NYC May Day March, 2015 - Participants

The May Day march as I saw it from 14th Street.

The May Day march as I saw it from 14th Street.

True, true.

True, true.

Let's hope.

Let's hope.

I don't want to answer that.

I don't want to answer that.

True, too.

True, too.

It appeared an endless line of people.

It appeared an endless line of people.

White folks on the upper deck, acting like they are judging realty show contestants. "Your cause is interesting, but I feel like..."

White folks on the upper deck, acting like they are judging realty show contestants. "Your cause is interesting, but I feel like..."

The significance here, from what these folks were saying, is that David Felix died on this street.

The significance here, from what these folks were saying, is that David Felix died on this street.

How and why so many marching seemed to spot me and my camera in a crowd, I don't know.

How and why so many marching seemed to spot me and my camera in a crowd, I don't know.

Look at that kid! Fist in the air!

Look at that kid! Fist in the air!

The black bloc carries a MAKE THEM PAY FOR FREDDIE GRAY banner

The black bloc carries a MAKE THEM PAY FOR FREDDIE GRAY banner

Some days New York City makes you fight for everything. Some days it gives it to you.

Some days New York City makes you fight for everything. Some days it gives it to you.

People do have the power. Thank you, restaurant signage.

People do have the power. Thank you, restaurant signage.

By 8pm, normalcy had returned to Union Square.

By 8pm, normalcy had returned to Union Square.

By normalcy, I mean guys like this were back out there, basically being insane.

By normalcy, I mean guys like this were back out there, basically being insane.

May 2, 2015

There's a group for seemingly every cause, people from seemingly everywhere gathered in one place to make a statement. Another observer described it as "like the character select screen from Street Fighter out here." 

There are signs in all languages. One chant drowns out another. It can be overwhelming, since it seems like there are just too many causes to care about. It's also a good reminder of just how diverse this city is. 

And yet in that diversity was a consistency. I saw many marchers carrying signs related to recent events in Baltimore and the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police there.

Groups ambled slowly down 14th Street and on to Second Ave from the rally point at Union Square, staggered and spaced out by the NYPD to maintain order / reduce potential for people gaining strength in numbers.

Towards the end of the line was a black bloc carrying a "MAKE THEM PAY FOR FREDDIE GRAY" banner. Of all the groups I saw, that bloc drew the most attention from the police. That's pretty typical. Cops putting video cameras in the balaclavaed faces is pretty typical too. The bloc going overboard is pretty typical too – this one was chanting "shoot back" as they marched. 

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