NYC May Day March, 2015 - Participants
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.