On International Workers’ Day, people across the country participated in a National Day of Action at marches, rallies, and town halls to resist this administration’s scapegoating of immigrant and refugee communities. SEIU 521 members marched for immigrant justice in Bakersfield, Fresno, Salinas and San Jose.
Hundreds of people joined the May Day march in downtown Bakersfield. Local writer Danny Morrison got the crowd fired up and dozens more led chants. The crowd marched past the Superintendent of Schools office, Bank of America and the Liberty Bell on Truxtun Avenue chanting “No hate! No fear! Everyone is welcome here!”
The marchers returned to the park for a rally and speeches. Francisco Martinez, a social services worker for Kern County took the stage in the afternoon. He spoke about how his faith would not allow him to be silent while others suffered and talked about how our community needs to come together:
“SEIU 521 union members stand in solidarity with this May Day Coalition on important humanitarian issues such as increasing the minimum wage, healthcare for all, immigration reform which includes a pathway to citizenship, and LGBTQ rights. It’s time to rise up and resist together!”
Over 100 people marched in Fresno today and rallied at the courthouse. Protesters carried signs welcoming immigrants and celebrating our long history as a melting pot. Watch the video on Facebook.
We were 3,000 strong today in Salinas! Si se puede!
Thousands of protesters joined the May Day event in San Jose and demonstrated the power of a movement willing to go in the streets to defend our American values.
“I am here today to help celebrate this wonderful union of people from all nationalities around the word. My family members came as immigrant and they made a living here and I would like to see the same opportunity offered to all.”
– SEIU 521 APALA Caucus Chair Carmella Di Sopa
Watch Carmella speak here.
“I am here to support immigration because people are coming from all places. As Americans we should welcome them; we can learn a lot from them.”
– SEIU 521 COPE Chair Connie Chew
Watch Connie speak here.
We are a nation that welcomes immigrants and values the talent, ingenuity, and hard work that immigrants bring to our communities. On May 1 we declared that hatred and bigotry have no home here.
We believe that immigrants are good people trying to provide the best life possible for their families. Immigrants strengthen our economy by creating millions of jobs every year, running almost a fifth of the small businesses across America. They do the work that our families need and that drives our economy, like caring for our children, the sick and the elderly, and securing and cleaning our offices and airports.