Heavily criticized for her controversial comments leading up to May Day, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant tried to downplay her remarks during a brief protest appearance Monday.

After rallying protesters during the El Comité May Day March for Worker and Immigrant Rights at Judkins Park, Sawant spoke briefly with reporters and then headed straight for her car, leaving others to carry to torch.

She attended the Seattle City Council meeting later that afternoon.

Sawant came under fire last week for suggesting protesters take it up a notch, saying “we will need disruptive actions like shutting down airports, like shutting down highways.” However, she later said the May Day protest would not go onto Interstate 5.

“I would appeal to the media then if you want play a positive role and go down in helping the movement, let's focus on the peaceful march,” Sawant said Monday.

Two peaceful, permitted May Day protests went through downtown as planned. Seattle Police expect several other unpermitted groups to march throughout the evening.