May Day Marchers Bring a Message of Unity, Perseverance and Hope, Telling a Hateful Administration That “Together, We Fight Back!”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Los Angeles, CA – Nearly 5,000 workers, immigrants and families are turning out in force today, May Day, to let a hateful Administration know that despite its best efforts to demoralize, isolate and destroy us, “Together, We Fight Back!”
As the marchers wind their way through downtown along a 1.3-mile route that starts at the corner of 6th Street and Olive Street, they are underlining the message we send today to this Administration:
- We will defend, protect, and respect workers’ rights.
- We will fight the anti-immigrant agenda and stop ICE efforts to rip apart families.
- We will remain civically engaged in the run-up to this year’s crucial midterm elections.
Angelica Salas, Executive Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), said: “These are the best of times to take a stand against the worst of times. We are one nation, one city, one community with diverse ideals, values, and aspirations. On May Day we join together in the streets to mark a point in time when we tell this Administration ‘enough is enough.’ Our best days are ahead of us if we stay united and committed to change.”
Rusty Hicks, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, said: “When the rights of workers, immigrants, and communities mobilizing to vote are threatened, the rights of all of us are threatened. Today, we’re marching for good, union jobs that our communities need and fighting back against the Administration’s racist, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant agenda.”
Reina Rosales, a TPS recipient and UFCW Local 770 member, said: “Deportations are tearing our families apart and causing a lot of fear. They are cruel and unjust. Today, we are standing together for dignity and justice in our workplaces, and the right to have a union.”
Jim Mangia, CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Clinic, said: “St. John’s is proud to be the largest provider of healthcare services to undocumented immigrants in the country. We will stand up and resist any attempt to attack the human and constitutional rights of America’s immigrants.”
Martha Arévalo, executive director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), said: “We are determined to safeguard our communities from hatred and acts of xenophobia. Together, we can and will reach justice for our immigrant communities and every community that has been unfairly targeted by this administration. More than 400,000 Temporary Protected Status immigrants alone will be stripped of their legal working permits and other humanitarian protections without reason. We must continue to band together in the fight of our generation. We are determined to protect our communities and to march on May Day for justice.”
Valeria Espinosa, coordinator for AF3IRM LA, said: “AF3IRM stands with women workers to fight for our dignity and lives as we seek economic justice for our communities!”
Dave García, director of policy and community building at the LGBT Center, said: “On May Day and all days, the Los Angeles LGBT Center stands against attacks on workers and immigrants. As LGBTQ people, we join this march to uplift the experiences of LGBTQ workers who face discrimination and LGBTQ undocumented immigrants who face the threat of deportation to countries of origin where their lives and security are threatened due to their sexual orientations, gender identities, or HIV status.”
Taqwa Bowie, member leader of Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE), said: “The Presidential Administration creates policies of hatred, racism and cruelty. Community members are immigrants, black and brown people, people of varying backgrounds and nationalities, Muslim brothers and sisters. Each of them are an important part of the great economy of this country. The President should be celebrating them for their contributions. We are united! We are resilient! We are not giving up in our fight to make sure that we have the same access to quality education, affordable housing for poor people, and better air quality. We will change the legal system to stop the criminalization of innocent people and stop police brutality. Together, we fight back!”
José Martinez, a Burger King worker earning $12 an hour, said this on behalf of the Fight for $15 campaign: “I’ve worked 30 years in fast food and I don’t make enough to feed my four children. As immigrant workers we deserve dignity and respect on the job, and that starts with $15 and union rights. We march on May Day for justice for our families and the right to sufficiently provide for them.”
Ace Katano, Deputy Public Defender and Organizer with Ground Game LA, said: “As lawyers, and as public defenders, we’re not used to thinking of ourselves as workers; we’re focused on putting the well-being and freedom of our clients first. But we have begun to learn that we cannot fulfill our mission if we do not have a voice, and that voice can only come from a union. As we organize our union with AFSCME, we are proud to stand with our brothers and sisters in the labor movement this May Day.”
Perpetua Mejía Echeverría, of the Women’s Committee of the World Labor Union Federation, said this for the Roofers’ Local 36: “On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions that represents more than 92 million members in 125 countries across the world, I come here today to deliver a greeting of solidarity and fraternity from our comrade George Mavrikos, General Secretary of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU). Long live the struggle of the workers of the world against capitalist exploitation! Long live the workers of the world!”
Participating organizations in the May Day Coalition include: Teamsters 896, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, Promesa Boyle Heights, Morena, UFCW 770, Democratic Social Association of Los Angeles, Workers United, ANSWER Coalition, Roofers Union, Fight For 15, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, CLUE, Santa Monica Unitarian Universalist Church, UNITE HERE Local 11, AFM local 47, MCF, Teamsters 396, LA LGBT Center, AAAJ-LA, SEIU 1000, DSA-LA, ACLU SoCal, LAANE, Communist Party USA, AFT 1521, SEIU 2015, LA Black Worker Center, Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, Undocumedia, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles (CAIR-LA), IATSE, USW Local 675, SCOPE, UU Santa Monica Peace and Justice Team, CFA/SEIU 1987, Teamster 630, SEIU 121RN, CLUE LA, SEIU-USWW, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, California Immigrant Policy Center, AF3IRM LA, LAANE, Refuse Fascism, The Strategy Center, ELACC, LEA, Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign, Trans Queer May Day Contingent, UCLA Labor Center, East LA Community Corporation, UTLA, AF3IRM, Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles (ACT-LA), Inquilinos Unidos (United Tenants), LA Forward.