Seattle May Day protests turn violent

Posted at 9:40 PM, May 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-02 01:11:37-04

By Amanda Watts and Lindy Royce, CNN.

(CNN) — A May Day protest in downtown Seattle turned violent Wednesday night, with police saying they resorted to pepper spray to disperse demonstrators who pelted them with whatever was at hand.

[Go to Q13 FOX in Seattle for the latest]

Seattle Police said the crowd tossed rocks, bottles, metal pipes, fireworks — and even a skateboard.

It was not immediately known how many arrests were made.

The clashes came after a day of peaceful marches in the city, CNN affiliate KING reported.

Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe take to the streets on May 1 to demand better working conditions during what is known as International Workers’ Day.

In Washington DC on Wednesday, two May Day groups, with differing views, fought in Lafayette Park near the White House, police said.

The skirmish, between a group calling itself the White Student Union and another the May Day Workers, escalated as combatants threw bags of urine and flag poles at each other.

One person was arrested, U.S. Park Police said.

“We were here to protest communism and to stand up for the blue collar working class. And then I got urine thrown on me,” said Matthew Heimbach, president of the White Student Union. “So it shows really how tolerant these people are.”

John Zangas, who was with the other group, said people were offended by some of the statements from the White Student Union.

“I don’t even want to characterize them but they’re fairly bigoted,” said Zangas.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.