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By The Skanner News
Published: 03 May 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Portland on Saturday to protest Arizona's new illegal immigration law, which requires authorities to question people about their immigration status.
Many marchers wore wearing T-shirts that said, "Do I look illegal?"
Labor rights activists, supporters of police reform and marijuana legalization advocates were among the groups joining in the annual May Day rally, also known as International Workers Day.
In Salem, about 500 to 600 protesters marched from Jackson Plaza at Willamette University to the Oregon State Fairgrounds to kick off the annual May Day march in the state capital.
Others joined them for a scheduled 8-hour festival of music, food and speeches focused on immigration reform.
"It is refreshing," said Alma Tista, 19, a nursing student. "We have a lot of people here of all ages yelling for the cause. It's not just Hispanics, but people from different backgrounds. A lot of diversity."
In Portland, May Day featured two organized and permitted events -- the Global Cannabis March starting at Pioneer Courthouse Square and a workers' rally that started in the South Park Blocks and was followed by a march.
Recent May Day events in Portland have been peaceful and focused on issues like immigration reform, but violence and other disruptions have tarnished some May Day rallies in the past.
Adriane DeJerk, an organizer with the May Day coalition in Portland, estimated that 5,000 people had turned out. At the Justice Center, she introduced former state Rep. Jo Ann Bowman, who spoke on police accountability.
But DeJerk said the focus was on jobs, immigration and the legislation in Arizona.
Lizeth Ovalle, 24, a medical interpreter who does work for doctors in the metro area, was marching with her family and said she opposes the Arizona law.
"I think it's just very inhuman to do that stuff,'' Ovalle said. "I think everybody deserves the right to come here and have the right to work."
"We shouldn't have to worry about being deported just because we look Mexican or Latino,'' she added said.
Event organizers in Portland and police had been preparing for Saturday's events and some anarchists appeared in the Park Blocks just before the start of the march.
But by late Saturday afternoon, there had been no reports of any violence or vandalism.
Police officers on bikes were polite and kept a firm barrier between marchers and bystanders on the street.

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