Los Angeles officials are expecting a massive crowd for Saturday's "May Day" workers and immigration rally. Organizers have been encouraging a show of hands in response to Arizona's new law that allows police to ask people on the street for proof of their immigrations status.
Quoting police, the Los Angeles Times reports that authorities are expecting as many as 100,000 people downtown. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa scheduled a news conference this afternoon to urge congress to override Arizona's law with national legislation. Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck scheduled his own conference to discuss the department's preparations for May Day.
In 2007 a similar rally dubbed the "May Day Melee" got out of hand when police in riot gear marched through MacArthur Park, knocking down not only out-of-control protesters but also innocents and even some news reporters. The city paid nearly $13 million to settle lawsuits, and several officers were disciplined.
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Marchers on Saturday will start at 11 a.m. on Broadway between West Eleventh Street and Olympic Boulevard and move toward First and Temple streets.