Reporting, Photos and Video: Nissa Tzun
Las Vegas, NV - On May 1st, 2018, 100+ people participated in the 12th Annual Las Vegas May Day rally and march. While the unexpected rainfall throughout the day discouraged participation, the event was high spirited and militant and direct. Chants included, "No justice, no peace, no racist police," and "When our communities are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!"
Historically, May Day stems from the worker's rights movement in the late 1800's to achieve higher quality of life for the everyday worker and bring light to workers' struggles including abusive business practices, unsafe work environments, unfair working wages and exhaustive work hours. Through the power of strike, divestment and union organizing, May Day has been celebrated as a symbol of the power of the worker as well as utilized strategically to achieve worker demands.
Nevada Cop Block's Kelly Patterson (left) and Ron King (right) pose with Jorge Martinez (center), the stepfather of Junior David Lopez, the last person to be killed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on April 6th, 2018. May 1 2018, Las Vegas, NV.
Jorge Martinez, the stepfather of Junior David Lopez, who was killed by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police in early April, came to the rally. As a request from Families United 4 Justice, a growing, nationwide collective of families impacted by police violence, Jorge Martinez was acknowledged along with Dominik Archibald, the mother of police murder victim Nathanial Pickett, at the rally.
May Day organizer Alexander Hawkins acknowledges Jorge Martinez, the stepfather of police murder victim Junior David Lopez at the 12th Annual Las Vegas May Day Rally & March. May 1 2018 Las Vegas, NV.
Trinita Farmer, the mother of Tashii Brown, was not able to attend the event, but sent a call out to the community to gather at the Bellagio fountains at 3PM on Mother's Day, May 13th, for the 1st year anniversary of her son's police murder.
Families United 4 Justice's flier for the 1st Year Anniversary Mother's Day Vigil for police murder victim, Tashii Brown.
On Mother's Day, May 14th, 2017, Tashii Brown, a Hawaiian native and father of two young children, was experiencing a mental health breakdown at The Venetian Hotel & Casino. When he asked the police for assistance, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer Kenneth Lopera began to chase and attack him. Tashii was tased seven times, punched, and then put in an illegal chokehold. Despite Lopera's senior officer demanding to let Tashii go, Lopera refused and took Tashii's life. LVMPD stated that Tashii would not have been charged with any crime had he survived the chokehold.
Ben, a film festival producer, holds the flyer for the Tashii Brown vigil scheduled for Mother's Day, May 13, while marching in the 12th Annual Las Vegas May Day Rally & March. May 1 2018, Las Vegas, NV
Currently the grand jury, which is a secret proceeding, is still meeting to decide whether or not to charge Officer Lopera for involuntary manslaughter. On April 26th the lawyer of Lopera requested another 30 days for the grand jury proceeding. The decision is set to be made on May 24th.
The May Day march was made up of several different groups including First Nation Peoples / Native Americans. May 1 2018, Las Vegas, NV.
The march convened at the Federal Court House in downtown Las Vegas, where the march concluded with more speakers.
Two young boys listen to the concluding speakers at the 12th Annual Las Vegas May Day Rally & March. May 1 2018, Las Vegas, NV