International Workers Day kicked off in Santa Rosa behind the Dollar Tree store which had been home to 140 homeless campers until a massive eviction hit two weeks prior. The camp had originally been a sanctioned campsite, but had swelled since horrific fires forced many from their homes and former camps.
Several hundred demonstrators gathered to show their solidarity with homeless campers before marching to the Hilton Hotel where the unionized hotel workers were demonstrating. The march then continued on to Santa Rosa City Hall, where demonstrators gathered on the steps and the official rally concluded. An announcement was then made that people were inside City Hall requesting reinforcements, and about 30 to 50 people surged into the building, disrupting the city council meeting in progress.
“When we got inside there were several advocates holding space up front in the podium area, and everyone was chanting and demanding that the city council return come out and talk to the people,” said Jordan Torres, a demonstrator and union activist.
Demonstrators held the space for nearly an hour before police began to arrive. The cops issued a dispersal order then moved in to arrest those who remained, pulling people apart and dragging one protestor by their hair. Police then cleared the halls, arresting an elderly woman who refused to leave. Six people were arrested, including one person who was taken out on a stretcher after being injured in the altercation with police.