May Day Violence at Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park

Date Put forth on May 2, 2007 by XicanoPwr
Category Posted in Civil Rights, Fear, Human Rights, Immigration, May Day, Nativism, News/Noticias, Racism, Raza, The Press, Xenophobia

Last night before I went to bed I thought I heard on the news that the [tag]Los Angeles Police Department[/tag] fired rubber bullets and used tear gas on a group of peaceful marchers who were attending a the pro-immigration rally in [tag]MacArthur Park[/tag]. This morning, RAW Story and Brad Blog confirmed what I thought I heard.

This morning, Police Chief [tag]William Bratton[/tag] in a press conference stated that he disapproved of the conduct of some of his officers and he vowed there would be a thorough probe into the use of excessive force. Mayor [tag]Antonio Villaraigosa[/tag] who is in El Salvador, has asked the the Police Commission, the civilian panel overseeing the Los Angeles Police Department, to assess the use of force by officers clad in riot gear, and the Radio and Television News Association called “for an immediate and complete investigation of the violent treatment of journalists at the conclusion of Tuesday’s [tag]immigration march[/tag].

“There is evidence that officers knocked reporters to the ground, used batons on photographers and damaged cameras, possibly motivated by anger over journalists photographing efforts by officers to control the movements of marchers,” an RTNA statement said.

Brad Friedman of Brad Blog, noted that the media once again are contradicting each other on this horrific event. According to Friedman, the UPI reported that the “Los Angeles police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.”

A day of peaceful immigration rallies in major U.S. cities Tuesday was marred when Los Angeles police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Witnesses said police wearing riot gear and wielding batons gave no warning before firing at rally participants gathered at MacArthur Park, CNN reported. Police said a protester knocked down a motorcycle officer, the news channel said.

There were no reports of serious injuries and no arrests were made.

However, LA Times has a different take on the event, which contradicts what was reported UPI:

Several people, including 15 police officers, were hurt. About 10 people were taken by ambulance to hospitals for treatment, said d’Lisa Davies, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles city Fire Department.

Late Tuesday, a staff member from [tag]Telemundo[/tag]’s newsroom confirmed that one reporter and three camera operators from the Spanish-language TV station had been injured and had been taken to a hospital by police.

Another TV station, Fox 11, showed video on its 10 p.m. newscast of a station camerawoman apparently being struck by a baton-wielding police officer in riot gear.

Here are three videos of the nightmare that the peaceful marchers had to endure on May 1 at MacArthur Park at the hand of the brutal LA police force (h/t to The Notorious VC at Chicano Forums, there are more videos there). This is not different from callus shooting of Ramiro Gamez Acosta, by the border by the Border Patrol.

Warning; Viewer Discretion Advised. Graphic images may be disturbing to some viewers.
Telemundo TV Crew caught in MacArthur Park clash

Footage from a local Fox TV Crew

The longer version of Fox’s raw footage of the event

Will post more if I happen to find new information.

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14 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. odd appletree » Blog Archive » May Day Rally Sparks Police Riot in Los Angeles Trackback on May 2nd, 2007 at 4:46 pm
  2. even Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles « The Anti-Essentialist Conundrum Trackback on May 2nd, 2007 at 8:20 pm
  3. odd Diggers Realm Trackback on May 2nd, 2007 at 9:12 pm
  4. even The next thing I heard was the shotguns" « Marisacat Trackback on May 3rd, 2007 at 10:07 am
  5. odd We all live in a military state « Vox ex Machina Trackback on May 3rd, 2007 at 2:46 pm
  6. even Slant Truth » Newsflash! Beating People Inappropriate. Trackback on May 3rd, 2007 at 4:13 pm
  7. odd Chicago 1886, Los Angeles 2007, NOTHING has changed. « The Agitator Trackback on May 3rd, 2007 at 8:43 pm
  8. even The Left End of the Dial v2.0 Trackback on May 3rd, 2007 at 9:21 pm
  9. odd Alas, a blog » Blog Archive » Quick Post on May Day in Los Angeles Trackback on May 4th, 2007 at 8:00 am
  10. even Reflecting Cinco de Mayo | ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! Trackback on May 5th, 2007 at 12:12 pm
  11. odd MayDay 2007: Global Roundup « The Agitator Trackback on May 6th, 2007 at 3:02 am
  12. even Anarch[Oi]! | Anarchy, Love, and PUNX... » MayDay 2007 in Review: Global Roundup Trackback on May 8th, 2007 at 4:25 am
  13. odd The SmackDog Chronicles » Blog Archive » The (Darrell) Gates Doctrine: Alive And Busting Heads In LA Trackback on May 9th, 2007 at 12:20 pm
  14. even » May Day 2008 - By ¡Para Justicia y Libertad! Trackback on May 1st, 2008 at 6:36 am


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  1. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 2nd, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    there’s a video from jennifer rogers that shows a latina news caster and her video person getting attacked as well as the bloody stomach of a guy who was shot by a rubber bullet…

  2. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr May 2nd, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Thank bfp! It is just sad, the Mayor leaves town, and all hell breaks lose. The sad thing, she was making excuses for the cops.

  3. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 2nd, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    wow–that was kinda painful to watch/listen to. she seems to be saying that the abuse was wrong because she’s not part of the public! she’s a part of the media!!!

  4. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 2nd, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    she’s got a good point about why did the police push the kids toward the park rather than away–

  5. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 2nd, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    i’m listening to it as I write these comments–can you tell?

  6. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr May 2nd, 2007 at 3:10 pm

    I think she feels conflicted, she does have a cop for a husband, therefore giving them the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time a bit outraged.

  7. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 2nd, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    I agree–to hear her tell it, it was a very rational exchange between her and the cops–“sir, I’m moving out of the way, so sorry” etc–but damn, on the tape, she was gonna kick some ass!

  8. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 2nd, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    If I had heard her talk about this before I saw the tape, I wouldn’t have any clue that what was caught on tape was the same thing that she was talking about.

    but definitly–she’s had her reality shaken.

  9. Gravatar Icon Jennifer May 2nd, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    You’re right–the reporter is obviously upset and is trying to frame her story in the proper “Fox News” fashion. I am impressed with the video coverage they gave it and that they showed a few others that were hurt. But I do wonder if this would have been covered in the same way if reporters weren’t also targets. I do think that she is arguing that the police are wrong to attack her because she is a reporter, but I think the video emotionally pushes us to side with the protestors too. I’m glad to see that the police will conduct an investigation.

  10. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr May 2nd, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    To all the spineless uneducated closed-minded heartless bastard feel free to spew all the venom you want if that makes you happy. Does that make you feel better? Does it make your flame of self-righteousness burn a little hotter? Glad to be of service.

    We all know you all are consumed by self loathing bliss. In fact, I hope that deep haterate eats away at you and burns you like a cancer. Your haterate and ignorance shows, your feeling’s inside only mask your size with your will.

    I refuse to feel guilty for leaving your venomous diatribe in the self loathing free speech zone of moderation. Enjoy your stay. Haters are unwelcome! Punto final!

  11. Gravatar Icon Jenny May 2nd, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    This was more widely reported than I originally thought – ran across this Reuters news clip:

  12. Gravatar Icon duke1676 May 2nd, 2007 at 9:59 pm


    I see you’ve got the moderator working overtime. I can only imagine the mierda coming out of their their sick and twisted minds.

  13. Gravatar Icon Marisacat May 2nd, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    thanks for this post XP, will link to it…


  14. Gravatar Icon Jun May 3rd, 2007 at 11:40 am

    Macarthur Park

    They were in the park like you and me
    They don’t have the same rights though you see

    Their fingers are in our mouths

    When you are eating your breakfast drinking your drinks
    The sweat of their brow on the ice that you clink

    They go to our schools say the pledge of allegiance
    Do we listen to reason?
    Or just fire the rubber bullets, their all in season

    The stick does the talking
    See the blood on their brows

    Their fingers are in our mouths

    When you sip your fruit drink
    When you have time to stop and think
    Look out at your manicured lawn
    From the tiled veranda you sit on

    We will use their skills
    Cross their border to buy cheap pills
    See the heads bent and stooped to ground
    Lower than the dirt that they found

    The land was theirs but that doesn’t matter
    As long as their tears keeps making us fatter

    The gas clouds blind and choke
    Over there you can see the smoke
    Eyes sprayed with poison and hate
    Made from the plants that they traditionally ate

    Their fingers are in our mouths

    Taste the soil under their nails
    Taste the sweat from their brows
    Taste the fear in their hearts

    And know that one way or another
    We all took part

    Just another day in the park

    Jun Velez, May 3 2007

  15. Gravatar Icon Ayse May 3rd, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    I’m not diminishing what the LAPD did, but in the interest of keeping the conversation factually accurate, there was no tear gas involved.

  16. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr May 3rd, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Ayse – welcome and thank you for trying to keep this conversation conversation accurate. But, tear gas was used, although it may not be reported in our mainstream media, it is being reported by other media sources. From

    An investigation has been ordered after a peaceful immigration rally descended into chaos and violence. What began as a peaceful assembly, ended in L.A. law enforcement shooting tear gas and rubber bullets in order to disperse a mob.

    Daily Nexus

    Additionally, members passed a resolution condemning the LAPD’s alleged use of excessive force against protestors at the May Day rally in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles. A few council members said they attended the rally and saw the use of rubber bullets and tear gas.

  17. Gravatar Icon Roberta May 3rd, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    Hey has anyone noticed that all news about the “riot” has disappeared from the self centered “American” news. Aint that a load of bull. If it was Blacks marching it would be on National news for months. I know of Americans that have absolutely no Idea what happened. Of course, they will look on the Cops side only. All I can say if they were not being threatened they shouldn’t have even raised a baton. ONE PERSONS HATE CAN CAUSE WAR. Stop the hate.

  18. Gravatar Icon Alfonso May 4th, 2007 at 4:17 am

    I was there and tear gas was used in the far end of the park, away from where the rally was being held. when that happened people started running towards the park. The police directly infront of us didn’t say anything, no instructions, warnings, etc; all of a sudden a bunch of motorcycle cops decended on us (by the 99cent store) folowed by police on foot (they were shooting the rubber bullets and bean bags) we ran north, at which point the cops entered the park pushing people around, the people at the park didn’t know what was going on because they were isolated from the intial confrontation. Instructions weren’t given until the cops entered the park. The chopper overhead announced “leave the park” people ran into the neighborhoods north of the park to escape. To blame the people is just irresponsible on behalf of some media channels and police, there were some kids taunting the cops, but they were 15 of them at the most, they could have been isolated them or something because that was outside of the main gathering. I’m very upset that this happened and worst of all that they will get away with this. If you could just see the cops before all hell broke out, they were smiling, banging their battons on their bikes, they knew what they were about to do. To make things worse many of them were raza, that really pissed me off.

  19. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr May 4th, 2007 at 5:22 am

    Jun – Thanks you for sharing your poem over here. It really means a lot.

    Roberta – Welcome and thanks for sharing your frustrations over the lack of coverage of this horrific event. I also feel frustrated that this too will go down the American memory hole. I personally think this has more to do with corporate media’s participation into the divide and conquer that is being used against Latinos and African Americans. Living here in H-Town, it has been practiced by the gringos so much that it has been perfected and now if being used throughout the US. We are at a point where we have to be our own media in order to keep this story alive and keep our community informed. In order to do that, if we know that a certain event is not being covered, yet, if we know that a certain blog is covering it and/or providing additional analysis, we must direct them over there – be it mine or any other blogger.

    You are correct to point out that the hatrated must stop. There is too much hate in this world. We are at a point, where we can no longer trust our fellow person.

  20. Gravatar Icon XicanoPwr May 4th, 2007 at 5:52 am

    Alfonso – Mil gracias for sharing your experience on my blog. I cannot imagine what it was like. I am happy to hear you are safe and not one of the victims of the police brutality.

    If anybody else would like share their experiences or happen to witness the events that took place, I would love to hear about them. Let your voice be heard!

    We as a community will rise above the fray and make sure nobody will ever forget what happened at MacArthur Park!

  21. Gravatar Icon Ramrod May 4th, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Obey the law, petition for legal entry to the country like everyone else, stop crying, then get a job and live in piece, other than that, go home until you can do the the above, thats the law

  22. Gravatar Icon Nancy/ Patches May 4th, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    From the moment we stepped onto Olympic Blvd the police made their presence known. As I marched with my friends while the cops drove up and down the streets constantly pushing us aside (and Actually sideswiping one of my friends!!!!) as their sirens went off randomly startling the crowd we instantly felt bullied, but we kept the peace. Despite this harassment the rally began peacefully, I was proud to see leaders from the South Central LA Black community, Filipino, Arab, and others come out and show that this was not a struggle for Latinos but a struggle for all human being’s right to dignity of life, meaningful music was played, we danced, and it was positive. Than the threats came, first it was that anyone who was sitting on the railing or on the edge of the park would be arrested WHY?? A public place where, everyday, people sit and eat there lunches and have a raspado? And than at appox. 6:30 we were given an order in English from a helicopter to leave the park when we had a permit to be there until 9. I turned around only to see smoke and a wave of people running towards me, no one knew where to go. The SWAT team appeared on Alvarado, 6th, lake everywhere and it felt like we were being pushed into each other. Luckily the MC (she was awesome by the way) announced that they wouldn’t enter Parkview to go there. We saw tents toppled people falling the faster the people ran the more police there were, they shot several rounds into the air and at the crowd and I grabbed my friends and ran towards Parkview. It is common that in such large marches that a small few get out of hand but this is why the police are there to isolate and dismantle those individuals not overreact, and push them into the larger peaceful crowd to justify their violence. It is tragic that this had to happen to re-open the police brutality discourse that had become taboo, it’s even more tragic that the media completely ignored the huge marches that occurred that morning and those people’s voices and message. I hope this doesn’t discourage people from coming out and marching. I’m very disappointed in our LAPD (but keep it real! that ain’t nothing new for an Angelino), but very proud and honored to have been in the presence of all those people there showing their support. May we never forget what happened in McArthur park.

  23. Gravatar Icon sandy May 5th, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    I hear that they didn’t follow the instructions and started getting into the street and began throwing things and really getting out of hand. If they had conducted themselves as normal human being should, this would not have happened. The only one’s upset are the one’s with the same blood running though their veins and are not illegal us citizens. Get real and face the music. If they act like this on US soil, why would we want them to become citizens. We have enough american citizens that should be shipped off to a lone island instead of us paying taxes to support them. Illegal is bad, out of control and illegal is three times as bad.

  24. Gravatar Icon sandy May 5th, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    YEA and there’s two sides to every story right?

  25. Gravatar Icon Serge May 5th, 2007 at 7:03 pm

    March organizers/leaders failed to secure the appropriate demonstration’s permit(s). Once has got to think was this march a legal one? Or was it another opportunity for the media? A cop gets knocked off his bike and requested support and no one has empathy for the cop who’s in trouble!

    Police officers are trained and paid to maitain order. There cannot be civil disobedience, period. That’s why cops are trained and paid. If a few understood the word “DISPERSE”, which isn’t different than “DISPERSENSE”, marchers have a problem (they should speak English-if not whay are they here illegally?). Most marchers were in violation of Title 8 of the U.S. Code “Illegal Entry of an Alien”. They’re all criminals and that was a good oppportunity for ICE to have done their job (apprehend and deport every illegal alien).

    50 to 100 anarchists ruined it for everyone else. Police officers gave a legal warning to leave the public park; they did their jobs. Chief Bratton, support your officers, please. LAPPL don’t abandon your officers. Mayor quit playing to the media and do your job. Be an American.

  26. Gravatar Icon nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez May 5th, 2007 at 10:45 pm


    There cannot be civil disobedience, period.

    Gandhi would disagree heartily. I would side with him over you any day. Period.

    and chota did “their jobs”? sure, suppress the brown. doesn’t mean i have to like it, accept it, or cheer it.

    Chief Bratton, kiss my brown ass, please. you too, serge.

  27. Gravatar Icon nezua limón xolagrafik-jonez May 5th, 2007 at 10:53 pm


    normal human being should,

    “Normal human beings”? Oh, like us? like Americans? Like people who let a fluffhead get installed into the POTUS’ throne by the Supreme Court rather than the popular vote? Normal, like as in invade other countries on flimsy lies? Is that normal? Yeah? Is it “normal” to fire rubber bullets into crowds where children are? Is that “normal”? Yeah? well you can take your “normal” and stick it in a taco and choke on it, fool. “Normal.” What a joke. You sad, deluded, brainwashed American idiota.

    And taxes? Well, excuse me if I call you “Moron who talks shit when they don’t know shit,” but you are living on the benefit of many Undocumented Migrants’ wages, because (and I’m sure you knew this), the taxes of the undocumented Mexican workers go to Americans, and the workers don’t get to file for them. Stop embarassing yourself and go learn some shit before you come round here frothing at the mouth.

    Man. Nothing more frustrating than dumbasses who spout rehashed lines based on nothing but a dull sense of superiority and hate.

  28. Gravatar Icon ----A---- May 6th, 2007 at 4:48 pm
  29. Gravatar Icon ----A---- May 6th, 2007 at 4:51 pm
  30. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 6th, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    March organizers/leaders failed to secure the appropriate demonstration’s permit(s).

    I’m wondering if any of the founding fathers got “demonstration permits” so they could dump tea into the Boston Harbor?

  31. Gravatar Icon brownfemipower May 6th, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I also wonder we would defend the british soldiers that oh, i don’t know, rammed a bayonet into one of those protester’s foot, as a method to make the protester pay attention to him.

  32. Gravatar Icon brownmexichic May 16th, 2007 at 8:02 am

    al of dis shuldnt B hapenin! :(

  33. Gravatar Icon andres meza Apr 4th, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    this may first we will be marching with the same petitions from 2007 comprehensive immigration reform 2010 at olimpic and brodway los angeles.we will be not intimidated

  34. Gravatar Icon andres meza Apr 4th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    andres meza is my name the lapd turn me into an activist for immigration reform and i will be not intimidated to advocate for reform this may first 2010 we will be at olimpic and brodway demanding change that was promise by the democrat president OBAMA victims of police brutality for comprehensive immigration reform .we will be not intimidated

  35. Gravatar Icon andres meza Apr 30th, 2010 at 10:13 pm


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