By Ivan Cazares
Thousands of marchers used the annual May Day March as a platform to protest President Donald Trump’s administration on May 1.
Demonstrators gathered at MacArthur Park at 11 a.m. and marched about two miles to City Hall in support of workers’ issues, issues of discrimination and immigration issues.
Groups chanted “We don’t want a fascist U.S.A.” Another group chanted “the people united will never be divided” in spanish.” One group dragged a pinata of Trump through the streets of downtown.
Another pinata of the President was paraded around with a sign that read “All hail the idiot king.”
Drummer’s struck their instruments during the two mile march. Musical performances before and after the march included Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello who performed “This Land Is Your Land” while the crowd sang along.
Community leaders and elected officials like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed demonstrators after the march and expressed support for their causes. “We are the resistance. We’re persistent. Los Angeles is the heart of this movement,” Garcetti said.
Garcetti has openly spoken out against the President’s immigration policies ever since Trump was elected. He said Los Angeles draws strength from its diversity, and that the city’s immigrant communities are crucial to its economy.
California Senator Kevin De Leon took the stage to inform demonstrators that Congress decided against funding Trump’s suggested Mexico border wall. “Today we are sending a strong and direct message. We are against politics that target immigrants and the most marginalized. We are all immigrants. We all deserve dignity and respect,” Leon said in Spanish.
Many called for unity among minority groups. “There is no such thing as a single issue struggle. I rise up because I have community,” Zack Mohamed from the Los Angeles Black Worker Center said.
Minority groups present included members of the African American, LGBTQ, Muslim, Asian and Latin American communities . Mohamed, an African American who self-identified as a queer Muslim,said seeing diversity among the demonstrators was inspiring. He encouraged demonstrators to support each other’s causes.
“When we unite, we have power,” Martha Segura from the Center For Biological Diversity said.
Other speakers included members of Clergy United For Economic Justice. The group has members of several religious groups and supports workers’ movements. One of the main topics of discussion was immigrant rights. Groups advocated for the rights of immigrants from all over the world.
“We are marching today for justice. We aren’t giving up. We (immigrants) aren’t going anywhere,” Angelica Salas, Director of the Coalition For Humane Immigrant Rights, said.
“We have to inform people on how to resist and push them to resist during these four years,” CHIRLA member Omar Ruiz said.
Demonstrations continued late into the evening with stragglers chanting and screaming. Yelling was exchanged between some demonstrators and Trump supporters. However, there was a large police presence and the demonstrations remained peaceful.
This was not the case in every city’s May Day March. The demonstration in Portland turned into a riot and resulted in 25 arrests.