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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)

You folks aren't guests, you're burglers stealing from me and all other hard working, tax paying LEGAL residents. You overrun our schools, courts, and health care systems. And you want what??? Haven't received a thank you card from one of you yet. If you don't like it, LEAVE. We never asked for you to come here.

Let's keep you all off the roads PERMANENTLY. Traffic is flowing a whole lot better without you. Thanks for nothing.

XOXO,
Big Al

WHERES WAS THE FEDERAL IMMIGRATION TODAY, EATING TACOS?

Well it seems where all the people above came from, maybe they are natives of America, or perhaps they parents came here as natives of America. Why did these parents children came to America, Maybe for a better life and if they did came to America Illegal or legal or were they American living in a foreign country. This Country it's made of immigrants for better opportunities. By the way I am an immigrant and proud of it. Illegal or Legal they still pay local and city and state taxes.

I AM MAD AS HELL (CAPITALIZED LETTERS).

WHY ARE THESE POLITICIAN SO AFRAID OF THESE ILLEGALS IN THE COUNTRY? ARE THEY ON THE TAKE BY THESE BIG BUSINESSES? OR, IS IT JUST NORMAL TO ALL POLITICIANS TO BE AFRAID OF IMMIGRATION PROBLEM.
BUT, DURING ELECTION CAMPAIGN SEASON, THESE ARE THE SAME POLITICIANS THAT PROMISES THE VOTERS, WITH A PROMISE THAT THEY WILL DO SOMETHING TO STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION TO THIS COUNTRY, AND WILL PUNISH THE EMPLOYERS THAT EMPLOYS THE ILLEGALS. SPENDING BILLIONS FOR THAT FENCE ALONG SIDE OF CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA AND TEXAS IS JUST A WASTE OF TAX DOLLARS. THE ILLEGALS ARE STILL COMING IN. IF THEY WANT THAT FENCE TO WORK, MAKE IT A DEADLY BY PLACING ELECTRIC SHOCK VOLTAGE WHEN TOUCHED. THEN, FOR SURE WE WILL SEE A REDUCTION OF ILLEGALS COMING IN TO THIS COUNTRY.

""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! ""


""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.''

Wow. What a lot of hatred is being spewed here. Remember that WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS to this country, and that perhaps we should look at reforming our immigration policies so that valuable workers can remain here legally.

I don't see a lot of white people rushing to do the jobs that these immigrants do.

I am so ashamed of my fellow Angelenos. So much wretched hatred of people. This should not be a forum to voice racist remarks. Feel the way you wish, but be smart about how you communicate. Many of these remarks cheapen the speakers, their arguments (if applicable), and our city. How sad.

Trust me, racists, if all the "illegal" Mexicans left and tried to "take back" Mexico from corrupt politicians, do you really think they could do so without a fight? Why do you think there are so many Guatemalans, Salvadorans, and Nicaraguans in the U.S.? Because of devastating civil wars in which Ollie North and Ronald Reagan backed corrupt dictatorships against Marxist rebels fighting for land reform and civil rights. What makes you think a populist uprising in Mexico would be any different? Read some history and think before you voice your ignorant opinions.

i here the illeagals pay taxes how is that possible when there is no ssi number unless that person has a fake ssi or steals it from someone who has one. isnt this a crime using false ids or ive been also hearing about people filling tax returns using stolen ssi numbers this goes well and beyond what i call a small problem and if a illegal wants to vote go back to the country where you are a leagal and vote.

NO HUMAN BEING IS EVER ILLEGAL, YOU BIGOTS.
AND WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS. THIS INDIGENOUS RESIDED ON THIS LAND BEFORE YOUR FAMILY EVER CAME.
SO SHUT UP, AND GO GAIN AN EDUCATION BECAUSE A DAY WITHOUT ALL IMMIGRANTS, WOULD BE A DAY WITHOUT ALL AMERICANS.
UNDERSTAND THAT.
IT'S PATHETIC HOW IGNORANT MAINSTREAM AMERICA CONTINUES TO BE.
WAIT, IT'S HOW THE GOVT WANTS YOU, AND YOU FULFILL THE PART WELL.

Hey :/

Peole are trying to make a difference.
Where is the acceptance?
Many voices today hope for there equality.
Brown Pride.
The Dream ACT.
This Voices saying "Si se Puede"

Not all illegal immigrants are Lazy Savages
How they appear to others
So much ignorance it's saddening
There's hardworking people out there
Racising the children of the future
Working there daily lives like any other
There's influential leaders Cesar Chavez Dolores
Brown Pride.

That Long Fence buing build waste of tax dollars as well.
Hopefully this 08 elections create CHANGE.

From the anger and the conflagration of frustration is a gathering storm around this nation.

We desperately need the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088) before the new president commits him/her to a cataclysmic AMNESTY. More will come afterwards until we are flooded. The liberal news is suppressing the truth about the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088) Read and judge for yourself. Then go after tainted politicians.Democrats are even trying to gut the BORDER FENCE.

I hope they are not counting the 12 to 30 million illegal aliens staying here because they will repatriated one way or the other. The only other option that people are talking about, is CIVIL WAR? We desperately need the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088) before this serious issue turns into violence.

Demand your sleazy Democrats co-author the Federal SAVE ACT (H.R.4088) because the new president he/she will commit to a massive AMNESTY.

In 50 to 100 years when the American people start moving out of the US into the EU or Dubai or anywhere else where the economy is growing, I hope they are not confronted with this. Or maybe they should be. After all, Americans have never experienced such strong racism.

Top 10 reasons why Mexicans are cool:
1. Mexicans were in the SouthWest US before the europeans.
2. They say NO to Racism.
3. Mexican-Americans are American.
4.This is a country of immigrants.
5. In the 1900's everybody showed up by boat and that was that.
6. People are very afraid of the economy. It is W's fault that the economy sucks. It has nothing to do with immigrants.
7. Immigrants are cool
8. The Mayflower arrived without proper documentation from the Indians living in America.
9. European immigrants exterminated the Indians and didn't give any rights to African-Americans for 200 years.
10. Mexicans are here to stay.
HC

There are no such things as illegal human beings.
There seems to be a heck of a lot of illegal immirants though.
Why can't people make this simple distinction?
I would be concerned with letting people who can't make this distinction become citizens. Poor logic = high probability of welfare.

I love the argument that being against illegal immigration is racist.
Call me racist then.
I'm racist against Euros coming in illegally, Asians coming in illegally, Africans coming in illegally, Hispanics coming in illegally ... damn, I must hate the whole world ... =)

I SAY LEGALIZE ALL OF THEM, SO THEY CAN DO THE JOBS NO OTHER LAZY WHITES OR BLACKS WANT TO DO. AND YOU ALL WORRY ABOUT HOW MUCH WILL IT COST??? PLEASE IT WILL BE FAR LESS THAN WHAT THE WAR IS COSTING, IGNORANTS!!!! PLUS THEY WILL PAY TAXES ONCE THEY ARE LEGAL. OR JUST KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ALL DOING USED THEM AND ABUSED THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our current immigration laws allow for separation of families, the violation of human rights, and unchecked racism, discrimination and xenophobia. Our laws are broken. We're in dire need of comprehensive immigration reform that allows for humane treatment of all people in our country with laws that are just and fair.

Hello everyone this is the mayor. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up. We will soon be changing the name of Los Angeles to Tijuana 2. When I am not having an affair I am looking for ways to get your tax money into my illegal families hands. I hate the police and am all for federalies coming up here, illegally of course because I wouldnt have it any other way. One more thing i am outlawing the English language because this is Tijuana 2. ariba ariba Viva La Razza. Long live mexico!!!!!! Down with American rights!!!!

Legal immigration is supported by most Americans. The process legal immigration is how this Country got built. Laws were established to protect our Constitution, our People's pursuit of happiness and freedom, and to protect our infrastructure. Illegals hurt our Country.

With the majority of Illegals being Mexican, more pressure needs to be placed on Mexico to fix their internal issues and to provide jobs and a better way of life for 'their' people. This is the only way we can solve the influx. Once this is resolved, all we will have left will be the illegal gang bangers that no Country wants.

Hey Happy Camper.....regarding you're second point (They say NO to Racism), tell that to Jamiel Shaw's family.

Funny, I am sure that is EXACTLY what the AMERICAN indian said when all you rednecks came in your boats over to AMERICA!!
Bunch of Racist ALWAYS looking to blame others for their own problems.

Ironically, we would have to look outside the U.S. to get a look at the protesters who are trying to fix this problem the right and admirable way. They're the brave and honest ones who stay in their homeland and try to change THEIR OWN country into something they don't have to run away from, instead of coming here and demanding rewards for their cowardice.

I am for giving California back to Mexico. Lets vote on it.

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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