May Day protests 'festive' at Olympic and Broadway
Police officers and street vendors seemed to outnumber protesters at a May Day march and rally Tuesday afternoon at Olympic Boulevard and South Broadway in downtown L.A.
Hundreds of demonstrators from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, the Party of Socialism and Liberation and the Latino health activist group Bienestar gathered at the intersection about 1 p.m. to rally and begin marching to Pershing Square, where a larger rally was planned.
Thousands of protesters were expected to participate in May Day rallies across Los Angeles to register their views on a variety of issues, including fair labor practices, immigration and income inequality.
Police said the group at Olympic and Broadway had not caused any problems.
“It’s festive,” LAPD Officer Sara Faden said over salsa music blasting from atop a truck bed.
Authorities said they expected buses to transport more people to the intersection shortly, and they anticipated the crowd would grow.
In the meantime, street vendors who had set up for the expected large crowds were struggling.
“There’s no one here. People haven’t come,” said Marta Arevalo, who was selling slices of coconut. “But the music’s good.”
-- Sam Quinones
Photo: A banner reading "Legalization Now! Immigration Reform, Good Jobs and Education for All " lies across Broadway before the start of a May Day march in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times