May Day Action | Washington, D.C.
WHAT WE BUILT:
WHY MAY DAY | WHAT IS MAY DAY?
During the late 19th century, the Industrial Age was in its heyday. Progress was vast but little attention was paid to the unimaginable inequalities and abuses suffered by the burgeoning worker class. So, the laborers began the fight for better working conditions by organizing peaceful protests, rallies, and strikes, while the upper class worked to halt those efforts. The push and pull between the working class and the upper class came to a proverbial head when and unknown person bombed a peaceful labor demonstration in Chicago. That event is known as “Haymarket Affair.” In aftermath of the attack, the first suspects were immigrants and anyone known as a community union organizer.
Protests, rallies, demands for action from elected officials, attacks on the poor and immigrants… Sounds a lot like today, but, as the saying goes, history repeats itself…
Now, the inequalities seem to be growing. Workers continue losing their jobs to changing industries and to advancing technology. Unfortunately, immigrants seem to be the ones getting blamed for the shortfall.
Immigrants are a vibrant part of the USA working class and therefore the American economy. We have used our labor, our voices and purchasing power to lift many parts areas of the country that were relegated to the deterioration and ruin. Our contributions are immeasurable and it’s time we come together to demand that the scapegoating end and start building for the benefit of communities throughout the country.
It’s at times like these, when working people of all backgrounds - be it immigrants, coal and steel workers, service employees and day laborers - need to come together and fight for respect, dignity, equal rights, and opportunity.
May Day (May 1st) was chosen to commemorate the Haymarket Affair and is internationally recognized as a day to celebrate, appreciate, and acknowledge the working class. Lets revisit the history of May Day and remind the world of its origin and let it become a symbol of the working class once again.
The Trump administration’s criminalization of immigrants is not only an assault on the civil rights of communities of color but a dangerous path that is already having dramatic consequences in communities across the country as hate crimes against immigrants and those perceived to be foreigners continue to spread.
IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY, AS AMERICANS, TO UPHOLD THE VALUES THAT WE SHARE:
The right to fight for our families.
The right to worship as we please.
The rights of workers.
The right to a free and fair election.
The right to fight discrimination and hate where we see it.
HOW DO WE DO THIS?
We do so by condemning these discriminatory laws and using our voice and the power of our vote to elect representatives that truly embody our belief in equality and humanity.
We do so by holding Congress accountable. Our legislative branch bears the responsibility to check on executive power and make sure our laws reflect our values of inclusion and respect for diversity and due process.
The action on May 1st will be lifting up a giant that embodies the power that working people hold in their hands, with their voices, and with their presence. Join us May 1 in a city near you.
CASA in Action, as one of the immigrant-rights organizations leading the march in Washington D.C., is committed to hearing all voices who want to fight for the rights of immigrants, Muslims, for the bargaining power of unions and fight against mass deportations, banning of immigrants and Muslims and equal protection under the law. 32BJ SEIU’s duty as a union representing immigrant and US-born workers is to unite our voices and demand that our country stays true to our core values as a nation of immigrants. Together, they have teamed up with Los Angeles based creative agency, DEC Artists, to create a multi level activation that will work to expose this anti-immigrant agenda, register voters, and support candidates who will fight for equal protection of the law on behalf of people of color and immigrant communities across the country.
1. WE want individuals to support immigrant workers by staying home from work, closing down shops and participating in our action on Monday, May 1st, 2017.
2. WE want the business community to support immigrants and workers by allowing them to have a day off on May 1st without retaliation. Immigrants strengthen our economy by creating millions of jobs every year, running almost a fifth of the small businesses across America.
3. WE want leaders from across the political spectrum and organizations throughout the country to stand strong against bigotry and hate. Scapegoating immigrants is not the answer to a more prosperous country. It sows the seeds of division and rancor among community members.
4. WE want Congress to stop funding the Trump administration’s mass deportation forces. Congress shouldn’t give the Trump administration any money for additional ICE agents, border patrol agents, detention beds, or a border wall. Congress must not give the Trump administration more resources to terrorize immigrant families and hurt the economy for all working people.
5. WE want Immigration reform. - Our economy would be stronger and our nation would be a better place to live in every way if undocumented immigrants could come out of the shadows and join the formal economy. Commonsense immigration reform would reduce the exploitation of immigrant workers and reduce employers’ incentive to hire undocumented workers.