About a thousand union and community people marked May Day with a rally and march through downtown Minneapolis, organized by Service Employees International Union Local 17 and Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 17. The main themes were workers’ rights, immigrant rights and social justice.

Participants included the new leadership of the state AFL-CIO, President Ray Waldron and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter, the new president of the Minneapolis Central Labor Council, Bill McCarthy, and three City Council members. Speakers linked the fight for immigrant rights and the right to organize, and called for an end to harassment of Somali immigrants. Many Somalis took part in the event.

In Boston, a five-day celebration of struggles for workers’ rights and justice featured a May Day march of about 2,000 students, immigrants, trade unionists and members of community organizations to Boston Common, where speakers included AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson, Massachusetts labor leaders and representatives of immigrant rights and gay and lesbian groups. Other events included a four-day labor film festival and a May 4 Wake Up the Earth festival, which drew thousands.

In Houston, a May 1 breakfast, ecumenical service and rally for worker and immigrant rights was sponsored by labor and community groups, with the theme “Respect and Dignity for Immigrant Workers.” In Grand Prairie, halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, the Cinco de Mayo parade stretched over a mile and included Cub Scout troops, cheerleaders, dancing clubs, riding clubs, United Auto Workers members, and community groups.

In Chicago, a multi-ethnic May 5 community march focused on immigrant workers’ rights and social justice. The Cinco de Mayo/May Day event included Mexican-American, Polish-American, Puerto Rican and Palestinian groups and a contingent from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881. Placards read, “You took my taxes, now give me my papers” and “No human being is illegal,” and called for ending the U. S. bombing of Vieques.

In Tucson, University of Arizona Students against Sweatshops celebrated May Day with a table and display about immigrant workers’ rights and the history of May Day. They provided cell phones for students to call their senators and representatives to support the Freedom Act, now before Congress, which would grant legal status to undocumented immigrants.

In New York, a May Day Peace, Jobs and Justice concert and rally in Union Square featured performances of song, poetry and prose, and speakers from New York City Labor Against the War, Black Radical Congress and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees District Council 1707.

Erwin Marquit, Gary Dotterman, Jim Lane, Emile Schepers, Joe Bernick and Bill Davis contributed to this article.

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