May Day 2010

April 29, 2010

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department looks forward to protecting the Constitutional rights for all of the diverse groups and individuals who will exercise their First Amendment Rights this May Day.

Consistent with the protections afforded by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and our long-standing traditions, the first day of May will be a day filled with rallies, marches and free-speech of every type.  Because of our diverse communities, and the large number of media outlets, the City of Los Angeles will be center stage for free speech and public outcry pertaining to a variety of issues, some of which may not directly apply to Los Angeles.  

This news release has been prepared to help reassure the community that the LAPD is adequately deployed to ensure a peaceful May Day 2010.  LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said, “We have been planning for May Day for several months, including ongoing dialogue with event organizers.  May Day is a City wide maximum deployment day, which simply means, fewer LAPD officers will have Saturday off.”

The LAPD expects that some people will be protesting recent legislation in Arizona pertaining to immigration.  The LAPD wants to emphasize that in the City of Los Angeles, immigration status, in itself, is not a matter for police action.  While immigration issues themselves may be complex, with regard to policing, they are simple:  “A police department’s effectiveness is largely dependent on the public it serves,” said Chief Beck.  “If there is ever a segment of the population who have reason to fear the police, crimes against people in that group will go unreported.  And when that happens, we are all at increased risk.  When a criminal element begins to leverage a fear of the police for their own advantage, the negative affect is multiplied.”

The LAPD is committed to providing police services to everyone without regard to immigration status or affiliation.  Since 1979, the provisions of Special Order 40 have withstood changes in mayors, chiefs and shifts in the makeup of our population.  Special Order 40 does not resolve all concerns; in fact, some feel it goes too far and others feel that it does not go far enough.  In the long term, Special Order 40 has provided a balanced approach to a complex issue.

On Saturday, for the first time on such a large scale, community members, including protesters or just interested people can receive text messages directly from the police command post.  Those interested with a text-capable phone should simply text MAYDAY to phone number 888-777 to sign up.  Standard Text Messaging Rates Apply.  

Thousands of people are expected to participate in May Day events, primarily in the downtown Los Angeles area.  On Saturday May 1, 2010, there will be street closures which will severely impact traffic flow in the Downtown area beginning as early as 5:45 a.m. and continuing until
6 p.m.

An assembly area has been designated on Olympic Boulevard between Hill and Main Streets and on Broadway between 11th Street. and Olympic Boulevard.  Depending on the size of crowd, the Broadway portion of the rally area may be expanded to include the area between 9th Street and Olympic Boulevard.  The march itself will be facilitated by street closures along Broadway, Spring Street and Hill Street between 9th and Temple Streets.  At the end of the march there will be a rally area on Broadway between 1st and Temple Streets.     

Downtown workers, residents and visitors are encouraged to use mass transit, such as Metro’s Red,Blue, and Gold Lines or Metrolink, to travel into and out of Downtown on Saturday.