Two days after police cracked down so hard on a march against police violence that media pressure forced Bill de Blasio to make one of the most baldly nonsensical speeches of his mayorality, one might have wondered how the NYPD would handle yesterday’s May Day march.

After all, in a city apparently concerned about the spread of civil disorder and anti-police sentiment, May Day is tightly entwined with both. The holiday commemorates the Haymarket affair, the day in 1886 when a Chicago labor rally in support of the eight-hour workday ended in bombs, bullets, mayhem, and the execution by hanging of prominent anarchists.

In recent years, New York’s May Day has also become an important day for immigrant rights advocates, and has also been reclaimed by the mainstream labor movement, which had abandoned it for much of the 20th century over fear of its associations with communism.

Both of those groups are generally less completely enthusiastic about direct confrontation with police than contemporary anarchist celebrating May Day. The differing tolerance for police antagonism has made for complicated negotiations when the different groups have attempted to combine their May Day observations, as they did in 2012 in the wake of Occupy Wall Street.

This year, organized labor groups held their own march uptown, leaving immigrant groups, anarchists, communists, and Black Lives Matter activists to their own devices, beginning with an afternoon rally in Union Square and followed by a march downtown to Foley Square.

Many in Union Square were still angry about the police response to Wednesday's march. “We can protest wherever we want, because the last time I checked, we’re all free men,” said a man who identified himself as Sean Havoc, 22, from Flatbush. Carrying a sign that read “Arrest the Police,” Havoc said his experience of the police in his neighborhood is overwhelmingly negative. “They think of us as trash,” he said. “They don’t think of us as human beings.”

As it turned out, this year’s May Day went off with minimum friction between marchers and the police, with no arrests and only a single summons issued. It may be that the police decided one headline-grabbing day of electively mass-arresting peaceful protesters was enough for the week. On the protesters’ side, there was a recognition that their lawyers and jail-support teams were still exhausted from the aftermath of Wednesday’s arrests.

It may also have had something to do with the heavily controlled conditions of the march, which was shunted down a cattle-chute of police barricades that literally ran the entire length of its path from Union Square to Foley Square

After about an hour in Union Square, several hundred marchers left the cordoned pen of Foley Square and set out on a second march, accompanied by ranks of police. The march ran through Tribeca, SoHo, and the East Village before finally ending back at Union Square. Protesters briefly attempted to leave the sidewalk and take the roadway several times, but each time were forced back by scooter-mounted police, and were chastised by a computerized announcement broadcast from a handheld LRAD device warning that any blocking of traffic would result in arrest.