The latest on Baltimore protests: Marches for workers' rights, anti-police brutality planned

Associated Press

9:15 p.m.

About 1,000 protesters decrying police brutality have marched in downtown New York at a May Day rally that took on a new message amid national outrage over a Baltimore man's death in police custody.

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Demonstrators streamed through blocked-off streets, bearing signs with such messages as "Disarm the NYPD" and "Justice for Freddie Gray," the 25-year-old who died in Baltimore.

At least one man was arrested after he tried to jump over a police barricade, but the procession generally went calmly.

After the march reached its scheduled end at a lower Manhattan plaza, tensions flared as some protesters continued marching on nearby streets. As police used a loudspeaker to order the demonstrators to get onto the sidewalk, some protesters shouted back.

Some activists and officials had criticized the New York Police Department's handling of protests Wednesday over Gray's death. They say police were overly aggressive while arresting more than 140 people when some demonstrators splintered off, trying to get on a highway and block tunnel entrances.


8:15 p.m.

The May Day protest outside Oakland's City Hall has swelled to more than a thousand people — one of several demonstrations by labor, immigrant and civil rights activists in cities across California.

The protesters are decrying racism, police brutality and income inequality in a loud, sign-waving march from the Port of Oakland to Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland.

Some of the demonstrators are holding signs reading "Racism is the Disease," ''Black Lives Matter" and "Stop Police Brutality." Others say they want better wages and working conditions for the masses.

Across the bay, about 100 people gathered at Civic Center in San Francisco for a May Day rally before marching to the Mission neighborhood.

The annual May Day rallies have their roots in workers' rights, but events in recent years have been a rallying point for immigrant-rights groups and other causes.


6 p.m.

About 400 people have marched in Chicago, some to protest recent police shootings and some to recognize May Day's message of workers' rights.

Seventy-three-year-old activist Richard Malmin says he participates every year but that this rally is bigger due to the death of Freddie Gray, whose spine was severed while in Baltimore police custody last month. Activists added anti-police brutality to their messages.

Dozens of Seattle protesters at a Black Lives Matter event joined hundreds who gathered for workers' and immigrants' rights. About 1,000 are marching in Manhattan.

High school students who walked out of school are among hundreds who marched downtown in Minneapolis, protesting Freddie Gray's case and in support of Black Lives Matter members who appeared at a hearing related to December arrests.


4:30 p.m.

A protest in Denver that drew about 25 people has kept its focus on inequality rather than police brutality issues that several other protests around the country planned to rally against.

Demonstrator David Garner says he's concerned about economic inequality, especially for people of color. May Day is historically a day where labor supporters rally for workers' rights.

Friday's protest near the state Capitol had been mostly peaceful unlike Wednesday night when Denver police arrested 11 people during a demonstration over the death of Freddie Gray. Gray died after his spine had been severed while in Baltimore police custody. Charges against six officers were announced Friday.

New York City union and immigration activists are planning to gather in Union Square to join Freddie Gray protesters to march in solidarity.


2:30 p.m.

Some parents are bringing their children to protests in Chicago, using it as a teaching tool on how to perceive police officers.

Meredith West was informing her 9-year-old daughter that when encountering a police officer, she should stay calm and keep still.

The mother and daughter had joined a couple dozen families on Friday who marched on Chicago's West Side, protesting police brutality.

One 8-year-old had told the Associated Press that police officers are there to protect people, not hurt them.

In New York, police have asked demonstrators from labor and immigrant rights groups to work with them ahead of planned protests.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that hundreds in California who marched to City Hall in Oakland were mostly peaceful. Other protests are planned in several California towns.


12:30 p.m.

A group of Chicago protesters has demanded an end to police brutality in support of Freddie Gray, who died after his spine was severed while in police custody in Baltimore last month.

Many demonstrators were carrying signs that read: "Police Brutality Must Stop." They were marching Friday around a fountain on the city's West Side.

In California, crowds were just starting to gather for a rally at an Oakland train station. Labor, immigrant and civil rights activists in several California cities are expected to call for civil rights and an end to police brutality. Protests are planned for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Riverside County.


11 a.m.

Activists across the United States are gearing up for marches and protests to mark May Day and plan to broaden their message to include issues of police brutality.

Events are being held Friday in cities like New York, Denver, Seattle, Chicago and Portland, Oregon.

May Day has historically been a day when demonstrators rooted deeply in the labor movement call for workers' rights. But in recent years, immigration reform and civil rights issues have been adopted.

This year, marches are planned in support of "Black Lives Matter," a growing movement in the wake of a series of deaths of black men during police encounters. Protests in Philadelphia and Baltimore on Thursday were in support of Freddie Gray, who died a week after police took him into custody.