Several arrested after May Day protests turn violent across U.S.

PORTLAND, Ore. – May Day protests turned violent in the Pacific Northwest as demonstrators in Portland, Oregon, threw smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails at police while elsewhere thousands of people peacefully marched against President Donald Trump’s immigration and labour policies.

From New England to the Midwest to the West Coast people chanted and picketed against Trump along with the traditional May Day labour rallies. Protesters flooded streets in Chicago. At the White House gates, they demanded “Donald Trump has got to go!”

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In Portland, Oregon, police shut down a protest they said had become a riot and arrested more than two dozen people. Police in Olympia, Washington, said nine people were taken into custody after several officers were injured by thrown rocks and windows were broken at businesses in Washington’s capital city.

In Seattle, five people were arrested during downtown protests and in Oakland, California, at least four were arrested after creating a human chain to block a county building where demonstrators demanded that county law enforcement refuse to collaborate with federal immigration agents.

READ MORE: Montreal May Day protesters hurl gas canisters at police

“It is sad to see that now being an immigrant is equivalent to almost being a criminal,” said Mary Quezada, a 58-year-old North Carolina woman who joined those marching on Washington.

She offered a pointed message to Trump: “Stop bullying immigrants.”

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. 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.

WATCH: Pro, anti-Trump protesters face off in Seattle during May Day march

Trump, in his first 100 days, has intensified immigration enforcement, including executive orders for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a ban on travellers from six predominantly Muslim countries. The government has arrested thousands of immigrants in the country illegally and threatened to withhold funding from jurisdictions that limit co-operation between local and federal immigration authorities.

In Chicago, 28-year-old Brenda Burciaga was among thousands of people who marched through the streets to push back against the new administration.

“Everyone deserves dignity,” said Burciaga, whose mother is set to be deported after living in the U.S. for about 20 years. “I hope at least they listen. We are hardworking people.”

In Shemanski Park in Portland, Oregon, before the violence broke out hundreds of people, including some families with children, gathered and watched dancers in bright feathered headdresses perform to the beat of drums.

Friends Marian Drake and Martin Anderson watched from a nearby park bench as they held balloons supporting the International Workers Union.

“Things are so screwed up in this country. You’ve got a city right here that’s full of homeless people and you’ve got a president …whose budget is going to cut 40 per cent to the EPA and end Meals on Wheels. We don’t like those kinds of things,” Anderson said.

In cities large and small, the protests intensified throughout the day.

READ MORE: May Day protester waving U.S. flag beaten, dragged away after disrupting march in Cuba

Teachers working without contracts opened the day by picketing outside schools in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Activists in Phoenix petitioned state legislators to support immigrant families.

In a Los Angeles park, several thousand people waved American flags and signs reading “love not hate.”

Selvin Martinez, an immigrant from Honduras with an American flag draped around his shoulders, took the day off from his job waxing casino floors to protest. “We hope to get to be respected as people, because we are not animals, we are human beings,” said Martinez, who moved to Los Angeles 14 years ago fleeing violence in his country.

The White House did not respond to requests for a response to the May Day demonstrations.

WATCH: May Day march in Portland, Oregon descends into violence and looting

Several protesters, like 39-year-old Mario Quintero, outed themselves as being in the country illegally to help make their point.

“I’m an undocumented immigrant, so I suffer in my own experience with my family,” said Quintero at a Lansing, Michigan, rally. “That’s why I am here, to support not only myself but my entire community.”

In Miami, Alberto and Maribel Resendiz closed their juice bar, losing an estimated revenue of $3,000, to join a rally.

“This is the day where people can see how much we contribute,” said Alberto Resendiz, who previously worked as a migrant worker in fields as far away as Michigan. “This country will crumble down without us.”

He added, “We deserve a better treatment.”

In Oakland at a later march, more than 1,000 people marched peacefully representing labour groups along with Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino and other immigrants.

While union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers’ rights around the world, the day has become a rallying point for immigrants in the U.S. since massive demonstrations were held on the date in 2006 against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.

In recent years, immigrant rights protests shrank as groups diverged and shifted their focus on voter registration and lobbying.

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Taxin reported from Los Angeles. AP writers Lisa Baumann in Seattle, Steve Peoples in New York, Jessica Gresko in Washington, D.C., Kristen De Groot in Philadelphia, Adriana Gomez Licon in Miami, Sophia Tareen in Chicago, Deepti Hajela in New York, Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, Lisa Adams in Charlotte, North Carolina, Gillian Flaccus in Portland, Oregon and Crystal Hill in Providence, Rhode Island contributed to this report.

Portage la Prairie to host first mixed doubles curling trials for 2018 Winter Olympics

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. —; The road to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will pass through Portage la Prairie, Man.

The southern Manitoba city will host Canada’s first mixed doubles curling trials from Jan. 2-7 at Stride Place. The tournament will determine which team will wear the maple leaf at the 2018 Games. It will feature 18 teams split into two pools of nine. The top eight will advance to a modified double-knockout playoff.

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“This will be an historic event,” Peter Inch of Curling Canada said in a statement. “We know the community will embrace this event.”

Mixed doubles curling will make its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang,South Korea.

Winnipegger Reid Carruthers along with Joanne Courtney helped Canada qualify for the Olympic Games with a silver medal finish at this past weekend’s World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship. Thanks to the podium placing, Canada is now ranked first in the world.

“Our athletes have been working extremely hard in the past few years to make sure we’re at a level to compete for a medal in Pyeongchang,” national mixed doubles coach Jeff Stoughton said in a statement.

Seven of the 18 teams that will compete at the trials have already been decided. Joining Carruthers and Courtney at the event will be Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing, Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson, Rachel Homan and John Morris, Kalynn Virtue and Charley Thomas, Emma Miskew and Tyrel Griffith along with Marliese Kasner and Dustin Kalthoff.

The remaining 11 teams will be determined in the fall. Members of the four player teams Canada will send to the Olympics won’t be eligible to compete at the mixed doubles trials.

Man’s death in New Brunswick prison preventable: correctional investigator

The death of a man who was repeatedly pepper sprayed at a New Brunswick prison was preventable, Canada’s correctional investigator has found in a damning review that concludes unnecessary force was used.

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READ MORE: RCMP re-open investigation into the death of pepper sprayed Dorchester inmate

Matthew Ryan Hines, who was serving a five-year sentence at Dorchester Penitentiary for offences including robbery, died on May 26, 2015.

In a report released Tuesday, Ivan Zinger said the repeated use of pepper spray at very close range appears to have contributed to Hines’s rapid onset of medical complications.

Zinger found correctional staff used unnecessary physical and chemical force, even as Hines was “clearly and fully” under control by the guards, and failed to properly respond to the ensuing medical emergency.

“In this case, everything that could go wrong in a use-of-force intervention went wrong,” said Zinger.

He said those factors ultimately led to the 33-year-old’s death by acute asphyxia due to pulmonary edema – a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs.

READ MORE: Minister Ralph Goodale says no tolerance for ‘inappropriate use of force’ in prison

A statement from the Hines family said they were grateful for the thorough investigation. They said Hines struggled with mental illness since he was an adolescent, and they said it is important that Canadians “understand the truth of what happened to him.”

“The commitment that (the correctional investigator’s office) has shown in the investigation of Matthew’s death has given us hope that no one else will suffer as Matthew did,” the statement said.

The statement also noted that his family was initially told that he died of a seizure.

Zinger’s report said Correctional Service Canada provided misleading and incomplete information to the public and the family about the circumstances surrounding Hines’s death.

The report also raises questions about the adequacy of the service investigating and disciplining itself.

“Although the internal investigation identified 21 legal and policy violations in the staff response, subsequent staff disciplinary proceedings were inherently flawed and self-serving,” said Zinger.

READ MORE: Dorchester jail death raises issues of use of force, health care: investigator

“Corrective measures taken after the fact failed to reflect the nature and gravity of staff errors and omissions that contributed to this tragic, and, by my estimation, avertable death.”

Correctional Services Canada has said one person was fired and three others were disciplined.

Zinger’s report makes 10 recommendations, all of which have been accepted by Correctional Service Canada.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said he supports the recommendations. He said the Hines family and the wider public deserved to know how and why he died.

“We can do more to prevent deaths in custody,” Goodale said in a statement.

“Moving forward, I am confident that implementing the recommendations, along with the changes (Correctional Services Canada) has already undertaken, will mean greater accountability, transparency, and most importantly, safety for all Canadians.”

The recommendations include several aimed at addressing systemic gaps in how Correctional Service Canada staff respond to medical emergencies.

It also directs the service to immediately develop a separate intervention plan for front-line staff in recognizing and responding to medical and mental-health emergencies.

Last September, the investigation into Hines’s death was reopened by the RCMP.

Read the full report

Alberta finance minister to stick to financial plan, even with possible credit rating downgrade

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci said Monday his government plans to stay the course when it comes to its finances, even if there’s a chance the province’s credit rate could be further downgraded.

Ceci was in Toronto where he had a meeting with three credit rating agencies: Standard and Poors, DBRS Ltd. and Moody’s Investor Service.

He said he was given no indication that the province’s credit rating would be downgraded.

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Ceci said the talks focused on the provincial government’s plans to return to a balanced budget by 2023 or 2024.

“They were asking for further elaboration to understand the fundamentals we built our plan on, and what it was built on,” Ceci said.

“All three of the credit agencies indicated they would take the next two to five weeks to further assess their response.”

READ MORE:
Alberta finance minister defends debt growth from credit rating agency criticism

Ceci said even if there is another downgrade, Alberta still has a good credit rating that is higher than other provinces in the country.

He also pointed out things are starting to turn around in the province, and added that the NDP government has been controlling spending.

“We’re restraining operating growth below population growth and inflation, and as the economy recovers, I told them, revenue will gradually return to normal levels in the coming year. That’s what I shared. Budget 2017 maps outline clearly how we’re cutting the deficit down,” Ceci said.

In April 2016, Moody’s Investor Service and DBRS both downgraded Alberta’s credit rating.

Then in May 2016, Standard & Poor’s changed the province’s rating from double-A-plus to double-A.

Bride gets life-saving kidney transplant days before her wedding

Bride-to-be Anu Phillips had everything planned for her big day, but little did she know she’d also receive a new life-saving organ.

The Texas woman underwent surgery for a kidney transplant on March 19, six days before walking down the aisle with her husband Jeswin James.

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“[The transplant] gave me more life to actually enjoy. Now I can travel, have children — and that was actually my main concern,” Phillips told ABC News. “I’m happy that my husband doesn’t have to experience the daily struggles that I was going through in taking care of me.”

READ MORE: ‘Perfect’ stillborn baby without brain becomes eye donor

ABC notes that Phillips was discharged from Medical City Dallas hospital just 24 hours before her wedding.

“Before the wedding, she was on dialysis for the past five years, so every day when she woke up, she was very tired, very weak,” James told ABC News. “After the transplant, she’s energetic. My wife, she’s healthy, she’s happy, she’s full of life.”

WATCH: Canadian teen has first triple-organ transplant of its kind

A long journey

According to Fox 4 News, the 28-year-old had been on a waiting list since 2012 for end stage renal disease (kidney disease). She was matched with a donor just six days before she tied the knot.

“The opportunity for her was to get a really good kidney, and we had to make a decision on can we get her the kidney and get her in and out of the hospital and get her to that wedding on time,” Dr. Matthew Mulloy said to the TV station.

READ MORE: Heart recipient plays in charity hockey game honouring Calgary organ donor

Medical City Dallas shared the couple’s story on their Facebook page, just days before the end of Donate Life Month in April.

“[This month is] designed to raise awareness about the importance of registering as an organ donor and how people who do so can transform sickness and injury into a second chance at life. Anu Phillips is a perfect example — she received a life-saving kidney transplant the same week as her wedding,” the hospital wrote on the social media site.

When organ donations save lives

In March 2015, former Marine Chris Dempsey donated his liver to then-stranger Heather Krueger who was diagnosed with stage 4 liver disease, SELF reports. Two years later, the two started dating and eventually tied the knot.

“He had told me at the beginning of everything, ’You owe me absolutely nothing for this,’” Krueger told the Today Show in 2016.

“‘We can go our separate ways if that’s what you want.’ It was kind of like, we do have this special bond, but is this just because I’m sick that I’m feeling this way? You had to kind of separate that, but after the surgery, I realized it went beyond that… I realized how kind of a person, how special, how selfless and different he is.”

READ MORE: Every French citizen presumed to be organ donor under new law

In a somewhat similar vein, a Pennsylvania bride walked down the aisle with a man who got her father’s donated heart in August 2016, The New York Times reports. A decade earlier, the bride’s father was tragically killed in a mugging.

“The murder and the wedding happened within a three-block radius,” bride Jeni Stepien told the paper. “And I was just thinking, ‘My dad is here with us, and this man is here with us because of us.’”

How to donate organs in Canada

According to Canadian health officials, in the past 10 years, the number of deceased organ donors has gone up by 44 per cent, but the number of people seeking transplants has also risen. And as the population continues to age, the need for organ and tissue donations will also increase.

READ MORE: Ontario hits milestone with more than 340,000 registered organ donors in 2015-16

Only a fraction of Canadians are registered donors and registration only takes a few minutes.

“Organ donation is not only lifesaving but life giving,” Dr. Peter Nickerson, medical director of transplantation for the Canadian Blood Services said in a statement. “As an example, a kidney transplant will prolong the recipient’s life and vastly improve the quality of that life. Suddenly, someone who was tied to a dialysis machine has the freedom to travel, the energy to do what they want and the desire to again live life fully.”

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Petition circulating to change Quebec’s controversial history curriculum

A coalition of educators and parents have started circulating a petition to demand Quebec change its history curriculum.

READ MORE: Quebec minister refuses to sign off on new, controversial history course

They say their main concern is an apparent lack of representation of the Anglophone community, as well as minorities and indigenous people in Quebec’s history books.

“Children in school today don’t see themselves, their parents, or their grandparents reflected in the historical narrative,” said Carol Meindl, of the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations.

“And yet, they have been there.”

READ MORE: New Quebec high school history course ignores minorities, says teacher

WATCH BELOW: A look at Quebec’s history

How students view Quebec history

02:44

How students view Quebec history

00:45

Quebec history revisited

02:14

Quebec history under review

02:54

Critiquing Quebec’s history course



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  • Quebec minister refuses to sign off on new, controversial history course

    Opponents of the curriculum, such as the Kativik School Board, have come out to say it “repeats a historical pattern of oppression.”

    READ MORE: Anglophones, minorities excluded from new Quebec history course: teacher

    Westmount High School teacher Robert Green also wrote that it “casts Anglophones in the role of comic-book villains.”

    In a statement, a spokesperson with the Quebec Education Ministry told Global News the current curriculum is a pilot project slated to last until next month, and that Anglophone and Aboriginal groups consulted seemed happy with it.

    READ MORE: Quebec students have ‘sad’ vision of province’s history

    The coalition is demanding the province involve more stakeholders when it comes to consultations on future curriculums.