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May Day Demonstrations Expected To Draw Thousands For Immigration Reform

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Two rival organizations will stage competing May Day demonstrations in Los Angeles Sunday, likely drawing thousands of people clamoring for immigration reform.

According to LAPD, the organizers behind the May First March and Rally for Full Legalization will begin assembling at 6 a.m. near Olympic Boulevard and Broadway Avenue.

Although event organizers told the Los Angeles Times that more than 50,000 people could turn out Sunday, permits sought for the march planned for about 10,000.

“We are going to have a large enough deployment to handle anything,” said Deputy police Chief Jose Perez.

“Our posture will be consistent with what we’ve had the last two years. We want to keep a lid on anything, but, ideally, we are going to maintain a low profile and facilitate allowing everybody to express their 1st Amendment views in a peaceful and organized manner.”

Competing in Sunday’s pro-immigrant outpouring will be the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition — which has support from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles and other labor and community groups — and the smaller, grass-roots Southern California Immigration Coalition.

The Southern California group alleges its larger rival is funded and led by the Democratic Party, which some criticize for stalling reforms and increasing the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Police said the first march will start at noon and the second at 12:30 p.m., with both scheduled to proceed northbound on Broadway. One group will hold a rally on Broadway at First Street, and the other at Broadway and Fourth.

Sunday between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m., the following intersections will be closed: Broadway between Olympic Boulevard and Temple Street; Spring Street between Olympic Boulevard and Temple Street; Hill Street between Olympic Boulevard and Temple Street; and First Street between Main Street and Grand Avenue.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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