Yes, workers and immigrants will march again throughout the United States on May Day, May 1st. This is known as the International Workers’ Day, but little celebrated in the U.S., at least until the great diversity of immigrants took to the streets in 2006 to advocate opposition to the anti-immigrant legislation HR4437, and subsequent years to advocate for fair and humane immigration reform.
This budding movement of workers and families has resulted in reviving this important and historic date, recognized internationally in memory of the struggle for the eight-hour day more than 100 years ago in this country. Ironically, it was immigrant workers of European origin who led the fight for reducing the work-day, establishing unions, and fighting to improve working and living conditions of the laboring classes.
It is in this same spirit that immigrant and native-born workers march today to demand a stop to ICE raids, the forced separation of families and their deportation; legalization for all those currently undocumented in the U.S.; absolutely no new bracero-type programs, which merely constitute modern-day indentured servitude; approval of the Employee Free Choice Act, which will facilitate the right of all workers to form their free associations – unions – in their work-place with virtually little intimidation; and, ultimately, a fair and humane immigration reform of our current system, policies, and practices.
Today, working communities are facing incredibly unsettling problems of unemployment, home foreclosures, declining wages, consumer debt, increased tuition for education, loss of or complete absence of healthcare, and a dimming economic future. These are challenging times.
Bert Corona used to say that we don’t have far to fall when we have already been pushed off the bed and are lying on the floor. Once again we must stand together, march together, and demand a fair share of the wealth that we create for society. This is truly possible in our time!
Saludos on this MAY DAY from MAPA and Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, and the Hermandad General de Trabajadores Union Internacional/General Brotherhood of Workers International Union.
Nativo Lopez-Vigil is president of Mexican American Political Association. This statement comes from an April 28 MAPA e-mail. For more information: .