Chanting, “They owe us,” and “make them pay,” International Worker’s Day protesters demonstrated on Woodward calling for a variety of change.
The protest, which began in Hart Plaza and moved its way up Woodward, had the Detroit Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Troopers close the avenue between Witherell and Adams.
Protesters were attempting to bring attention to many issues, such as workers' rights, reckless spending and federal bailouts, among others.
Yvonne Williams, a retired city worker of 30 years, said she joined the protest because she wants to stop pension cuts.
“I’m here because the city needs to stop taking our pensions. It’s theft,” said Williams.
“We need to hold the governor and the state responsible and accountable for this, that’s why I’m here.”
Others, like Evan Cissell, were protesting for different issues.
“I’m here for mass transit,” said Cissell. “I think that’s what Detroit really needs.”
Cissell said Detroit could compete with other major cities if it had an improved mass transit system, and felt protesting would bring greater attention to the problem.
The protest closed the main thoroughfare as Wayne State’s morning commencement ceremony finished. Graduates, students and families attempting to leave Ford Field ended up stuck in heavy traffic.