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May Day marchers move on downtown L.A. *

Flag Update 6:09 p.m.  A relatively small crowd of only a few hundred remains at the Civic Center rally, where marchers are listening to speeches being delivered near Broadway and 1st Street.

Update 5:25 p.m. Many of the marchers have arrived at the Civic Center for a rally that is scheduled to end before 8 p.m. When the crowd converged at First Street and Broadway, it was met with several vendors, some selling bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Neil Diamond’s "Coming to America" was playing over a loudspeaker.

Along the way, many expressed disappointment at the low turnout, which appears far below last year's estimated 35,000. The Associated Press, citing an LAPD official, said the crowd could have peaked at only 8,500 marchers. "That’s disappointing," said Julie Mitchell, 24, a paralegal. Despite the low turnout, Mitchell said she thinks politicians will take note. "People have to pay attention when the streets close down, when people march."

Full story from The Times' staff and on-the-street videos in the May Day gallery.  Get more traffic information and a map on street closures and on bus line detours.

—Jesus Sanchez, with contributions from Anna Gorman

Photo: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Read previous updates after the jump.

Update 4:22 p.m. Smaller crowds and friendlier police. That's apparently what is setting today’s May Day march apart from the one last year.  As marchers came through, LAPD officers on loudspeakers said things such as “Hello. Welcome to your May Day march. Please move to the sidewalk.”

Over near MacArthur Park, officers were exceptionally mellow and relaxed as they chatted with the crowds.  The Times' Jill Leovy noted the appearance of officers on horseback. The unit is both very popular with the community and “very effective” during a disturbance, said Lt. Ruben De La Torre of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Not everyone was thrilled with the police. A group of younger demonstrators who started on Olympic Boulevard made anti-police statements, including one who carried a poster of a pig with "187" scrawled on it. Two others carried a large sign that read: “Comprehensive immigration reform is the topic, not the beautiful behavior of the LAPD.”

Full story from The Times' staff and on-the-street videos in the May Day gallery.  Get more traffic information and a map on street closures and on bus line detours.

—Jesus Sanchez, with contributions from Jill Leovy, Jessica Garrison and Ari Bloomekatz

Update 3:33 p.m.  The marchers have converged at 5th Street and Broadway, where the route heads north to the Civic Center. The early turnout for this year's marches seem smaller than in 2007. Before the marches began, the LAPD told The Times' Joel Rubin that an estimated 3,500 people had gathered at three separate staging sites. At the police command center, live video feeds from helicopters and ground vehicles relayed images of the peaceful but relatively small crowds.

—Jesus Sanchez

The first wave of May Day marchers converging on downtown Los Angeles began to take to the streets this afternoon. Led by a Mariachi band, a large group at a staging area on Olympic Boulevard on the southern edge of downtown started marching shortly after 2 p.m.

At another staging area near MacArthur Park, the scene of last year's melee involving police and demonstrators, a group that had only numbered about 150 people before noon had grown to several hundred. "Police are here in force, and just like last year, lots of police on horses," reports The Times' Jill Leovy.

Earlier this morning, MacArthur Park, west of downtown Los Angeles, was the site of a news conference that featured some of the people who have filed suit against the city for injuries they claim they suffered during last year's event. They wore red shirts and held a banner that read "Fuimos golpeados. Seguimos luchando" — "We were beaten. We keep fighting."

“We want this year to be peaceful,” Henry Reyes, who said he was injured last year by a motorcycle officer, told The Times' Anna Gorman. “We hope this year will be better than last year.”

Full story from The Times' staff.  Get more traffic information and a map on street closures and on bus line detours.

—Jesus Sanchez

Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (48)

Where is ICE when you need them? Have they taken the day off? What part of Illegal do these people not understand?

Where is ICE???

I'm sorry that you're out of ice but the deliveryman you depend on is currently out marching for some rights and respect. Check back tomorrow, though.

I'm for legal immigration. I don't support giving any incentives (school loans, mortgage loans, free health care, and citizenship (path to...)) to any illegal alien in the United States, no matter how long they have been here. Giving amnesty, a job, and education only encourages more illegal immigration.

rats....I was hoping for a larger turnout.

the freeways are wide open when we have 'a day without an immigrant'.

we should make it permanent.

I'm right there with you UAm, I was kind of hoping that the 405 would be clear.
I don't get how anyone who knowingly breaks the law can make ANY type of request. I'm sooo tired of hearing these people whine, IF they don't like the way
things are being ran by OUR government, they're free to return to their respective
place(s) of origin. Oh and that gripe about how the US would grind to a halt if they did? Uhh yeahhh, that's a lie, we made out just fine without them. Oh oh and that ohh boo hoo, we can't live boo hoo where we're from and just came here to feed our families back home and send cash via western union etc.? spare me.
Last but not least, we accept and take jobs that no American would want?
Makes about as much sense as the price of gasoline...

Throw a net over the whole bunch and drag them across the border!

Wow!

Driving down Sunset was astoundlingly free and easy today! I really notice the difference when illegals aren't around!
For the love of all that is good let's get Prop 187 up and running again!
California could be a great place to live again, if we'd simply stop the free services to illegal mexicans.
Not to mention the ease of driving!
I'm SERIOUS! It was a pleasure to drive around today!
PLEASE FIGHT FOR RESPECT AND DECENCY FOR CALIFORNIANS!!

OMG If it wasn't for them so called illigal imigrants were would every one be? I think it is wrong and sad that they dont have as much rights. They deserve as much rights as we do. They come here to work and hey maybe there more hard working people than every one else because they have a family like every one else.

It's funny and somehow ironic that these people choose May 1 as their day to march, instead of the US' Labor Day... all the more reason for them not to get any sympathy.

Hah hah hah...


Don't be so proud and so RACIST. Soon YOU will be the one immigrating and the chinese will be aiming the same racial, discriminating words towards you. Thank god this country is not filled with so much ignorant and self centered beings like the ones above. Bless.

By the way I'm an immigrant and an expected Nursing graduate, I contribute to HUMANITY, not to a country or a class of people but to humanity, we're all equal folks. This world would really be something else if the emotion love lived in every one of us.

The real problem is the corrupt Mexican government that keeps it's people in poverty while their political elite enjoy prosperity. All the while they condemn the US for how we treat their people. Stop the lies! All these protestors need to converge on the steps of the Mexican government and demand their country back! Stop blaming the US for corrupt Mexican officials acting on their own volition! Stop looking to us to solve all your problems! Go home and take your country back and start becoming a nation of work and prosperity!

'We were beaten. We keep fighting'

Looks like whoever was wearing this shirt is out there trying to antagonize the LADP, despite of LAPD's commitment to be tolerant.

Since this is a International Worker's Day, what does immigration has to do with this? They, the illegals, want to be given the same right as the legal residents here who obtained their status by not being a public charge. Take your case some place else.

I think legal immigrants should get the same worker's rights as every U.S. Citizen. However, the illegal immigrants from all over the world need be deported. Why don't the illegals go back to their countries and try to make them a better place for all to live. Instead they come here undocumented, and put our country at risk.

WHEN ARE THEY GONNA START RAIDING ALL THESE FACTORIES IN L.A., 100% OF ILLEGALS WORK THERE. BUT ANTONIO THE ILLEGAL VILLARAIGOSA DOESN'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN. RECALL ANTONIO, GET A REAL AMERICAN MAYOR!
THIS IS AMERICA NOT MEXICO. I WONT VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS AGAIN.

Guess what people ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION WILL ALWAYS BE A PROBLEM!

KARMA? MAYBE. This territory belonged to someone else, and I'm not talking about mexicans, BEFORE that.

Karma that will always be carried along with you. Like or not.

I GUESS THE L.A. TIMES LOVE'S ANTONIO THE ILLEGAL ALIEN.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!

EL CATRIN: Ditto.

Some of these folks are clueless.

WE CLEAN YOUR TOILETS!!!!!!!

Mayor Tony Villar should be out there with them when they do the roundup and we can get rid of that traitor at the same time!

Visas ? We don't need no stinking visas.

For your information, they HAVE been raiding factories.

Jesbus.

Why are we getting mad at these people when we should be getting mad at the Mexican government? The government has been neglecting its poor for too long. Most of these illegal immigrants are hard working people and while I don't condone illegal entry into the United States, I believe that they have no other alternative. But I do strongly condemn the crime that is brought here associated with illegal immigration. Gang violence is growing out of control with the influx of illegal immigrants and their offspring.

I wonder how many people here have ever opened a History book. Or have ever read about direct government action by this county, to undermine other countries and creating many of what some see as a problem today. Take a step back before you start spewing out ignorant sound bites, and take a hard look at this nations' actions in the past. I agree that not everything should be blamed on this country, but it is not blameless.

As a Mexican-American, I am horrified to see sense of entitlement displayed by illegal immigrants. As far as I am concerned, if you came here illegally you left your "rights" at the border

its amazing how an entire society can be transfixed on an issue as trivial as immigration. Migration of people have been happening since the dawn of time. Immigrants are the backbone of society. We built the railroads to allow all of this western expansion, and the second there isn't a need for that type of labor, america turns on them. Especially in times of economic woe, a scapegoat is always used to distract us from the fact that congress isn't doing a damn thing to help our great nation. They are too busy filling their pockets with lobbyist money.

 
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