From Seattle Times staff reporter Lornet Turnbull:
Demonstrators protesting U.S. immigration policy marched peacefully from the Central Area, through the International District into downtown Tuesday evening.
At 4th and Columbia, the were met by a group of Occupy demonstrators, chanting “si se puede,” a mantra borrowed from immigration marches everywhere. And for a while it seemed, the immigrant marchers weren’t quite sure what to make of the advancing throng. The Occupy folks dispersed among them, offering assurances they were on the immigrants’ side. The cheers and chanting doubled in volume.
The demonstrators marched toward Wells Fargo’s Third Avenue branch, its entrances blocked by yellow police tape, its doors long since closed for the day. At the Second Avenue entrance to the bank, the crowd rallied and demonstrated.
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Jose Quiroga, one of the event’s organizers, acknowledged that participation in this year’s May Day march was far lower than in past years because of the threat of violence. There were noticeable fewer strollers at an event that usually attracted entire families, with little kids.
In past years, marchers used to fill three or four blocks. Tuesday’s march barely occupied one block.
“All week it was in the news– on the radio, the TV, the newspaper — all this talk about violence,” Quiroga said. “A lot of people told us the weren’t coming.”
But organizers, he said, were determined “not to allow May Day to be taken over by people intent on breaking windows and destroying property.”
Quiroga said it is unfortunate now that when people think of the May Day march, they’ll remember the violence, rather than the ongoing hope for immigration reform.