Immigrant groups and their allies have joined forces to carry out marches, rallies and protests in cities nationwide to mark May Day, saying there’s renewed momentum to fight back against Trump administration policies.
Activists in major cities including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles expect tens of thousands of people to participate in Monday demonstrations, starting with morning neighborhood protests and culminating in rush-hour events downtown. Activists also plan an overnight vigil in Phoenix, a farm workers demonstration outside Miami and a White House rally. In Seattle, pro-immigrant events are expected to give way to rowdier, anti-capitalist marches led by protesters who said they plan to shut down a major freeway through the city.
“We’re seeing an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm and activity,” said New York Immigration Coalition executive director Steven Choi. “It’s driven by the fact that the Trump administration has made immigration the tip of the spear.”
Around the world, union members have traditionally marched on May 1 for workers’ rights. In the United States, the event became a rallying point for immigrants in 2006 when more than 1 million people marched against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.
While the current climate surrounding immigration may be similar to 2006 amid President Donald Trump’s hard-line approach to the issue, the immigrant rights movement has changed dramatically since then.
Advocacy groups that in 2006 were united in their determination to flood the streets to make a statement have fractured since then and pursued other efforts, such as voter registration, lobbying and fighting deportations.
By Sophia Tareen and Amy Taxin for TimeUnion
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