LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Thousands of union members, immigrant-rights advocates and community activists marched from Westlake to downtown Los Angeles today in an annual May Day procession in support of worker rights and immigrant freedom.
The march, beginning at MacArthur Park and ending at Grand Park across from Los Angeles City Hall, was themed ``LA People's Power/LA Poder del Pueblo.''
``The original May Day was an international workers' celebration more than 130 years ago,'' according to a statement from Rusty Hicks, president of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor. ``Our nation's leaders tried to use lies and fear about immigrants to pit working people against one another. They didn't divide us then. We won't let them do it now.
``This May, we march to show that we are always stronger standing together and fighting back.''
Although smaller than some past marches, the procession featured thousands of people carrying signs and waving flags as they walked in support of union rights. Organizers said they were also marching to call for a full and through count in the upcoming U.S. Census, and end to persecution of immigrants and voting rights for all in municipal elections.
In addition to the downtown Los Angeles procession, separate marches were also held in Long Beach and Boyle Heights.