Boyle Heights celebrates May Day for the 6th consecutive year
Los Angeles, CA – On Friday, May 1, a car protest of over 40 vehicles driven by workers, teachers and activists took to the streets for the sixth consecutive year to celebrate International Workers Day, May Day, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Organized by Centro CSO, this year’s May Day protest focused on Trump’s attacks on immigrants and called for free healthcare for COVID-19 patients, support for public education, jailing killer cops and community control over the police.
“The coronavirus pandemic has affected oppressed nationalities like African Americans, Chicanos and American Indians the most. Unsafe workplaces, the push by business owners to return to work, lack of access to medical care and massive amounts of unemployment have resulted in our deaths and disproportionate likelihood of becoming sick,” said Sol Márquez, member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization. “And despite COVID-19, Centro CSO was still able to safely put on another successful May Day!”
Protesters assembled before 4 p.m. in Boyle Heights and decorated their vehicles with their demands: “No deportations, legalization for all,” “Free medical care for all COVID-19 patients,” “Save public education,” “Jail killer cops, community control over the police.” Other posters taped to cars or held by protesters out the windows of their vehicles denounced Trump and the privatization of education or displayed messages of solidarity with teachers and immigrants.
Honking, playing music and chanting their demands, protesters started driving on Cesar Chavez Avenue and passed by the corner of Chavez and Breed Street where LAPD killed 14-year-old Jesse Romero in 2016. Many Boyle Heights residents came out from their homes and businesses to greet and wave to the protesters and take photos. Drivers passing by honked and raised their fists in solidarity.
Driving at about 15 miles per hour, protesters then took a left to go south on Chicago Street before turning onto 1st Street and stopping at LAPD Hollenbeck Police Station to denounce police killings of Chicanos. The protest ended at Mariachi Plaza with CSO members who didn’t have vehicles waiting with posters. Some, energized by the positive reception from the community, circled the area around Mariachi Plaza several times to make sure that the action’s demands were seen and heard.
Attendees included the families of Chicanos killed by the LAPD; parents with Eastside Padres Contra la Privatización; teachers; LA Catholic Worker; Freedom Road Socialist Organization; Brown Berets from the Inland Empire, and members of Morena Party Los Angeles.