Organized labor and immigration groups are staging dozens of May Day demonstrations in cities throughout the nation Monday, with many groups planning to voice criticism of President Donald J. Trump and his administration.
In Los Angeles, more than 100 groups, representing a wide range of issues, will march from MacArthur Park to Los Angeles City Hall. Organizers expect about 100,000 marchers and have been coordinating for months with police to ensure that the event is peaceful, according to organizers.
Cars replaced protesters by rush hour Monday as downtown L.A.'s May Day march came to a conclusion with all but a few stragglers left on the grounds of City Hall.
About 15,000 people marched from MacArthur Park to Grand Park, next to City Hall, in support of labor and immigration causes. Nearby, outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, a vocal group of counter-protesters demonstrated in support of President Trump.
After hours of verbal exchanges, the Trump supporters walked off toward the federal building with a small group of anti-fascist activists following and LAPD officers closely watching. But no conflict unfolded and the May Day activities ended with only two arrests.
LAPD officers removed their helmets as they assembled outside police headquarters and took a decidedly relaxed stance.
Earlier, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck stopped outside the department's headquarters and surveyed the crowd standing at 1st and Spring Streets. The pro-Trump and anti-Trump demonstrators faced off, separated by yellow police tape and officers wearing helmets.
When asked how the day had unfolded, Beck said: "So far, so good."
Beck said the LAPD anticipated that national issues would "impact" the day's demonstrations, but said so far that had not materialized quite as expected. As he spoke, he turned to watch a smaller group of demonstrators march down 1st Street.
Though the crowd size was far less than expected, protesters said it was worth the effort.
Crecencio Bacilio of Boyle Heights shut down his fruit shop today so he could attend the march with his wife and three sons, ages 10, 8 and 5.
It was a difficult decision to lose a day's business, but Bacilio said he's felt beat-up and run-down since Trump took office.
His children ask if he'll be deported; they panic when they see the news. On this day, he wanted to come out and feel a part of something bigger.
"This year, of all years, we need to be a part of this fight," Bacilio said. "To let people know we are not criminals. We are hard workers and we are going to fight to the very end."