Violence mars May Day rally in Seattle

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Supporters of immigration reform rallied across the nation on May Day in lively gatherings that were marred by a burst of violence in Seattle, where police fired pepper spray at rock-throwing protesters in clashes that left 17 people arrested.

Thousands joined May Day rallies in dozens of cities from Concord, N.H., to Bozeman, Mont., many of them offering support for legislation under consideration by Congress that would overhaulimmigration laws and bring many of the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally out of the shadows.

In Salem, Ore., Gov. John Kitzhaber was cheered by about 2,000 people on the Capitol steps as he signed a bill to allow people living in Oregon without proof of legal status to obtain drivers licenses.

Hours after a peaceful march concluded in Seattle, several dozen protesters, some covering their faces with bandanas, began pelting police with rocks and bottles. Officers responded with pepper spray and “flash bang” grenades — releasing smoke, a flashing light, and a loud noise — to disburse the crowd.

Seventeen people were arrested and eight officers suffered minor scrapes and bruises, police said.

As the protesters moved through downtown Seattle, they threw street barriers, trash cans and newspaper bins on the streets in an attempt to block advancing police officers. Windows of local businesses were broken and vehicles with people in them were banged around.

The spurt of violence was reminiscent of the gathering a year ago when some protesters broke windows and set fires.


Yahoo News has the full article

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