Today, in about 85+ degree heat, THOUSANDS of workers took to the streets of Los Angeles to show their opposition to Trump and his neo-fascists policies against the working class, LGBTQ, women, people of color, (im)migrants, Muslims, etc. It was a beautiful May Day in Los Angeles!!!
Photos and report by Ron Gochez; additional photos by Scott Scheffer
Thousands of people took to the streets in the annual May Day marches in downtown Los Angeles and Boyle Heights on Sunday. Their cause ranged from immigration reform and politics to police accountability and an end to racism.
And the different movements shared one thing in common: all were offended by something Donald Trump had said.
Today in History: May Day 1992 - Solidarity with the LA Rebellion in New York City
On May Day 1992, a militant demonstration was held in Times Square in solidarity with the Los Angeles Rebellion which had erupted two days earlier after the racist verdict exonerating the LAPD in the Rodney King case.
The boldness of calling a protest at that time actually caused midtown Manhattan to shut down on a Friday afternoon. Aside from our rally of a few thousand people, I have never seen Times Square so deserted – even in a major snow storm.
The protest was called by the Movement for a People’s Assembly (MPA), a forerunner of today's Peoples Power Assembly and part of the coalition that founded the International Action Center around that time.
The flyer we distributed paraphrased Mao’s famous statement, “To Rebel Is Justified.” It was a sensation and people snatched it up, hungry for something other than the racist mainstream narrative.
Most of those who came out that May Day were students of color from CUNY campuses. For the most part, it was a disciplined and militant group. We marched downtown, linking arms and pushing through police who tried to stop us at every intersection. At one point some of us seized the ground floor of Madison Square Garden.
Eventually the march was hijacked by some anarchists who led it toward Tompkins Square Park, allowing the NYPD to box people in on St. Mark’s Place. A comrade who lived on St. Mark’s at the time sheltered some of us in her building before the arrests started.
Last space shuttle External Tank arrives at California Science Center.
ET-94 paraded its way through the Los Angeles suburbs today, May 21, as it journeyed to its final home at the California Science Center.
The last surviving flight-worthy space shuttle external tank, ET-94 left the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans April 12, where it has been since it was fabricated in the early 2000′s. It traversed the Panama Canal April 25-27, and arrived at Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles last Wednesday, May 19, after a 36-day sea voyage.
Leaving Marina Del Rey at 12:01am PDT with a New Orleans jazz band, the tank encountered more obstacles than expected during its 15.5 mile trek through the city, arriving at the CSC at 7:13pm PDT.
B1A4 Shine With Super-Supportive Fans, Live Band & Bob Dylan Cover at Debut NYC Concert
The boy band also tease “seasonal” new music they’re hoping to release ASAP.
California has got a healthy amount ofB1A4 lately with the K-pop boy band recording their “Solo Day” music video in Los Angeles in May and then performing at KCON 2014 in downtown L.A. this summer. But the rest of the country got a chance to get close to Jinyoung, Baro, Sandeul, CNU and Gongchan via the just-wrapped U.S. leg of their Road Trip tour. And their New York audience sure seemed appreciative of the trip.
While concertgoers weren’t fainting like they were atINFINITE and B.A.P’s recent concerts, it was most remarkable how intense the fan support was inside NYC’s Best Buy Theater.
There was the usual fan hysteria before the guys hit the stage – like any show – and it was kept high throughout performances of early singles “OK” and “Beautiful Target.” It soon became clear the audience was filled with longtime, committed fans. Every member got huge screams when they sang their lines while the signature “sprout dance” move in the band's “Beautiful Target” choreography had attendees shrieking. B1A4 debuted in the K-pop scene in mid-2011, just as the music was gaining international traction, so these early songs very may have been the initial tracks in helping solidify a new generation of excited, American K-pop fans.
The enthusiasm stayed high with yelps and hollers seemingly from any type of slightly suggestive dance move – whether it was a slight shimmie or a crotch grab – to any time a member had a vocally challenging riff or rap section. The crowd even yelled supportive chants throughout certain singles. It was all likely comforting for the group who were not totally in-sync with each other during early numbers like “Oh My God” or “Because of You.”
But nerves eased as the guys were allowed to get a little more free onstage. After performing “This Time Is Over,” the quintet brought a video camera backstage where they showed fans their changing area in addition to a ton of kissy faces for the camera. The boys came back to perform an unexpected, sing-a-long cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door," led by Jinyoung on guitar.
By the time the guys got to 2014 singles "Lonely” and “Solo Day,” coming smack dab in the middle of the setlist, it was clear they were in their element with their sharpest performances up til that point. The “Lonely” number also let B1A4’s backing band – an expense usually not spent for K-pop acts touring the U.S. – shine with additional live instrumentation added. The four piece (consisting of guitar, bass, drums and keys) was an awesome addition throughout the whole show, but the songs like “Lonely” and “Who Am I” stood out sonically for the added instrumental riffs.
While their backing band was the most striking technical difference between B1A4’s concerts versus other recent K-pop showcases, the boys pinpointed to Billboard another reason their show stands out.
“We can’t say that our concert is different from any other band,” B1A4 leader Jinyoung says via translator. “But what we’re trying to do is communicate more with the audience through our music and that’s what we think is most special during our concert.”
The guys didn’t speak a ton of English to the U.S. audience – though the band agrees that Baro has the best grasp on the language and is “always studying somewhere” – the fivesome worked hard to make a connection with attendees; whether that was pulling a fan onstage to serenade during “Chu Chu Chu” or going into the camera pit to take selfies with them.
While fans can watch the guys’ stateside adventures on Mnet America's Go! B1A4: Road Trip YouTube series, the boys told Billboard they’re currently recording new music off-camera. While there is no concrete release dates, CNU says their next release will be related “to the season the album is released during” with Jinyoung adding they’re looking to share the music “as soon as possible.” They’ve discussed solo or sub-unit options within B1A4, but the group adds they’re opting to keep those types of performances for their concert dates at the moment.
But whether as soloist, units or the full B1A4, it’s clear B1A4 has done a fine job established a super-supportive fanbase that will cheer them on while the band pays them back, first and foremost, with performances of high musicality and the occasional selfie.
Yesterday, the bubbly blonde emerged from her NYC home smiling and tellingly clutching a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s 2013 bestseller David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.