Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (2024)

Thousands of people gathered in Hollywood for the first of three planned rallies and marches to celebrate International Workers Day, also known as May Day, continuing a tradition dating back to the 19th century.

Early Wednesday afternoon, May 1, workers, union members and leaders and their supporters gathered for a rally at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and North Gower Street, then marched through Hollywood in a procession ending at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

“Are we ready to march for our freedom?” Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, asked the crowd prior to the march. “Are we ready to march for our rights as workers? Are we ready to march for housing for all? Are we ready to march for citizenship for all?”

The crowd roared its approval after each query.

Salas said Hollywood was the appropriate setting for this year’s march, given the success of last summer’s writers and actors strikes that brought production to a halt but resulted in major labor gains for union members.

“We are here in Hollywood, California, because right here — because of our labor brothers and sisters — we saw the power of unions as they rose up and created ‘hot labor summer’ and fought for their rights as workers,” she said.

She later added, “Every year that we march … we plant a seed of justice with our feet, with our voices, with our fists. We plant the seeds of justice. So together we’re going to see the seeds of justice bloom.”

The theme of the march was “Solidarity is Power: The People United.” The Los Angeles May Day Coalition said the demonstration brought together support for better wages, housing for all, a path to citizenship, the right to strike, and calls for a ceasefire in war-torn areas and an end to all wars.

The coalition behind the event included the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, United Teachers Los Angeles, the Service Employees International Union, IATSE Local 839, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Communist Party USA and Democratic Socialists of America – Los Angeles.

Another demonstration at MacArthur Park was planned for 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, calling for “Worker Power Worldwide!” and “Don’t Comply with Genocide!”

Organizers say that after gathering at the park, there would be a march to the USC campus “to support the pro-Palestinian encampment.”

The ninth annual May Day Boyle Heights was at 4:30 p.m. with a rally for immigrant and worker rights at Mariachi Plaza, 1831 First St.

May Day Boyle Heights was organized by Centro CSO, whose May Day demands include legalized status for everyone who has entered the United States without authorization, protecting public education and community control over the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Labor groups have conducted rallies and protests on May 1 since 1890, originally commemorating the anniversary of the Haymarket affair on May 4, 1886, when what began as a peaceful rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square in support of workers striking for an eight-hour workday ended with an unknown person throwing a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the meeting.

The blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians. Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy in a trial their supporters called unfair and a serious miscarriage of justice. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison.

Illinois Gov. Richard Oglesby commuted two of the sentences to terms of life in prison while another committed suicide in jail before his scheduled execution. The other four were hanged on Nov. 11, 1887. Illinois Gov. John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants in 1893 and criticized the trial.

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (1)

    A May Day rally on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (2)

    May Day demonstrators march west on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (3)

    Julio Ramirez, right, of the Service Employees International Union speaks during a May Day rally on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (4)

    May Day demonstrators march west on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (5)

    Members of the Los Angeles Central American Resource Center march west on Hollywood Blvd during a May Day rally in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (6)

    Members of Unite Here! Local 11 march west on Hollywood Blvd during a May Day demonstration in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (7)

    May Day demonstrators march past the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (8)

    Members of SHINE Muwasi, an African drum group, show their support for demonstrators marching on May Day in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (9)

    Becky Rodarte, center, marches west on Hollywood Blvd during a May Day demonstration in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (10)

    May Day demonstrators march west on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (11)

    May Day demonstrators march west on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (12)

    May Day demonstrators march down Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (13)

    Maru Galvan shouts, “Solidarity is Power” during a May Day rally on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (14)

    May Day demonstrators march west on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

  • Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (15)

    A May Day rally is held on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

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Thousands take part in Los Angeles marches and rallies to mark May Day (2024)

FAQs

What is May Day in Los Angeles? ›

Posted on 04/29/2024. ONE BIG THING: MAY DAY IN LA & AROUND THE WORLD. What is International Workers Day? Also known as May Day or Labour Day in some countries, International Workers' Day is a global celebration of the working class and labor movement, which occurs every year on May 1st.

Where did the march for our lives start? ›

The movement originated after the Parkland shooting in Florida, where 17 individuals died. During the shooting, multiple students used Twitter, including freshman Aidan Minoff, who tweeted, "I am in a school shooting right now..."

What is May Day activities? ›

Traditions often include gathering wildflowers and green branches ("bringing in the May"), weaving floral garlands, crowning a May Queen (sometimes with a male companion), and setting up a Maypole, May Tree or May Bush, around which people dance and sing. Bonfires are also a major part of the festival in some regions.

How is Los Angeles in May? ›

The sun is out, the days are longer, and spring is in full swing. Around this time of the year, the city comes alive with countless seasonal activities and events for all types of travellers.

What is the goal of the March For Our Lives protest? ›

Born out of a tragic school shooting, March For Our Lives is a courageous youth-led movement dedicated to promoting civic engagement, education, and direct action by youth to eliminate the epidemic of gun violence. We aim to create safe and healthy communities and livelihoods where gun violence is obsolete.

Why did the march for women's lives happen? ›

The April 25, 2004, March for Women's Lives drew a record 1.15 million people to Washington, D.C., to protect and advance access to a full range of reproductive health care options, including abortion, birth control and emergency contraception.

Is March For Our Lives still active? ›

Are you marching again? We marched in 2018 and 2022, and we'll continue to demand action from our elected officials and leaders until not one more life is lost to senseless gun violence.

What is May Day known for? ›

May Day, also called Workers' Day or International Workers' Day, is the day that commemorates the struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement. It is observed in many countries on May 1.

Why do communists celebrate May Day? ›

To honor the Chicago workers, the International Socialist Conference in 1889 named May Day a labor holiday, birthing what many nations now call International Workers' Day.

Is May Day a pagan holiday? ›

Beltane (May Day) – Pagan/Wiccan

Beltane is a joyful fertility festival that welcomes the height of spring and celebrates the divine feminine and masculine coming together in fruitful union.

What is May Day Lei day? ›

Every year on the first of May, Hawaii locals and visitors alike don colorful lei and share in the spirit of aloha with hula performances, lei-making demonstrations, lei contests, entertainment and more.

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