Rallies for Workers, Immigrants Rights Mark May Day Around the World

Adjust Comment Print

Three days later, a meeting that began peacefully at Haymarket Square in Chicago became violent when a bomb was set off, killing police officers who were monitoring the demonstration.

"It is sad to see that now being an immigrant is equivalent to nearly being a criminal", said Mary Quezada, a 58-year-old North Carolina woman who joined those marching on Washington.

Police were telling people to leave the area or risk arrest after canceling a permit obtained for the May Day event. According to Reuters, several thousand also assembled in Washington's Dupont Circle to take part in a rally procession to Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House. They say they plan to stay there until police arrest them. Protesters took a stance in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement office or ICE building.

"It is sad to see that now being an immigrant is equivalent to nearly being a criminal", said Mary Quezada, a 58-year-old North Carolina woman who joined those marching on Washington.

Zalaya offered a simple message for the president: "All of us, we are immigrants".

In an anti-communist declaration during the early Cold War, President Eisenhower in July 1958 signed a resolution proclaiming May 1 "Loyalty Day", explaining it would be "a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States of America and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom".

Prior to the election of Donald Trump, immigrant communities faced heightened levels of immigration enforcement and deportation, including the resurgence of home raids and the detention of mothers and children fleeing gender-based violence. The event in 2006 became a USA rallying point for immigrants, with more than 1 million people marching against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.

In Chicago, 28-year-old Brenda Burciaga was among thousands of people who marched through the streets to push back against the new administration.

She says her mother has lived and worked in the USA for about two decades. "I hope at least they listen". "We also know that the Trump administration's approach is based on the ugly notion that America should expel 11 million hardworking undocumented immigrants, and that is wrong". Dozens more were planned in smaller cities from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Erie, Pennsylvania.

More than 200,000 US workers engineered a nationwide strike for an eight-hour workday on May 1, 1886, in what was supposed to be several days of protest. Activists in Phoenix petitioned state legislators to support immigrant families.

Around the world, union members traditionally march on May 1 for workers' rights.

Several NPR member stations are covering other local events, including Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, KPCC in Los Angeles and Oregon Public Radio. If you can't take the day off, there are other ways to show your support, even if it's just by spreading the word to someone who might be able to go to one of the many protests or go on strike themselves. "Who's going to bus their tables?" he said. It will be the second such strike since Trump took office; February 16 was also a "day without immigrants", organized in response to Trump's immigration policies and travel ban.

Organizers are saying today will be the largest protests since that year.

"If certain communities of color feel they are being targeted, they will not report real crimes and that puts everyone's safety at risk", Vice President of 32BJ Service Employees International Union Roxana Rivera explained.

In Miami, Alberto and Maribel Resendiz closed their juice bar, losing an estimated revenue of $3,000, to join a rally.

Maria Trujillo, a janitor who is now a USA citizen, said she knows "what it's like to be afraid in her own community".