By Zayda Ortiz
Across the world, May 1st is celebrated not only as a day to welcome springtime but also as a day to honor workers. Throughout the United States, Latino communities organize rallies and parades as part of our shared culture. Traditionally, speakers address the issues that are directly affecting immigrants and the rights of workers. Last year the theme was “A Day Without an Immigrant.” People were encouraged to stay home from work or school; to not purchase anything and to show the impact of an America without immigrants. We were asked to take to streets, and to show our combined power. I joined in Everett while Coescha led a march from East Boston; both groups converged on Chelsea City Hall. As we turned the corner to the homestretch; we were greeted by a joyous cacophony of cheers, chants and music. I had always wanted to march on May 1st as my grandparents did for workers’ rights in Mexico during the 30’s and 40’s. The 2016 Presidential election galvanized that this was the time to join and to march with my community standing against the racist rhetoric.
I am often asked by other activists: “how do we get more engagement or build relationships with immigrants or Latinos?” One easy way is participating in actions lead by these groups or by people of color. Reach out to your members who are passionate about immigrant rights and join us in supporting our neighbors and the issues that most concern them. Tuesday, is just that kind of opportunity. There are four marches throughout Massachusetts; please find one to join.
- In Northampton the pioneer Workers Center that starts 5:30. https://www.facebook.com/events/2031172560486296/
On the North Shore (Lynn) the New Lynn Coalition is sponsoring a rally at City Hall beginning at 6pm sharp! https://www.facebook.com/events/142558973250775/
- I am organizing a group from Indivisible that will meet in Malden. We will join the march in Chelsea at 4:30 and march to Everett’s rally at Glendale park. (approx 2 miles). Please reach out to me if you want to march alongside my group! https://www.facebook.com/events/1778463262461564/
- Working in Boston and can’t take time away from the office? Join the May Day Coalition at the Bandstand in the Boston common. They will have a speaker program that starts at 5pm and then will march to Copley sq at 6. https://www.facebook.com/events/149039005781560/
Lastly, if these aren’t times or places you can get to; please call your legislative members at the statehouse Tuesday with these simple asks: Why has there been no movement on the Safe Communities Act? What will they do to help protect our immigrant neighbors due process? What will they do to protect the one in five immigrant workers in the our state from the Trump’s xenophobic agenda? Will they show courage and commit to passing legislation this year? Will this be another year lost without standing up for our Massachusetts Values?
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