May Day Protests: Demonstrators Rally Peacefully in Downtown L.A.; No Arrests Made

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A blow up figure of Donald Trump is seen at a May Day event in downtown L.A. on May 1, 2016. (Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

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Thousands of May Day demonstrators marched and rallied peacefully in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday -- some speaking out in support of workers and immigrants, others criticizing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

A blow up figure of Donald Trump is seen at a May Day event in downtown L.A. on May 1, 2016. (Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)
A blow up figure of Donald Trump is seen at a May Day event in downtown L.A. on May 1, 2016. (Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

No arrests were made at the protests, LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery told the Los Angeles Times.

"It was a peaceful 1st Amendment exercise, with no incidents," the sergeant said, adding that 129 parking tickets were issued and about 59 vehicles were impounded after being improperly parked along protest routes.

The International Worker's Day march and rally kicked off around noon on west 11th and Figueroa streets, according to the May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, which organized that event.

The 2.7-mile march began about 1:30 p.m. and headed east on 11th street toward Los Angeles Street. It then made its way through downtown streets and ended at Olvera Street Plaza, where a street festival of sorts was held.

"I'm walking to support our families, for working wages and pretty much to support all our rights," Sylmar resident Maria Hernandez said.

Among the marchers were Members of the Korean Immigrants Workers Alliance, who carried outsized puppets that each required multiple operators.

Another march planned by immigration rights groups started at 12:30 p.m. at Broadway and Olympic Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Times. It concluded in Grand Park, which borders City Hall and other government buildings.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation posted a map of street closures for Sunday.

In addition to demanding equality for immigrants, the marches also protested Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's controversial statements about people from Mexico and Muslims.

"I'm not a  drug addict. I'm none of what [Trump] says," marcher Gloria Carrasco shouted in Spanish, according to The Times. "I want immigration reform."

Some demonstrators carried a large inflatable likeness of Trump holding a white Ku Klux Klan hood in his right hand.

"He is a perfect example of what we cannot stand for any longer," said one woman, standing at the base of the effigy. "And so that's why we're here today -- to stand in solidarity, in peaceful solidarity, to say that we will no longer be suppressed and we are taking our power back."

The events took place days after anti-Trump protests in Orange County and in the Bay Area ended in violence and arrests after the GOP contender's supporters and critics clashed outside events he was appearing at.

The Los Angeles Police Department, which  prepared for the May Day events for months, had braced for the possibility of similar confrontations, the Times reported.

Police met with organizers in the months proceeding the event to ensure it runs smoothly, LAPD Assistant Chief Michael Moore told the newspaper.

"We expect May Day to be peaceful," Moore said, noting he was alarmed by the chaotic scene in Costa Mesa outside the Trump rally on Thursday. "We are always prepared for any eventuality were anything to happen. But we have nothing to suggest that will be the case.”

Shortly before 3 p.m., a tweet from the Police Department's official Twitter account stated: "Thank you all for participating in #peaceful #protests today."

Estimates on the crowd size varied, as some reported the number in the thousands ,while others said there were fewer people attending compared to May Day marches in years past.

Other rallies and marches were held Sunday in cities around Southern California and across the country.

Demonstrations turned violent in Seattle, where protesters lit fireworks and threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers, according to the Seattle Police Department.

After a peaceful march was held earlier in the day, nine people were arrested and five officers were injured in the clashes, police said.

CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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