Photos: 15,000 Angelenos March For Immigrant And Workers' Rights
An estimated 15,000 Angelenos took part in May Day marches in downtown Los Angeles Monday in support of immigrant and workers' rights. Thousands, including dozens of different union groups, gathered in MacArthur Park at 11 a.m. for a rally before marching east on Wilshire Boulevard to downtown Los Angeles and joining other marches at City Hall. Mayor Eric Garcetti was among those who spoke during the early afternoon City Hall rally.
The marches were planned by a coalition of more than 100 immigrant rights, labor and faith groups, and several L.A. City Council members, including Councilman Gil Cedillo and Councilman José Huizar. “In a country founded by immigrants, we are a city of immigrants," Huizar, who was the first Mexican immigrant elected to the City Council in L.A. history, said. “We stand with our immigrant community as family, as friends and as partners in the critically important economic engine that is the Southern California region."
"We don’t need hateful rhetoric or the dividing of families through deportation out of Washington D.C. On this May Day, we renew our vow to President Trump for a solution that works for all: comprehensive immigration reform—now," Huizar said.
Carla, a 20-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was marching with activists from CHIRLA and CARACEN, told LAist that her life had "changed drastically" since the election. "Hate is more obvious now," she said. "It was always there, but now it's more obvious."
"I feel threatened, and not just for me, but for my family and community," she continued. "But I'm going to fight back."
Kathy Hoang, director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles, told LAist that about 30 members of ROC, which represents workers from all parts of the restaurant industry, were out marching today. "ROC is out here because we're part of the resistance against the misogyny and hatred and xenophobia," she said.
"I keep this sign in my car now," Sarah Passe, a 33-year-old who works in media, told LAist of the "Sanctuary Now" sign she was holding, which she has used at several protests.
The marches were overwhelmingly peaceful, though there was some tension between pro and anti-Trump protesters, who faced off near City Hall. One individual was arrested on arson charges after burning a small American flag outside of the federal building. A second individual was questioned and then released after throwing projectiles, according to LAPD Officer Tony Im.