Crowd holds May Day march in Scottsdale

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- About 100 people marched through Old Town, Scottsdale as a part of a series of national demonstrations in honor of May Day, or International Workers Day.

One person was tackled by police and arrested for allegedly blocking a public roadway, but otherwise the protest was mostly peaceful.

The group marched for about an hour, circling the upscale department stores at the Fashion Square Mall and reciting chants like, "What do we want? Class war! When do we want it? Now!" and "Out of the malls into the streets!"

The group assembled at the heart of Old Town's art district, amidst streets lined with small galleries and locally-owned shops, a location questioned by some people in the area.

"This is the hub of small businesses," said Nohl Rosen, who works in Old Town. "It's like they're spitting in our faces."

But participant Nester Nakhno said the location was chosen because a May Day protest has never been held in Scottsdale before and because people in this part of the Valley tend to be more affluent.

"It's kind of just to remind people in Scottsdale that part of the reason why they have the affluence they have is because of workers breaking their backs on a daily basis for them," Nahkno said.

Many of the participants were part of the "Occupy" movement, but some came just to be part of the demonstration.

"I haven't been to a good protest since 1971," said Joe Chonka, who said he participated to show his dissatisfaction with large corporations.

Main Street gallery owner Bill Faust said police had warned him about the protest, and while he did not mind that the group congregated outside of his store, he did say he thought their efforts were "misguided."

Scottsdale Police deployed 25 officers to maintain crowd control.

The crowds sprayed silly string on public statues and signs, and removed some signs from outside businesses, but the vandalism was minor.

It was a very different scene on the streets of Seattle Tuesday, where hundreds of people marched and smashed in the windows of stores and businesses. At least eight people were arrested there, and the Mayor of Seattle declared a state of emergency.