Individual marchers received blessings before their trek, and organizers said they expected thousands of people to converge at the demonstration's starting point. The group is expected to march to City Hall and Grand Park.
LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos, who is overseeing the department's handling of the May Day demonstration, said the crowds could be the largest the city has seen in a decade. He estimated that as many as a few hundred thousand people could attend.
Speaking from the LAPD's command center, Arcos said that so far, as the crowds convene on MacArthur Park, his primary concern was the heat and how it might affect the marchers or officers. As the crowd begins to move, he said, his focus will change:
"Once they step off and march, then my concern is how is everybody getting along," he said.
A small “splinter-group” of May Day demonstrators in Oakland was arrested Monday for breaking into an Alameda County building and hanging a large banner protesting immigration enforcement, authorities said.
The four demonstrators were arrested on suspicion of trespassing when they entered the county administration building through a backdoor and “refused to cooperate” with sheriff’s officials before they hung a banner, according to Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly.
Demonstrators from the larger group also chained themselves together outside, but have since moved on with the march, Kelly said.
Not long after Aline Mello, a 28-year-old Brazilian immigrant and Dreamer, arrived at Atlanta's City Hall for Monday’s May Day rally for immigrants, she texted her mom a photo of herself, huddling under a pink umbrella and holding up a sign saying, “We are HUMANS.”
“She didn’t want me to come,” she said of her mother, who was at work cleaning houses. “She’s scared. Many older immigrants just keep their heads down, but we want to make our voices heard.”
“We grew up here,” said her friend, Diana Chavez, as she nodded, an immigrant from Mexico who moved to the U.S. in 2000. “We belong here. It’s important to let people know we’re part of this nation and we work hard and pay taxes."
Monday’s gathering looked like a mash-up of recent protests across the country.
One group of friends wore shirts from the Women's March and another group of women wore T-shirts reading "Nurses for Bernie!" A man wearing a Hillary Clinton shirt hoisted a pink Planned Parenthood sign. Another man wore a shirt that said "Climate change is real!" and a hat that read "FACTS."
Many said they turned out Monday to send a message to just one person: President Trump.