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May Day to have immigrant tilt as workers plan to protest against Trump
Hundreds of thousands of immigrants and their allies will be marching on the streets and striking on May Day for the annual workers’ protest. The march is expected to be the largest in years because of the activist energy galvanized by Donald Trump.
A coalition of immigration, labor, racial justice, gender equality and LGBT groups have come together for the May Day protests, which are traditionally led by unions and other labor groups.
Two days after Trump celebrates his 100th day as president, these groups plan to demonstrate as a unit against the president’s policies and rhetoric.
“You’ll see rallies, you’ll see marches, you’ll see strikes, you’ll see any number of events that at the end of the day are doing two things: either calling out Trump on his bigotry but also affirming the rights and the dignity of immigrants and refugees in this country,” said Kica Matos, director of immigrant rights and racial justice at the Center for Community Change (CCC).
CCC is a social justice organization whose work includes immigration reform. The group was a founding member of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (Firm), which is helping coordinate at least 138 May Day events in 35 states.
May Day workers’ demonstrations have always been tied to the immigrant community because of the population’s contributions to the US economy, but this year the pro-immigrant message is being made explicit.
“The Trump administration has shown nothing but contempt for immigrants and refugees and people of color, so we really want to make sure immigrants around the country rise up and speak about the rights of immigrants and the rights of workers,” Matos said.
The May Day actions were rumored to be a reprise of the Day Without Immigrants protests in February, which saw restaurants and construction sites across the country abruptly close because of the strike. There was a similar action on 1 May 2006, when more than 1 million people participated in a protest and boycott for immigrant rights.
But this year’s May Day events vary by locality.