Los Angeles to Respond, Resist on May Day

03/22/2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Contacts: Gabriella Landeros, LA Fed 213-446-8801,
gabriella@thelafed.org
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, CHIRLA, (562) 243-5559,
jmcabrera@chirla.org
Elizabeth Strater, SEIU-USWW, (818) 213-8115,
elizabeth.strater@seiu-usww.org

Organizers expect 100,000 people will take to the streets to counteract policies and rhetoric that threaten families, communities, and nation’s values.

Los Angeles, CA – The May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, a network of nearly sixty organizations from throughout Southern California, announced plans on Tuesday to hold a large march and rally on Monday, May 1, 2017 titled “Resist Los Angeles”. 

March organizers are calling on all Americans to ‘shut it down’ for one day by closing businesses and shops, not go to work, not attend school, and march and rally downtown Los Angeles. Community members are encouraged to hold community or neighborhood dialogues, share their personal stories on social media, or post signs in home, shop and car windows in support of diversity, immigrants, women, Muslims, LGBTQs, the Constitution, Democracy, and other rights and principles that are currently under threat. It’s important, organizers stressed, that everyone in Los Angeles steps up in resistance on May 1.

Several Speakers outlined plans to join forces and speak with one voice on May 1, International Workers’ Day, including Angelica Salas (CHIRLA), Rusty Hicks (LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO), David Huerta (USWW), Lydia Flores (UFCW Local 770), Ada Briceno (UNITE HERE Local 11), Daniel Barnhart (UTLA), Jason Esquivel (COP), Joanna Waddell (AFT), Max Arias (Local 99), Asmaa Ahmed (CAIR-LA), Jonathan Fein Proano (IRC), Clara Montellano (KIWA), Ron Herrera (Teamsters),  Rev. Walter Contreras, Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, Rabbi Jonathan Klein, and representatives from the Women’s March Los Angeles, IDEPSCA, Black Worker’s Center, and KRC.

“On behalf of the May Day Coalition, we are proud to launch a collective resistance that will start on May 1 – International Workers’ Day – to re-ignite the power, resilience, and strength of our diverse communities that make up LA,” said Rusty Hicks, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.

“There’s so much at stake right now for our families, our communities, and our nation. Families, Muslims, and basic constitutional rights are under attack in the United States and that means the bedrock of our economy, the pride of our communities, and strength of our diverse nation are also under attack. We can join the resistance, shut it down in the best way we know how, or we can watch from afar hoping we are not the next target,” said Angelica Salas, CHIRLA Executive Director.

Marchers will begin gathering at 11 a.m. at MacArthur Park in the Pico/Union-Westlake district of Los Angeles. Marching is set to begin at 12 noon moving east on Wilshire Blvd. towards downtown Los Angeles.   The march will conclude with a rally in front of Los Angeles City Hall on Grand Park 

“Legislation like SB54 is needed more than ever to protect California’s values, where we all want our neighbors to feel safe at work and in the community, no matter where they were born,” said David Huerta, president of SEIU local United Service Workers West. “We are taking to the streets to shut down attacks on our values. Working people are under attack in this country. If you aren’t resisting, you are complicit.”

Several workers, immigrant families, and Angelenos spoke out during the press conference to outline why they plan to march on May 1.

“I’m marching on May Day to participate in sending a clear message: Immigrant workers in America will never give up on our struggle to win dignity, respect, and justice,” said Lydia Flores, a cashier at the El Super grocery store in Arleta, CA and a member of UFCW Local 770.

“SEIU Local 99 members help create and sustain a safe and nurturing environment for learning in schools, daycare centers and colleges. We have no tolerance for discriminatory policies such as the ones espoused by the current administration. It is immoral for ICE to detain a hard working parent dropping off his child at school. Our greatness is-and has always been-our diversity. Separating families, excluding hardworking people and promoting intolerance is unacceptable,” said Max Arias, SEIU Local 99 Executive Director.

“At this time of historic wealth inequality and the disappearing middle class, so-called ‘right-to-work’ laws are a scam that exacerbate the problem, driving down wages and protections for all workers,” said Alison Regan, a rank-and-file West Hollywood City employee represented by AFSCME Local 3339. “While deep-pocketed Wall Street interests have pushed such legislation at the state level for years, right-to-work is increasingly a threat even here in the bluest of blue states, California, because of new national right to work threats. AFSCME will never quit fighting back!”

The Coalition’s website http://weresist.la/ lists ways to participate, a route map, and flyer and other graphics for download. A Facebook Event Page you can share can be found here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/211284766016393/

Other members of the Los Angeles May Day Coalition include CARECEN LA, KIWA, KRC, UFCW 770, LAANE, Center for Community Change, Los Angeles Black Worker Center, SEIU 721, CLUE, FF15, UCLA Labor Center, SCOPE, CLEAN Carwash Campaign, Justice For El Super Workers, and many more.

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