We had reporters and photographers spread throughout Seattle Tuesday, covering an annual May Day march to promote immigrants' and workers' rights downtown and other protests. Here's what they heard and saw.
Update, 8:40 p.m.: Read our final coverage wrap-up here
What you need to know:
• Hundreds of people joined the annual March for Immigrant and Workers Rights, now in its 19th year of marking May Day, and walked from Judkins Park to downtown Seattle.
• A couple dozen men gathered at Westlake Park for an event hosted by the far-right men’s organization called the “Proud Boys” and marched downtown.
• Black-clad anti-capitalists, meanwhile, mingled among protesters with bandannas or masks covering their faces.
• Seattle police arrested one man for throwing a rock at the Amazon Spheres.
Editor’s note: This was a live feed of updates from May Day. Check seattletimes.com for full stories.
Update, 6:45 p.m.:
The protests in downtown Seattle have ended.
Update, 6:20 p.m.:
A small group of people supporting the “Proud Boys” remain at Westlake Park.
Meanwhile, the protest spotlighting immigrants’ and workers’ rights has ended after speeches and cheering.
Police remain on guard throughout the city, some suiting up in riot gear.
Update, 5:10 p.m.:
The annual march to spotlight workers’ and immigrants’ rights has reached its end point at Second Avenue and Spring Street.
Organizers have set up a stage and podium for speeches.
Dozens of supporters joined the march during its final blocks, including activists promoting the rights of sex workers.
Others are standing around to watch the protest.
Meanwhile, a group of mostly white men promoting political philosophies ranging from conservatism to libertarianism to Trump politics to “freedom” is heading to Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Someone in the crowd, which originally met at Westlake Park, at one point hauled loud speakers playing country music, while others marched and waved American flags.
One man used a microphone to get their emotions going.
“King County has one-third of the votes in the state of Washington and it is absolutely disgusting,” he said. “We have to rally the rest of the state … (and) get it to believe in the fact that we can bring freedom back into the Pacific Northwest.”
The far-right group called the “Proud Boys” sponsored the gathering.
That group, in the past, has been actively recruiting members in the Northwest and describes itself on a Facebook page as “pro-Western fraternal organization”
The Southern Poverty Law Center describes it as an alt-right “fight club.”
Update, 4:25 p.m.:
Cheering and waving signs, the crowd moving from Judkins Park to downtown Seattle has briefly paused under Interstate 5 along Jackson Street.
People are carrying posters reading “Resist Trump” and “No Wall, No Raids, No War” among other phrases promoting civil and immigrants’ rights.
Some are chanting: “Say it loud, say it clear: Immigrants are welcome here!”
Update, 3:25 p.m.:
The march calling attention to the rights of immigrants and workers has begun.
A couple dozen black-clad protesters are in the crowd.
Update, 3:00 p.m.:
At Judkins Park for the march, many people who gathered early said they were especially concerned about actions the Trump administration, as well as the state of Washington, have made to erode immigrant rights.
“Immigrants and refugees are really under attack right now,” said Diane Narasaki, executive director of the Asian Counseling and Referral Service. She noted that Asia sends more immigrants to the U.S. than any other place in the world. “Our community has a lot at stake, to make sure rights are protected and we have a saner and more humane immigration policy,” she said.
She said she was extremely concerned to learn that the state Department of Licensing has been sharing information with federal immigration officials, and she and others called for the department’s director to be removed. She said at least 18 other organizations statewide have also called for her removal.
Sameth Mell, a member of the Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees & Communities of Color, said his group is “reaching out to people who have never been at the table before,” and that the march “is really a good opportunity to show solidarity.”
He said he is disturbed by the federal proposal to ask about citizenship in the 2020 U.S. Census. “They do not want communities of color to be counted,” he said.
Several different socialist groups set up tables around the park. “This day and this event is about our working-class communities all over the city, organizing and sharing our strength,” said Jacob Smith, a member of Socialist Alternative.
Update, 2:20 p.m.:
The crowd is growing for the annual rally and march at Judkins Park organized by May 1 Action Committee for El Comité.
An Aztec dance group that traditionally leads the parade made an early appearance and began dancing and chanting as more people started showing up. At one end of the park, dozens of Seattle police on bicycles waited for the march to start. A lone saxophonist stood on the hill and played a jazz riff.
People with clipboards circulated around the crowd, trying to get signatures for a variety of causes, including Initiative 1631, a carbon tax, and a petition to get a socialist candidate on the ballot for U.S. Senate.
After music and performances, the group will march to the federal courthouse near Second Avenue and Spring Street in downtown Seattle.
Seattle Police Capt. Kevin Grossman estimated the crowd size as less than 100 people. “But it’s still early,” he said.
Meanwhile, a couple dozen men have gathered at Seattle’s Westlake Park downtown, ahead of an event hosted by the far-right men’s organization called “the Proud Boys” that is set to begin soon.
Police officers are nearby, monitoring the group.
Update, 1:44 p.m.:
Seattle police have arrested a masked man for throwing a rock at the Amazon Spheres, which police have feared could be a target for May Day vandalism.
No further details on the man, such as his age or motivation for the crime, were immediately available.
Police are watching the area on Lenora Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, at the heart of Amazon’s multi-office campus in Seattle.
At least one nearby business is closing early for the day.
The spheres are an urban botanical garden that serve as a workspace for Amazon employees and the general public can use a couple times a month.
Update, 12:45 p.m.:
In preparation for May Day protests, Seattle’s largest employer locked its doors.
Amazon started requiring key-card access to the front doors of buildings throughout its Seattle campus at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, with some employees returning from lunch to find they needed to badge in.
Normally, lobbies of the company’s buildings, and the ground-floor restaurants in many of them, are accessible to the public without employee identification.
Some teams were told it was OK to work from home on Tuesday to avoid potential traffic disruptions, employees say, making Amazon one of many Seattle businesses taking precautions ahead of the march.
Amazon’s Spheres — the three interconnected globes of jungle plants at the heart of the company’s campus that opened to employees and public tours this year — last month were the site of a rally by City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and supporters of increased taxation on businesses.
About noon, three Seattle police officers stood watch near the building, with a dozen more officers dismounted near bicycles on Sixth Avenue by the company’s Day 1 skyscraper.