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News Release

Friday, April 29, 2011

Media Relations

May Day March and Rally

May 1st March and Rally for Full Legalization

Sunday, May 1, 2011
6:00 a.m.

Central Bureau/Downtown Los Angeles

The incident Commander for the Department will be Deputy Chief Jose Perez, Commanding Officer, Operations Central-Bureau

To identify Media Staging Areas, Media Viewing Areas, and to identify street closures as defined by the City of Los Angeles Department of Transportation.


In the United States of America, all people have a First Amendment right of free speech and assembly guaranteed by the Federal and State Constitutions.  The Los Angeles Police Department not only recognizes the right of free speech but will actively protect the people in the exercise of this right.  The right to march, demonstrate, protest, rally or perform other First Amendment activity comes with responsibility which includes respecting the civil and property rights of all others.  It is the goal of the Department to facilitate lawful public demonstrations in the City of Los Angeles.

There are two Special Event Permit applicants who have provided the Los Angeles Police Department with information regarding their special event plans.  The information provided indicates that the first organization will begin to assemble at 6:00 a.m. in the area of Broadway Avenue and Olympic Boulevard.  That group plans to begin their march at 12:00 p.m. northbound along Broadway to a final rally point located on Broadway and 1st Street.  The second permit does not indicate a specific assembly time but does indicate a planned march time of 12:30 p.m. from Broadway and 11th Street to Broadway and 4th Street, where they plan to rally.


Media Staging and Media Viewing areas have been designated outside the impacted areas, and are intended to provide viewing within audible range of the events.  The viewing areas and staging areas take into consideration the needs of the media, public and officer safety.

An LAPD Public Information Officer (PIO) will be on hand to facilitate media coverage and assist the on-scene Incident Commander at all assembly and rally areas.  PIOs will be wearing vests that readily identify them as LAPD PIOs.  Spanish speaking PIOs will also be available. Mary Grady, the LAPD’s Public Information Director, will be tweeting updates.  Media can follow Ms. Grady on Twitter at MGradyPIO.   

There are currently two separate groups who will hold independent marches and rallies in the Central Area of the LAPD Central Bureau.

Central Area
  1. Organizers for the May 1st March and Rally for Full Legalization are expected to begin assembling at 6:00 a.m. in the area of Olympic Blvd and Broadway Ave.  The first permitted march is scheduled to commence at 12:00 p.m., and the second permitted event is scheduled to follow at 12:30 p.m.  Both marches are scheduled to proceed northbound on Broadway.
  2. The rally point for the first group is scheduled to take place on Broadway Ave at 1st Street.
  3. The second rally point is scheduled occur on Broadway at 4th Street.
Media Staging Locations for Media Vehicles
  1. Assembly Area Location – Olympic Blvd. / Broadway – Park all media vehicles on Olympic Blvd east of Broadway.
  2. Rally Point #1 – Broadway / 1st Street – Park All media vehicles on the East Curb of Broadway Ave between Temple and the Court House Cross Walk
  3. Rally Point #2 – Broadway / 4th Street – Park all media vehicles on the North Curb of 4th Street West of Broadway.
Media Viewing Areas
  1. Assembly Area Location - Media Viewing area is the Northeast corner of Olympic Blvd. and Broadway Ave
  2. Rally Point #1 – Broadway / 1st Street – Media Viewing area is designated as the Southwest Corner of Broadway Ave and 1st Street.
  3. Rally Point #2 – Broadway / 4th Street – Media Viewing area is designated as the Southwest Corner of Broadway and 4th Street.
Street Closures on May 1st

Broadway Avenue will be closed between Olympic Blvd and Temple Street from 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Spring Street will be closed between Olympic Blvd and Temple Street from 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Hill Street will be closed between Olympic Blvd and Temple Street from 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
1st Street will be closed between Main Street and Grand Avenue from 6:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


These mandates originate from a binding settlement agreement arising out of the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and include the following:

Under the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, it is not uncommon for large numbers of people to assemble for the purpose of demonstrating their opinions.  At such demonstrations, it is the Police Department’s obligation to protect individuals’ First Amendment rights, maintain order, and protect lives and property.  Occasionally, demonstrations become unlawful.  In such circumstances, pursuant to California Penal Code Sections 407 and 409, an assembly may be declared unlawful, and all persons present, including members of the news media, may be lawfully ordered to disperse.

The law provides that police officers may use reasonable force to disperse an unlawful assembly and to affect the arrest of violators.  The Department’s Use of Force Policy applies to such
Actions.  The Department’s policies concerning interaction with the news media are described in the relevant provision in Volume One of the Department Manual, the Department’s Emergency Operations Guide, and the Department’s Media Guide.

LAPD will recognize that the news media has a right, without interfering with police operations, to cover events that may result in the declaration of an unlawful assembly and order to disperse;

LAPD will make efforts to accommodate the media reporting obligation; however, such efforts will be made consistent with the LAPD’s primary obligation to maintain public safety and order;

When the LAPD develops an operations plan for an event that involves a public assembly, LAPD, where practicable, will designate an area outside of the anticipated impacted area but within reasonable viewing distance and audible range of the event in which members of the media may assemble;

When selecting the viewing area, LAPD will take into consideration public and officer safety, police tactics, input provided by the news media and the ability of the LAPD to prevent the location from becoming part of the impacted area;

To the extent reasonably possible, the LAPD will try to prevent the news media viewing area from becoming part of any area impacted by an unlawful assembly declaration and order to disperse.

The decision to assume risk of danger involved in covering a public event remains with the individual news reporter making such a decision, provided that any such decision does not constitute a waiver by a reporter of any constitutional or other legal rights.

The selection of the news media viewing area will take into consideration public and officer safety, police tactics, input provided by the news media, if any, and the ability of the LAPD to prevent the location from becoming part of the impacted area.  The final selection of the viewing area location will be made by the Incident Commander in charge of the incident.

To the extent reasonably possible and without compromising public or officer safety, the LAPD incident commander will relocate the news media viewing area if, due to changing conditions, the initial area no longer affords the media a reasonable view of the event or becomes a tactical concern for the incident commander;

The incident commander will designate an information officer as part of the incident command system in order to facilitate interaction with the media, and the information officer will be clearly identified at the scene; and

After declaring an unlawful assembly, the LAPD will designate a dispersal route for all persons present, including the media, to use when evacuating the area.


As was discussed with news media managers and members of the Los Angeles news media committee, the LAPD recognizes the news media’s reporting obligation and will accommodate reporters’ and photographers’ coverage by allowing them to pass through skirmish lines one time.  For officer safety reasons, reporters and photographers will not be allowed to pass through the lines multiple times as was explained and demonstrated for those members of the media who participated in the Department’s Mobile Field Force Training.

Should the event be declared an unlawful assembly, the LAPD will immediately notify the media by issuing a Department news advisory using City News Service, Nixle and the LAPD MRS’ regular email delivery service.  Mary Grady, the Department’s Public Information Director, will also be tweeting updates.  Media can follow Ms. Grady on Twitter at MGradyPIO.   The Department will make every effort to issue this news advisory prior to the issuance of a dispersal order.  In the event this scenario were to occur, media organizations should ensure that this vital information is disseminated to media field crews as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Any questions regarding this news advisory should be directed to the LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-486-5910.



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