Activists took to the streets Monday in Minneapolis on May Day to take up causes ranging from immigration to school funding and workers rights.
About 300 people, from separate rallies, marched downtown and convened at the Federal Courts building where they demanded fair wages and school funding.
"Build schools, not walls," demonstrators chanted as they wove through downtown.
Julie Manthe, a staff member at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus in St. Paul, joined the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers march to protest the lack of school funding.
"I've seen what cuts to education do to the students, and we need money all over," Manthe said.
Demonstrators held signs that read "no more deportation" and "we love our students."
Alyssa Castillo and Nina Berglund, seniors at Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul, said they are "concerned students" who also care about school funding. Castillo said she sees her school spend money on "trivial things" like sports, instead of the arts or giving resources to needy students.
"You shouldn't have a mind-set that one person can't make a difference," Castillo said pointing to the crowd. "If we stand together and fight for what is right and what we believe in, then we can use that to actually make a difference."
Charles Thornton, who works three jobs for "little pay," spoke in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
"We want 15, and we want it now," chanted Thornton, who said $15 would mean better housing, newer clothes, and working only one job.
As part of a national "Day Without Immigrants" campaign, some businesses closed along ethnically diverse Lake Street, where "community members will be joining the rally," said a statement from Movimiento Cosecha, a network of groups focusing on immigrant rights.
Cosecha, which means "harvest" in Spanish, also organized a march on Nicollet Mall near 3rd Street, where there was chanting of, "Say it loud, say it here, immigrants are welcome here," from about 20 participants who blocked the entrance to a new immigration office earlier in the day.
"We're trying to change the political climate," said Juan Orjuela, a Movimiento Cosecha organizer and an undocumented immigrant who left Colombia at age 3 for the United States.
Immigrant communities have been especially vocal since Donald Trump entered the presidential race in 2015, when he pledged to take a tougher line on immigration and made building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a key pledge in his successful campaign.
At 7 p.m., as demonstrators started to leave, others joined in on a familiar rallying chant coined by civil rights activist César Chávez: "Si, se puede."
Star Tribune staff writer Randy Furst and Jessie Bekker, a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune, contributed to this report.