May Day, a celebration of workers’ dignity, rights, and strength, originated in 1886 in Chicago, part of the labor movement’s fight for the eight-hour work day. In the Untied States, the international workers’ holiday has become a crucial part of the immigrant rights movement.
Today, from 5:00 pm-7:30 pm in Foley Square, at a rally organized by Rise Up New York!, a coalition of labor and immigrant rights groups, faith and community organizations, New Yorkers gathered to protest Trump’s racist and anti-worker agenda. And, to fight, as Antonia Rivas, child care provider and member, SEUI Local 99 has written, to “win an America where the value of our work is matched by our wages, we have a say at work and in our political system through unions, and where every family and community has the opportunity to thrive.”
Speakers included individuals who have been directly impacted by the president’s Muslim and refugee ban and indiscriminate immigration enforcement actions; Linda Sarsour, Palestinian American civil rights activist; New York City Public Advocate Leticia James; New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito; Héctor Figueroa, President, SEIU 32BJ; Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood; and Mayor Bill de Balsio (who was all but sporting his perpetual badge of honor, earned by having been labeled “the worst mayor in the U.S., & probably the worst mayor in the history of #NYC” by Trump in a November 2015 tweet.)