At least 12 arrests made in downtown May Day protests - KPTV - FOX 12

At least 12 arrests made in downtown May Day protests

Posted: Updated: April 30, 2012 10:07 PM
Alicia Jackson re-entered her home in northeast Portland with the help of protesters. Alicia Jackson re-entered her home in northeast Portland with the help of protesters.
Students cross the Broadway Bridge. Students cross the Broadway Bridge.
Portland school students protest budget cuts Portland school students protest budget cuts

Before a permitted May Day march wound through the streets of Portland Tuesday evening, police clashed with unpermitted marchers in the downtown core.

At least 12 protesters were arrested when police encountered demonstrators they described as "very confrontational."

The march began at about noon and police said some protesters immediately began walking out into the streets and into traffic. Some officers and protesters became involved in a shoving match, and FOX 12's helicopter showed one protester taken down and arrested.

Bursts of heavy rain didn't slow the protesters, but the crowd stopped a handful of times as more arrests were made. At one point, someone vandalized a Wells Fargo bank sign.

Eventually, the march fizzled as protesters went inside Pioneer Square Mall.

Before the march began, dozens gathered near Waterfront Park and said they planned to make their voices heard.

"We're going to be coming together to take bold action for change," said demonstrator Jonathan Irwin. "May Day is just the beginning."

Elsewhere, a group of protesters marched from Woodlawn Park in northeast Portland to a home on Bryant Street. That's where Alicia Jackson once lived before the bank foreclosed on her home, protesters said.

Protesters intended to "liberate" the home, and organizers gave Jackson a key to enter the house. The group then formed barricades on both ends of Bryant Street and set up signs around the house. By mid-afternoon, the street had been cleared.

PHOTOS: May Day protests

RAW VIDEO: Police clash with protester

RAW VIDEO: Masked protester arrested

Police also reported that two banks were vandalized earlier Tuesday.

May Day started peacefully at a Portland school district building, where more than 100 students turned out to rally against proposed budget cuts.

Just last month, the school board voted to close two Portland schools as a cost-cutting measure.

"I've seen arts programs cut, I've seen regular classes cut, I've seen huge classes of kids, especially freshmen, underclassmen it affects them the most," said Lena Wright, a Grant High School senior. "I've just seen a non investment in our future."

One student carried a sign that said "32 to 1 ratio," referring to possible class sizes if budget cuts go through. Police officers were on hand for the rally. Dozens of students then marched across the city, crossing the Willamette River and headed up Burnside before going to City Hall.

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