May Day was reestablished in Miami Florida, with pizazz highlighted by a song sung by the Raging Grannies on Friday as over 300 people representing a broad coalition of labor and immigrant rights groups marched down Brickel Avenue, in the heart of the city’s financial district. The lead banner read demanded “Bail Out People Not the Banks.” Other signs and banners declared, “Capitalism Sucks,” “Support the Employee Free Choice Act,” and “Legalization for Immigrants Now.”

Many thought this day would never come. “To say this was historic would not be an understatement” said one event organizer. “Miami is known for not being tolerant of anything slightly to the left.”

Speakers represented labor unions, immigration groups, political parties, peace originations and more. After the Raging Grannies, who presented an original number on the Employee Free Chose Act, demonstrators heard presentations on the history of May Day. Fred Frost, Executive President of the South Florida AFL-CIO, greeted the rally and spoke on the need to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, reminding the audience that the event takes place against the background of the 2003 FTAA protest.

Speakers from immigrant organizations reminded the audience that “No One Is Illegal” and addressed the hard work immigrant workers do for low wages. Endorsing groups included such diverse organizations as Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami, Inc. (FANM)/ Haitian Women of Miami, Centro de Orientación del Inmigrante (CODI), the Lake Worth Catholic Worker, Miami Veterans for Peace, St. Pete for Peace, the South Florida Reds and dozens of others.

The unity of these diverse groups, with their various goals, gelled when the march stepped off. The sea of multi-lingual signs, crimson t-shirts and flags surprised bankers, investors, and other commuters during the evening rush hour. The echoing of workers’ chants through the cement and glass canyons of the financial district challenged capitalism at its heart in South Florida.

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