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Hundreds of Thousands Ready to Strike on May Day

Posted on Apr 30, 2017

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

  May Day strikes are planned nationwide. (Design Action Collective)

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Hundreds of thousands of immigrants and allies are expected to strike and protest on Monday, taking part in what organizers are hoping will be the largest national strike since the May Day demonstrations of 2006.

“I definitely think this is going to be one of the biggest May Day marches,” Kent Wong, executive director of the UCLA Labor Center, told The Nation, which noted that “[t]he turbulent Trump era and draconian attacks on immigrant communities all but guarantee a bigger and more passionate turnout than usual this year.”

“This Day Without Immigrants is the first step in a series of strikes and boycotts that will change the conversation on immigration in the United States,” said Maria Fernanda Cabello, the May 1st campaign coordinator with Movimiento Cosecha.

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“We believe that when the country recognizes it depends on immigrant labor to function, we will win permanent protection from deportation for the 11 million undocumented immigrants; the right to travel freely to visit our loved ones abroad; and the right to be treated with dignity and respect,” she said. “After years of broken promises, raids, driving in fear of being pulled over, not being able to bury our loved ones, Trump is just the final straw.”

Still, while the nationwide campaign is focused on immigrant rights, workers everywhere are being urged to participate given the Trump administration’s blatant disdain for labor protections and ordinary Americans.

“We are sick and tired of a political and economic system that prioritizes corporate profits over the basic needs of our communities,” Jobs With Justice says in its call-to-action. “We know that the change we need won’t come from President [Donald] Trump, his corporate cabinet, or billionaire-backed politicians in Congress.”

“The only way to take action against our rigged economy is by coming together and working to raise wages and working standards for all of us,” the labor advocacy group continued. “While some of us were born here and others came here to escape hardships and build a new life, we share many of the same struggles. We’ve seen corporations attack our rights to join together and negotiate for a fair return on our work, and right-wing threats against us and our families regularly used to force us to remain silent. But we will remain quiet no more.”

Furthermore, progressive advocacy groups are framing May Day as a chance to highlight the intersectional nature of key movements, including those pursuing labor rights, climate action, and racial justice. Already, dozens of climate groups have pledged their support for striking workers.

And Mother Jones reports that on Monday, “a coalition of nearly 40 advocacy groups, is holding actions across the nation related to workers’ rights, police brutality and incarceration, immigrants’ rights, environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty, and LGBT issues—and more broadly railing against a Trump agenda organizers say puts them all at risk.”

The effort, organized under the banner “Beyond the Moment,” recognizes that “it’s going to take all of our movements in order to fight and win right now,” Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of one of the Black Lives Matter groups involved, told Mother Jones.

Fight for $15 has a “How to Strike” guide and The Nation has a run-down of some of the bigger rallies and actions slated for Monday.

Find a full list of events here, and follow online under the hashtags #MayDay; #undiasininmigrantes; or #beyondthemoment:

       
       

     


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