Occupy May Day / General Strike - Los Angeles, CA 5/1/2012
Every year in Downtown Los Angeles a massive May Day march takes place, the biggest in the United States. In recent years the march has focused on immigration reform, but it has always been about more than that. May Day is, and always has been, a Socialist "workers" holiday; and every year contingents of Communists and Socialists of every stripe can be seen marching down Broadway waving red flags, and calling for revolution.
The so called "Occupy" movement, which had taken a winter hiatus, was once again looking to get the attention of the media, and had called for a "General Strike" on May 1st. They decided to use the already established L.A. May Day March to stage their big comeback.
The police had cleared Broadway of all motor traffic for the march. The main march was supposed to meet up with a second smaller "Occupy" march at 5th Street and continue down Broadway to First Street where a rally was to be held. Occupy L.A. (OLA) had no interest following any predetermined parade route - screaming at the police and causing traffic jams was their specialty. So no sooner did the two marches converge before OLA broke through a police barricade and began pouring down 5th Street into traffic. The police were out numbered, and unable to stop them. Hundreds of Occupiers forced their way past the police and streamed through traffic for two blocks down to Main Street. Clearly it was all planned in advance. Within minutes they were setting up tents in the street, as a thrash band powered by a gas generator played crappy music. Banners were unfurled. People queued up for free food. The Occupiers were ecstatic - Main St. was occupied!
This party in the streets lasted no more than an hour before maps were passed around featuring the locations of nearby banks. Soon small groups began heading out. The police couldn’t possibly bock every street and alley way. Occupiers headed out into open traffic searching for police to confront and hurl obscenities at, while the police attempted to herd them back towards Broadway. This is how it went for the rest of the day.
The local news reported a "carnival" atmosphere with no violence, and only a few arrests. I suppose that’s accurate so long as you consider unprovoked mobs swarming police, hurling epitaphs at them, and hitting them with skateboards, drums and wooden pallets to be non-violent. The only reason there were so few arrests is because the police chose not to enforce the law out of fear that the crowd’s response would only escalate the situation into a full fledged riot. There is more about the assaults on police officers further down on in this report.
Stupidity was the order of the day. Many of the signs I photographed contained incomprehensible messages, and atrocious spelling errors.
Every incoherent philosophy or long discredited political ideology was proudly promoted. There were Communists and Socialist of every stripe walking the streets.
I can only assume the name "Guzman" tattooed on the guy’s forearm refers to Abimael Guzmán, the notorious leader of the Peruvian Maoist terrorists known as the The Shining Path.
There were anarchists everywhere…
Rubber garbage cans were turned into makeshift shields.
There were America-haters galore. One jackass had an American flag to his shoe…
And, of course, there were public sector Union members marching right along with all these crazies - most prominently, hundreds of SEIU members wearing their trade mark purple shirts.
Many of the purple SEIU shirts were printed with the motto of the Occupy movement, "We Are The 99%", in both English and in Spanish.
So at this point I’m going to let the photographs speak for themselves. Look closely at the pictures as you scroll down. Read the messages. Remember, unless you are a millionaire, the Occupy movement claims to speak for you.
And here’s the other side of her sign…
The solution to all these problems…
Here is a video I took at the intersection of 5th and Broadway around 3pm.
The protesters moved through the streets looking for police to confront. In the following picture, and the video below it, you can see an example of what happened when a mob of Occupiers came across a small group of police officers.
This scene played out numerous times throughout the day.
Here’s what it looked like marching along with the fleabaggers…
Marching into traffic…
At the corner of 4th and Olive, a large mass of Occupy revelers swarmed through a line of LAPD officers, eventually surrounding them. Then, while the officers facing off with a number of black-clad anarchists with homemade shields, a couple of other occupiers came up behind them and slammed into the backs of four police officers with a large wooden pallet with the words "Digna Rabio" affixed to the front of it.
Here’s the video I made of that moment, but it’s difficult to see what exactly is going on.
Another person was filming the scene from a better vantage point and captured the whole thing - You can see the unprovoked assault very clearly here.
And here is a picture I took of one of the assailants before the assault.
Another assault occurred when an Occupier smacked a female police officer on the back of her head with a drum. You can see the video here.
That assailant was later arrested. In my video above at the 0:56 second mark, he can be seen holding the drum in his hands. There were also reports of another officer being hospitalized after being hit on the head with a skateboard.
This video gives a pretty good idea of vibe on the streets that day…
And public school teachers, too…
I’ll just continue from here on with random pictures from the march. Please take the time to look through them. I post a lot of pictures so I can’t be accused of "cherry picking" the worst images. When you reach the bottom of this page please click the tab to continue to the next page.