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Tens of Thousands March for Workers’ Rights, Immigration Reform

Published on Mon, May 02, 2011

Across the country, tens of thousands marched and rallied May 1, May Day, to call for national immigration reform and to support all workers’ rights. Just as we did on April 4, working people declared: “Somos Unos—Respeten Nuestros Derechos” or “We Are One—Respect Our Rights.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told a crowd of about 100,000 in Milwaukee that “May Day is our day to stand together shoulder to shoulder for immigrant and worker rights.”

Gov. Scott Walker…has declared war on Wisconsin workers and, like you did before, you joined in a peaceful protest to say “No! No!” We reject the idea that America can no longer be a great nation and that we’re too broke to treat people fairly. We reject the notion that America can’t be the land of shared prosperity.

The crowd marched 2.5 miles across Milwaukee chanting, “this is what democracy looks like,” “sí, se peude,” “Walker eschuca estamos en la lucha” and “Wisconsin no es Arizona.”

Read Trumka’s entire speech here and click here to read more about the Milwaukee march.

On the other side of the country, nearly 10,000 people in Los Angeles rallied for good jobs that include a path to citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants.

According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center, if federal immigration reform included a path to legalization, California would add 633,000 jobs and increase tax revenue by $5.3 billion.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler spoke at a mass rally in Chicago and Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker spoke at a rally in New York City.

Cory McCray, president of the Young Trade Unionists in Baltimore, spoke to Young Democrats from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Pennsylvania about the importance of collective bargaining. Check out a video of some of the discussion here.

Here are some other major May Day events:

• In Boston, thousands participated in a march that drew on the global fight for workers’ rights with the theme of “From Cairo to Wisconsin to Massachusetts Defend All Workers’ Rights.”

• In Houston, the local chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) joined with Houston United in a huge rally for workers’ rights and immigrant rights.

• Working people in Buffalo, N.Y., marched 2.1 miles from the east side of the city to the west side for a rally to protest the threat to close a community health clinic that supports the growing Latino community

 

Published in the AFL-CIO Blog | Read Article