Both the LA Times and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported 30,000 marchers at the May Day demonstation in DTLA. I arrived at 11 a.m. at the launch point on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Alvarado Street to find a mass of people had filled up MacArthur Park, eager to begin the march up Wilshire Boulevard to City Hall. It seemed like a massive turnout.
It took that crowd almost thirty minutes, marching and chanting shoulder to shoulder and covering the full width of Wilshire, to leave MacArthur Park. Two and a half miles and nearly two hours later, they began to arrive at Grand Park, gradually filling in the rising parkland facing the stage at City Hall. There were waves of red, orange, purple, black, blue. Signs in Spanish and English, men, women, children. All ages. All colors. All genders and persuasions.
Words of the day: “No!” “Unidas,” “Si, se puede!”
Nearly one hundred unions and community groups were represented, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The Teamsters, several chapters of SEIU, Roofers, Steelworkers, Health Care Workers, the FMLN. Huh? The FMLN? The Marxist group that fought a revolutionary war in El Salvador for years and only recently laid down their guns to become a political party? They marched with an eye-catching banner.
The march passed through all the elements that make up DTLA…high rises, office workers, construction, the freeway. Denizens and drivers waved, honked, took pictures and the crowd waved back and cheered as it surged past restaurants, past coffee shops, the Grand Central Market and Angel’s Flight to Grand Park.
It just seemed like more than 30,000 people.