The pictures and stories just keep rolling in from last Friday. Despite reports that this May Day fell short of expectations, I think that in the face of all of the swine flu hysteria and the overall rainy weather, there was a great turnout. Not to mention, those who did turn out did so in STYLE!
Support from the Labor Community
One of the best signs of the May Day events was the widespread representation from the labor community. Unions, like SEIU and Workers United showed up in solidarity for worker and immigrant rights. This support is especially important, in light of last month’s announcement by the two largest unions in the country, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, that they will support a comprehensive immigration reform effort this year.
Workers United took to the streets across the country, fighting for equal rights for all. From the Workers United site:
Margarito Diaz, (pictured) helped lead the mobilization and says:
“As a union, we are a family, a family that fights for everyone to be treated fairly. The May Day March to me was the symbol of our struggle as family, and the fighting spirit within ourselves to say we’ve had enough. No human being should be treated as less than a human being, and our future — our kids — should not have to suffer by us getting rid of their parents.
I was humbled and fortunate to march with my fellow co-workers, many of whom — after working the night shift — marched for more than three miles, demanding fair labor laws for everyone, and for all brothers and sisters who are migrants to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Friday was an aMAYzing day for me (see what I did there?). Even though I wasn’t in the streets marching with my compañeros, I was here in the office with a bird’s eye view of May Day marches across the country.
I watched as literally thousands of text messages poured in from folks, telling us why they were marching. You can check out some of these messages from my post on Friday. (I didn’t post all of them – but what you see on the post is pretty representative of the tone of the messages).
I received photos, stories, videos and excited phone calls from people on the ground from Los Angeles to New York. It was inspiring to see all of the momentum, energy and diversity of the crowds that gathered in cities everywhere. Even my hometown of Asheville, North Carolina hosted an event – which makes me enormously proud.
Even though I was live-blogging a few of the events, I have since received some great pictures, videos and stories from the day and wanted to share them with folks. But be sure check out my previous posts from Friday – Boston, Newark, NJ; New York City; Chicago; Washington, DC and Charlotte, NC.
Keep reading for my May Day Redux!
Posted in May 1, Uncategorized
Tagged Immigrant Rights, immigration marches, immigration reform, may 1st, may 1st austin, may 1st los angeles, may 1st louisville, may 1st miami, may day marches, Worker's Rights
The marches in Boston are arriving at the central rally. Check out these pics from the action. The first one features a Brazilian Revered blessing the crowd. Our partners at MIRA Coalition are telling me that the mood in Boston is relaxed and celebratory, despite threatening skies. The are of Boston where the march is located is the Brazilian/Central American neighborhood of Everett. Upwards of 400 immigrants, church members, union members, and social justice orgs are gathered to hear speakers and singers in 3 languages.
A friend just emailed to tell me the story of a woman he met at the rally. She is from El Salvador and was marching with three young girls in tow, two born in the states. She told him that she had lived in the US for 8 years and though she heard about the rally on Spanish language TV and decided to come out “para la lucha”.
I love stories like that.
Pictures from the march in New York are still rolling in! Its looking like folks are having a great time, despite the rainy conditions.
Sorry for my brief absence folks! I’ve been so wrapped up in preparing for May 1st that I’ve had little time to think about much else. Friday is sure to be an amazing day and yours truly will be right here live-blogging events from across the country. Straight from the streets to your computer screen!
I wanted to highlight a really cool event that will be happening that day. In addition to their march through the streets of Los Angeles, MIWON and CHIRLA are planning to unveil a “giant postcard” to President Obama. Here’s the scoop:
More than 2,000 workers will coordinate a giant billboard that will reveal a message to President Obama about two important themes to workers in the United States: improving the economy and fixing our broken immigration system.
The oversized “Postcard to the President” will be unveiled at approximately 4:30 p.m. (PST) in front of Our Lady Queen of Angeles Church, located directly across from historical Olvera Street just north of downtown Los Angeles. As marchers arrive from Echo Park Lake, more than 2,000 workers will be handed a section of the giant postcard and will be positioned to reveal the secret message. Aerial shots of the postcard will be sent to the President and video of the activity will be made available to the public via YouTube and other digital outlets.
Pretty cool idea, huh? I wonder what the billboard will say. I’ll be sure to post the video and pictures of the event as they roll in this weekend.
Also, check out the great poster created for the May 1st event here in Washington, DC. Anyone who is in the area should come out to Malcom X Park at 3pm on Friday to join in the march!
In the mean time, keep checking www.anewdayforimmigration.org for the most up-to-date list of events across the country. Find one in your neighborhood and join the thousands of others marching this Friday! Three days till May 1st!
One week from today, hundreds of thousands of people will be marching in the streets, demanding immigrant rights and calling for just and humane immigration reform. May Day, a day historically used to celebrate the the contributions of working people, has become THE day for the immigrant rights movement in recent years.
In 2006, millions of people took to the streets in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and everywhere in between to demand justice for immigrants. It was a show of enormous power and solidarity and the spark ignited by the 2006 marches is burning strong in the lead up to May 1st 2009.
With a newly elected President who is committed to immigration reform, with the full support of labor unions, and with more and more momentum building towards justice, this May 1st will be a huge moment in the fight for immigration reform.
Going to hit the streets? Rallies and marches are being planned everywhere in the country – you can check out a list of events in your area at www.anewdayforimmigration.org. And be sure to text “justice” to 69866 – you will be connected to the folks on the ground in your are and will receive text messages about where to go, times and details of your local event. (you MUST respond with your zip code if you want to receive local information)
This is truly a day where the grassroots get to flex their muscles and show off just how widespread the support for immigration reform is. Mr. President, you can count on us to support your efforts to reform our immigration system and bring justice to immigrants in this country.
In Portland, Oregon:
In Miami, Florida:
In Milwakee, Wisconsin
In Seattle, Washington
This May 1st, I will be marching for immigrant rights? Will you?
Amy Goodman at Democracy Now has been doing some geat coverage of immigrant rights issues in the last few weeks. Most recently she has been covering the police brutality at the May 1 rally in LA.
This report by Amy Goodman may come as a surprise to some, but for many immigrants, minorities and underprivileged populations in the U.S. police brutality is an everyday conundrum. The LAPD’s harsh overreaction to the May 1st Immigrant Rights march in MacArthur Park is a reality that many disenfranchised Americans can identify with and the silver lining of this unfortunate catastrophe is that it may prompt greater unification amongst minorities in the U.S., based on the realization of a common humanitarian plight and dream for a more just society. Read Amy’s story HERE