I went to both May Day marches.
I was at the shut down of the MacArthur park rally and have a very different view on what happend.
I arrived just as the march was reaching 7th street. I rode my bike toward the head of the march and continued to ride to the end of the marchers, who were just east of Olympic and Vermont. It seemed to be bigger than the morning march on City Hall.
I rode back to MacArthur Park to meet up with friends. I parked my bike on the side with the lake in it and stood on the cement wall looking across the street to where the rally was taking place. I was approximately in the center of the park. The park is split in half by Wishire Blvd. This was approximately 4:30ish. Everything looked great from my 360 degree view of the park.
The march was flowing into the park at the Alvarado and Wishire entrance and was filling up the rally area. I could see that people were laying down, relaxing, or walking around and eating from all the food vendors. I could also look over to other side of the park which is 7th and Alvardo in the Southeast corner. I could see that the last of the marchers had passed the corner of 7th and Alvardo; because there were only police standing in that area now. I then saw about 15 people run towards the area between the 99cent Store and the Metro Station. I also saw police on bicycles roll into the same area coming from the opposite end.
I rode my bike over to see what was happening. The Danzantes were coming down the grass toward where I was now in front of the boathouse. I asked one of them what had happend. He replied "The cops want to clear the street and move people into the rally area. We are leaving. We are done." He didn't say this with any anger or resentment, simply the streets need to be cleared.
I could see his point. If the march was bigger and we needed to keep the streets closed to accomodate the numbers of people, fine keep the streets closed. BUT the number of people there would have easily and comfortably fit in the area where the rally was actually happening. SO ofcourse Alvarado, 7th, Wilshire and 6th streets need to be open, if possible. It is rush hour and these are major streets. It was possible to keep the marchers moving along the route, into the park and into the rally. Ofcourse it didn' turn out that way.
There was no sign of an organized security/peace keepers/harmony keepers/ whatever you want to call them - instructing people lingering in the street, to keep moving to the rally area.
I rode up to Alvarado where I could see people just standing in the street hanging out. They weren't marching. Just hanging out. I saw some people with lime green flourecent hats on telling people to move. Some did. I saw some friends and asked them to follow me back the rally. They did. I looked back and saw others telling the masses to move to the rally area.
Back at the rally area it was all good. I had my hot dog, an esquita (corn in a bowl), and an orange. Heard some cool music on the wack, sub par for the course sound system. The most interesting thing I saw was this large group of people following this guy with a microphone and a portable speaker. He would get the crowd riled up, chanting and cheering with his raps and play with words in Spanish. I saw him move people from the west side of Wilshire Blvd., where the police were keeping Wilshire at Park Place closed, all the way back to the east side of Wilshire and brought people into the rally area.
see the speaker just below the 4th window from rightThe US Titanic
There were moments when I would see groups of people run towards the same area by the Metro Station. I guess people wanted to keep hanging out, instead of coming into the rally. This was another example of the disunity this march of the multiple starting points and times. People couldn't decide if they were part of this May Day march that ended with a rally in the park or if they were going to take a stand and make a piece of asphalt as the line in the 'great revolution.'
This I understand.
The police want to open the streets to traffic, this is obvious.
-It is not a 'tactic,' 'conspiracy,' or 'training exercise.'
It is called rush hour on Alvarado.
The people here for the march can all fit in the park.
Here are some people that don't want to let the street to open. They want to scream and shout at the front line of the police as if any of those trained drones are even hearing them.
Yelling at the police is lame.
They are a military structured body that moves and acts in rehearsed responses at the command of their leader on the field.
They cannot do anything, in a situation such as this, unless they are told to.
Yelling at a cop, trying to reason with him/her, trying to engage their intellect, guilt, humanity is pointless.
They are following orders that trigger trained, rehearsed responses.
Who do you think you are?
Superman? SuperXicano? Whodini? A hypnotist?
Are you that one guy that is going to yell the
that will snap that cop out of his blind faith and make him stop following orders?
Dang you must be really bad ass or completely full of yourself.
We have seen it time and again.
We have seen this over and over.
Clinically speaking, to keep repeating the same action, expecting a different outcome is a sign of dis-ease.
You don't listen to the cops, but you think they will listen to you.
You don't get the hell away from them, but you think you can stand there and they will let YOU go, not HIT or SHOOT YOU. You must be really bad ass or completely full of yourself.
At 6:15 I began hearing the pops of the rubber bullet guns going off, the sirens of more police cars coming from EVERY angle, and I heard the helicopter announce to clear the area. When I heard this it was time to go. I made my way to the west side of the park, over to the northside and rode due east down 6th toward Alvarado. People were scrambling, the stage had been cleared.
The people on the street who made up maybe 10% of the people there for the march had not gotten off the street at the request of the organizers, friends and obviously not the police. SO like always if we can't police ourselves who is going to do it and they are aren't going to be nice or polite about it? The cops.
WE have seen and done this time and again.
The police did overreact by hitting and dissprecting the media. That is the only issue here. The pseudo revolutionaries got wacked for not getting out of the way after being given an hour and half to get off the street and get into the rally area. But the media in any case should not have been touched. Also just because you got a camera that you use to post pics on Myspace, a blog and Youtube does not make you part of the media.
This abuse of the media is the big issue that needs to be addressed all the way up to the White House because what the LAPD did is the same as what our troops have been doing to reporters in our war zones. Reporters are being killed and treated with no consideration. This has to stop. This needs to be made into thee issue. Ofcourse the media itself will only look at LAPD and scratch their chin and say they did over-react. The LAPD will say they gave notice to move. End of story. The connection of how law enforcement and the military are treating reporters needs to be brought to light. The whines of people who didn't move when it was clear that they should, could and had a place to go and continue hanging out are the distraction with their calls to fire Bratton will just divert from the issue of the end of media access and protection to do their job.
SO there I said it.
Sorry if I am not in line with the activists on this, but we had no reason to be on the streets. We had a rally area with plenty of room and great food.
The marches shrank because of these reasons:
A) Lack of Spanish media endorsement
B) Fear of ICE in the wake of the recent raids
C) No immediate need for action, there is no specific bill in Congress to fight
D) Disorganization and disunity of the organizers and marches. Multiple starting points and times? por favor.
The Minutemen, not Anarchists, kept pushing the police to act.
basic common sense
Cops are not our friends at marches.
When you see them coming armed and ready you leave, unless you want to get beat.
When at home and you hear pops of guns, cars screeching, how many of us run to the window to see?
When in the streets and you see one gang about to face off with another gang do you stick around holding your kid or do you get the hell out of there?
So when at a march with the LAPD (gang #1) surroundig the place, helicopters making announcements, sirens coming from every direction why would you stick around?
Yes it is our land, I want to walk another day on it, not be buried under it for fighting a pointless unprepared fight.