Mayday........ it started out as an ancient rite in Celtic and Germanic Europe celebrating the begining of summer. It's a holiday in over 80 countries, has been banned and promoted throughout the world and in Los Angeles we trace our Maydays to the the Haymarket riots of 1886, where the 8 hour work week was fought for and four people where probably shot by the police.
What we celebrate as May Day in los Angeles is really "International Workers Day" which is a commemoration of the incident and has risen as the socialist rallying day around the world.
For a history of International Workers Day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Workers
Over the years however, our Mayday has really morphed into a time for speaking out about inclusion in the American dream for those who wash the houses, fight the wars, mow the lawns, pick the crops and do all of the work that many in North American society consider beneath them or below their "pay scale".
This year's los Angeles May Day was a pile-driver showing of that treasured calvinistic and essentially American narrative that preaches that hard work, strong family ties and clean living will lead to happiness and inclusion in the fabric of U.S. life.
So each year it appears that more and more people are displaying the signs that the American middle class respects and uses to grant inclusion to it's immigrant neighbors.
One saw family after nuclear family marching for the peace of mind that a world without ice raids would bring.
Brown men and women in suits went by waving old glory......mechanics, in their dirty work clothes, jumped into the march, sign in hand while old farmers and field folks marched in the hot sun. ..... again.
Grandmothers, toddlers, Korean families, middle aged managers, old artisans, women wearing their hajib's and off course those good capitalist's earning money off the selling of flags and their co-products all strode down Broadway displaying strong arguments for fair treatment, human empathy and neighborliness.
Themes such as citizenship and inclusion, the sanctity of the nuclear family, and the inhumane effect of deportation on a family permeated the rally as well as a call to stop the needless deaths that can occur at difficult or long border crossings.
This is a good article on Border Crossing deaths.
Border Crossing Article NYT by By MARC LACEY
Published: September 26, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/27/us/27water.html
"Two years ago, Daniel J. Millis was ticketed for littering after he was caught by a federal Fish and Wildlife officer placing gallon jugs of water for passing immigrants in the brush of this 118,000-acre preserve.
“I do extreme sports, and I know I couldn’t walk as far as they do,” said Mr. Millis, driving through the refuge recently. “It’s no surprise people are dying.” "
U.S. flags were everywhere and far more numerous than the flags of any other country including Mexico's. This could perhaps be a long term reaction to the criticism that the conservative U.S. press elicited after previous year's Mayday rallies where other flags where more numerously displayed.
Of course being International Workers Day, socialist, communist and modern day anarchists were waving their symbols with pride as well numerous union members and affiliates.
Red was everywhere.
However, the icons of Americanized personhood really seemed to saturate the events. This was especially so for the earlier rally.
Family was also emphasized in the LGBT communities presence, as the country marches towards a possible negating of DOMA ( The Defence of Marriage Act ) and a steady state by state acceptance of the gay family unit through gay marriage.
The day was split into two marches, with the Answer Coalition starting at 12 noon and the Los Angeles Occupy / CSO starting some hours later and ending at dusk.
The splits that had occurred in previous Los Angeles Mayday's resulting in multiple marches throughout the day were still somewhat in evidence in 2013. However, the theme of humane immigration legislation for all was the dominant rallying point for both actions.
The first march was very peaceful as well as the second although the police and security presence was higher for the Occupy / CSO rally.
Both marches started at Broadway and Olympic with the first ending at Olvera Plaza and the second ending on Broadway.
At one point in the 12 noon march,the crowd of thousands stretched from Third street to Temple.
It all in all was great day for families, peaceful protest and the first amendment in Los Angeles, the American city of lights.
It's hoped you enjoy and can use the photos. Remember that any non profit can use them free of charge. We do ask that you tell us though.
Robert Stuart Lowden firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting for Los Angeles Independent Media Center
The Answer Coalition brought together these groups for the 2013 MayDay march
ACLU of Southern California; ANSWER Coalition; APALC; CARECEN; CHIRLA; Clean Carwash Campaign; COFEM; CLUE; DTLA; IDEPSCA; KIWA; KRC; KPFK 90.7; La Hermandad Mexicana Nacional; La Placita - Ministerio de Acion Social; Mi Familia Vota; Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network; Labor United for Universal Healthcare; LA County Federation of Labor; May Day Queer Contingent; NDLON; Sierra Club; SEIU Local 721; SEIU USWW; SEIU ULTCW; St. John's Wll Child & Family Center - Right to Health Committee; UCLA Labor Center; Pilipino Workers Center; Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition; Vamos Unidos USA; and others.
The second march was organized by the (SCIC) Southern California Immigration Coalition www.immigrationcoalition.org or on facebook:southerncaliforniaimmigrationcoalition.
The Second March brought together these groups for the 2013 Mayday evening March
Community Service Organization. http://www.csosite.org/
For the history of the CSO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Service_Organization http://www.fightbacknews.org/ http://www.immigrationcoalition.org/ http://occupylosangeles.org/
This was such a perfect moment. The Star spangled banner played and despite my reservations about that song I was still carried away by it all.
Another Star Spangled moment.
This was one of my favorite shost of the day.