to house immigrants, as well as offering other assistance, such as legal services. Churches, synagogues and mosques are taking part, according to Michael Ramos, executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle, who organized the Monday gathering.


Update, 9:55 a.m.

Several dozen activists are marching downtown as part of the veterans anti-war event.

Some drivers are honking or flashing peace signs to show support.


Update, 9:10 a.m.

Here we go. The first event of the day — a veterans anti-war rally — has begun at the Garden of Remembrance downtown.


Update, 8:37 a.m.

A group of music-management and artist-collective organizations reportedly plan to host an impromptu block party at an so-far undisclosed location Monday afternoon as part of the May Day events and to protest the incarceration of marginalized youth and migrants.

Using the hashtag #BlocTheJuvie, the groups will announce the location of the event about 3:30 p.m., according to a news release from the group. The “pop-up bloc party” will include hip-hop performances, food, live-painting and speakers, the release reads.

Rap artist Bypolar, one of the main organizers of the event, said they have not secured permits from the city but will have lawyers and police liaisons on site to “have a conversation” with any police or city officials who potentially try to shut down the event.

“A permit is not required to practice  your freedom of speech,” Bypolar said in a phone interview. “We’re not doing anything that is particularly special.

“We do not believe in the validation of the state. They’re the problem in the first place.”

In recent months, activists, including Seattle rapper Macklemore, have put pressure on King County officials over a proposal to build a new youth jail in the Central District. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray sent a letter in late January asking the county to reconsider the project’s design, which the county’s judges defended.

Bypolar said protesting youth incarceration has a direct connection to the larger May Day theme of labor struggle.

“Once people get into the (criminal justice) system, it’s so hard to get out,” he said.

According to the news release, High Godz Entertainment, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex and the Northwest Detention Center Resistance are among the main organizations and artist collectives hosting the event.

“Youth and children are target by the police to be derailed into the prison system of means of becoming an unrecognized exploited prison labor workforce,” the release reads.

“As a community we demand alternatives to incarceration that are centered in the experiences of the most marginalized youth, migrants, and artists,” it adds.


Update, 7:55 a.m.:

Thousands are expected to join May Day marches and rallies throughout the day.

Seattle police and transportation officials began warning commuters and pedestrians of expected traffic delays on Friday.

“If you have a bus route that travels through and into the downtown Seattle area, it’s really important for you to start planning ahead now,” Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer said in a Facebook Live video.

Here’s a list of possible affected transit routes, according to King County Metro:

Buses will be rerouted around the immigrant-rights march beginning about 1 p.m., affecting 11 Metro routes (7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 36, 43, 47, 49 and 106) and delaying Sound Transit express routes 522, 545 and 554 and all other transit service on downtown Seattle streets.

• Bus slowdowns or temporary short-term reroutes will be implemented as needed for all other expected and unexpected demonstrations, marches and rallies, managed by transit chiefs.

• First Hill Streetcar service is expected to be disrupted during the day. The South Lake Union Streetcar will be halted after 9 a.m. and resume service later in the day if possible.

• Light-rail service will operate more three-car trains during the day.