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LAPD, Activists Prepare for May Day Rallies

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Students rally for immigration rights on May Day, 2009

LAPD is prepared for the May Day rally and march expected to draw tens of thousands to the downtown streets on Sunday. Organizers expect up to 50,000 activists -- well short of the hundreds of thousands who showed up for the downtown and MacArthur Park rallies of 2007.

"We are going to have a large enough deployment to handle anything," LAPD Deputy Chief Jose Perez told the LA Times. "Our posture will be consistent with what we've had the last two years. We want to keep a lid on anything, but, ideally, we are going to maintain a low profile and facilitate allowing everybody to express their 1st Amendment views in a peaceful and organized manner."

Easier said then done, of course, considering the often unpredictable behavior of protestors and the often erratic response by police on the scene. It was only a few years ago, on May Day 2007, when a seemingly peaceful immigration march turned into a melee with police in riot gear firing rubber bullets.

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May Day is historically known as International Workers' Day and this year the labor movement will be joining forces with immigration activists in May Day rallies across the country, reports In These Times: "Latino immigrants possess one of the highest participation rates in the labor force: 70.8 percent."

The primary march and rally in Los Angeles will commence at 10 a.m. on Sunday at Olympic and Broadway (map) and continue with a rally at 1st and Broadway until approximately 3 p.m.

A report (d/l PDF) released this month by the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) analyzes the impact of Latino and undocumented immigrants on the workforce.

Here are some websites to visit for more information on May Day events, coverage, and fodder for posterboard:

May Day rallies are also scheduled for Sunday in Oxnard and San Diego.