Huge marches expected for Los Angeles

Two immigrant rights demonstrations Monday in Los Angeles could each draw a half-million marchers or more, police said Thursday, as officials expressed concern about a major disruption of traffic, commerce and school.

This is this first time to my knowledge that LAPD has made crowd predictions in advance of the event. Odd. (Update: Police now say the total might be 500,000, which seems more realistic.)

Demonstrations are planned for downtown at noon and Mid-Wilshire at 4 p.m. Gascon said the LAPD is gearing up to deal with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators at each.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Cardinal Roger Mahony and others have encouraged protesters to attend the late-afternoon march from MacArthur Park down Wilshire Boulevard to La Brea Avenue, prompting authorities to say that crowd might be the larger of the two.

The MacArthur Park march (4 pm, MacArthur Park) does not endorse the boycott. Call it Protest-Lite. Also, the logistics are terrible. But, hey, if you want to march 4.1 miles in a straight line to a tar pit with no obvious way to get back, on a day when traffic will be gridlocked, then have at it.

The March 25 Coalition emphatically does endorse the boycott. They called the downtown march (Noon, Olympic & Broadway.) This march is 1.1 miles, and begins and ends near subway stops. Politically and logistically, this is the one to be at.

Major walkouts from schools are expected whether the mayor approves or not. It was apparently fine for him to lead student boycotts as a youth, but it’s not ok for anyone else to do the same now – according to him, that is. I’m guessing students will disagree.

Also, L.A. ports braced for May 1 truck driver boycott

Visits to Polizeros are 50% above normal. We’ve been averaging 3000 visits a day, Thursday was 4500. (I won’t have Friday’s numbers until the middle of Saturday.) Commenting here is way up too, and is almost entirely in posts about May 1.