Annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights starts near Judkins Park

mayday2013The 13th Annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights will again start at St. Mary’s Church at 20th and Lane near Judkins Park. The large march will end with a rally at the Federal Building downtown. Marchers will meet at 1 p.m. to get ready for a 2:30 3 p.m. start.

The family-friendly march brings together people from all walks of life who support social justice. See our coverage from last year’s march.

Details on the march, from El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social:

The theme of the 2013 march will center on justice for all workers and a community-based framework for dialogue on Immigration Reform. The action on May 1st is calling for an immediate end to the E-verify and S-Comm programs, as well as a moratorium on all deportations. Nationally, immigration has returned to the fore as politicians debate several proposals for addressing a matter that has been neglected since 2009.  Congress, through inaction, has been complicit in the use of enforcement-heavy tactics such as dragnet raids, racial profiling of immigrants, and the use of discriminatory employee verification programs.Under the current administration, up to 390,000 undocumented immigrants are deported each year, with 2011 bringing the most deportations to date, according to recent statistics.  This is not the progress we envisioned when we sought to defeat xenophobic congressional legislation seven years ago.  As such, we continue to organize at the grassroots level to ensure that families are not forcibly separated and to ensure that our communities are able to live, work, and are granted the opportunity to normalize their documented status, without fear and deprivation of basic human rights.


In recent years, May Day has received more coverage in Seattle for radical actions, including some high profile acts of vandalism downtown last year that law enforcement spent much of the past year investigating. Police action in response to the protest involved at least one raid at a Central District residence.

156847_471269572945000_366494954_nOur sister site Capitol Hill Seattle reports an “Anti-Capitalist” rally and march is scheduled to begin on the Seattle Central campus at 6 p.m.:

While last year’s May Day on Capitol Hill was relatively quiet compared to the violence that occurred downtown, Capt. Wilson said his precinct learned from the much-criticized response. “It was very insightful to learn from last year’s event,” Wilson said. “It gave us an opportunity to improve on the tactics that we’re using.”

An independent report on the May Day 2012 incidents commissioned by SPD concluded that many in the department were unsure of their roles prior to the downtown protests. Also, an internal memo leaked following the 2012 riots criticized Chief John Diaz and the department for its response and tactics as thousands of marchers took over downtown Seattle. The memo documented SPD’s use of undercover officers assigned to infiltrate the gathering crowds and what it described as poorly planned deployment of officers when violence broke out. An ongoing media effort to identify and capture suspects from the day’s violence and vandalism resulted in only a handful of charges. Meanwhile, an FBI probe of Portland anarchists’ connections to the May Day protests in Seattle was revealed late last year.

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