Around 35,000 protesters marched for immigrants’ and workers’ rights in Los Angeles on May Day, according to the L.A. Times. Other sources give higher numbers for this year’s turnout. The rallies continued without major incident until the early evening, when police in riot gear arrived to break up a gathering at MacArthur Park.
L. A. Times:
The violence began unfolding when a helicopter flew low over the east side of the park and sirens blasted as police ordered people out of the park, telling them they would be arrested if they didn’t leave.
The police formed a riot line across the park on the east side, forcing the crowd to move west. Some participants were yelling at police, “You can’t do this.”
About 6:45 p.m., police ordered the last people out of MacArthur Park, mostly news personnel and some marchers filming the police actions, declaring an “unlawful assembly.”
One of those at the scene, Hamid Khan, who works at South Asia Network, termed the police action “absolutely an atrocity” and said officers overreacted.
The police action had cut short several speeches, he said, as people left when the confrontation began. “All this shooting is an atrocity,” he said.