SPOKANE, Wash. --- Protesters took to the streets of Downtown Spokane on Monday to march for immigration reform.
The Eastern Washington University student club “MEChA” planned the protest. MEChA is an acronym for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan and is part of a larger national student organization.
Spokane Falls Boulevard, Stevens and Main Street were all blocked off for the march, which started at the clock tower in Riverfront Park.
“Two, four, six, eight, Spokane is too great to hate,” chanted demonstrators.
The demonstrations on May Day, celebrated as International Workers' Day, follow similar actions worldwide in which protesters from the Philippines to Paris demanded better working conditions, the Associated Press reported. But the widespread protests in the United States were aimed directly at the new Republican president, who has followed aggressive anti-immigrant rhetoric on the campaign trail with aggressive action in the White House.
One protester told KREM 2 he is undocumented, along with his family, after overstaying their visas when he was very young.
“I’m here to say deportations are no longer an acceptable form of dealing with immigration issues in this country,” he said when asked why he was attending the protest. “Everyone is needed and all of us are contributing to the economy and to our community.”
“Whether you agree or disagree with how 11 million people became undocumented, the point is that we all depend on each other,” he said. “If I’m being deported, if millions of people are going to be deported as President Trump has suggested, that’s going to be millions of people and taxpayers that won’t be able to contribute to our community.”