Workers' rights supporters march downtown for May Day

Workers' rights supporters march downtown for May Day »Play Video
Advocates for higher wages, equality and safer working conditions marched downtown this afternoon. Hundreds of people gathered for a rally at O'Bryant Square on Southwest and Stark at about 3 p.m. and then started a march at 4 p.m. on a permitted route through downtown that will lead them back to the square. As the march progressed through the streets, the number of marchers swelled to about 2,000. (Kai Hayashi/KATU.com)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Advocates for higher wages, equality and safer working conditions marched downtown on Wednesday afternoon in honor of May Day.

Hundreds of people gathered for a rally at O'Bryant Square on Southwest and Stark at about 3 p.m. and then started a march at 4 p.m. on a permitted route through downtown that led them back to the square. As the march progressed through the streets, the number of marchers swelled to about 2,000.

Marchers demonstrated for a whole range of issues.

"I support workers' rights, I support a green economy, I support a lot of the issues that people are out here today for," said Chris Butler.

Police escorted the marchers. The march was peaceful.

"We've worked well with these organizers over the years," said Portland police Chief Mike Reese who was along the march route. "It's a very good group."

The march ended at about 6 p.m.

Organizers said they were happy with the turnout.

"I think it's great," said Romeo Sosa of VOZ Workers Rights. "You can see the diversity of people, because we celebrate the International Workers Day. It should be all workers in the street today and all over the world."

There was a small unpermitted march at about noon at the federal building. It was organized by supporters of Occupy Portland.

Reese said there were no issues with that group.