Eight police officers have been injured and 18 protesters arrested after a May Day rally turned violent in the US city of Seattle.
Police officers used flash grenades and pepper spray to disperse large numbers of people during the May Day celebration rally in the US state of Washington on Wednesday.
Officers also patrolled in SWAT vehicles as they hurled “blast ball” grenades laced with pepper spray at protesters who gathered on Capitol Hill, making arrests during the aftermath.
Meanwhile, protesters threw rocks and bottles, among other items at officers and businesses, causing damage to persons and property while littering the streets, authorities reported.
The clashes spawned after demonstrators gathered early in the day to voice support for immigrant rights, part of the May Day holiday where groups of organized labor activists, students, civil rights advocates and members of the clergy rallied in cities across the US.
“May 1st is May Day, internationally. It’s a day of workers’ struggles and workers’, really, celebrations around the world. So, while we’re here supporting the workers and immigrants in the US, we’re also standing in solidarity with workers around the world,” said Leilani Dowell, during a May Day rally in New York.
The issue of immigrant rights also extends to human rights as many families are torn apart based on the status of their residency.
During a May Day rally in Seattle last year, violence broke out as anarchists shattered windows of storefronts and vehicles and used smoke bombs, while also targeting a federal building.