Thousands of union members, immigrant-rights advocates and community activists descended on downtown Los Angeles Tuesday for a series of May Day marches that annually bring traffic in the area to a standstill as protesters speak out for workers and immigrants.
Organizers of the main march, which stretched from Pershing Square to the downtown federal building, the gathering focused on three themes — defending workers’ rights, halting deportations that break up families and urging residents to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections.
“It’s a very exciting day,” one marcher told KCAL9. “All the workers come together in solidarity.”
Nearly three dozen unions and community organizations were involved in organizing the march, which began around midday with a rally in front of the Immigration Court building adjacent to Pershing Square.
The crowd then moved east on Sixth Street, north on Main Street and east on Temple Street, ending outside the Roybal Federal Building at 255 E. Temple St., where another short rally was held.
The Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition and the People’s Congress of Resistance, meanwhile, sponsored a second march that began early Tuesday afternoon at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway, then moved north on Broadway and ended between Temple and First streets.
A third march was held in Boyle Heights, beginning at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Mathews Street, ending at Mariachi Plaza, 730 Pleasant Ave. Along the way, the group stopped for a peaceful rally outside the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Station to denounce police killings.
Union del Barrio Los Angeles, meanwhile, held a late-afternoon march beginning at MacArthur Park and bound for Los Angeles City Hall, supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and legalization of street vending in the city.
Past marches have drawn tens of thousands of people, unleashing seas of humanity onto downtown streets. Crowd’s at Tuesday’s marches were noticeably smaller, but they still managed to choke traffic on downtown-area streets.
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