Here in LA, the much-anticipated actions, in the works since January, had the air of…
…well, more of a high school reunion than anything else, as activists greeted familiar faces from the fall after a long winter hibernation.
Marching from four directions–starting from Santa Monica, East L.A., Van Nuys and Cal State Dominguez Hills–protestors traded “May 1” t-shirts for “Occupy LA” pins, ate free mini cupcakes, and enjoyed impromptu displays of performance art on the way to Pershing Square. Signs and chants signaled renewed calls for marriage equality, immigration reform, an end to foreclosures, money out of politics, the shutting down of jails and prisons and…health care, among other lofty demands.
There was a strong LAPD presence along the routes–cops on bikes, cops on horses, cops in cars–and a fair amount of baiting of those officers–chants about “corrupt cops” and a group sing-a-long to KRS-One's Sound of da Police at Sixth and Figueroa.
Other than one incident involving a lady cop who took a skateboard to the head though, the activists were cooperative with police. Protestors even emptied Pershing Square by their 10pm curfew (right around the time that all streets were reopened and MTA buses returned to their normal schedules).
It might be the fact that we have the events of twenty years ago on the brain, but we couldn't help thinking as we followed the march yesterday that it's looks like we all can get along, after all.
Then again, all that cooperation might have been an elaborate ruse–last night, the rascally @OccupyLA twitter account tweeted:
We aren't occupying Pershing tonight, police can go home! 🙂 We already occupied somewhere else while you occupied downtown.#M1GS
— #OccupyLA (@OccupyLA) May 2, 2012
Share your thoughts on what that means in the comment section.
For more images from the May Day protests, check out Nanette Gonzales' incredible photos.