Texas style May Day and Cinco de Mayo

DALLAS — Early May was marching time all over Texas.

The traditional Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo, celebrates an important victory in the battle for independence from European domination. This year, the strong hope for immigration reform boosted the turnout. The Texas AFL-CIO helped build crowds for May 5th celebrations and demands for immigration reform.

An unusual addition in this week’s activities was a May 1 celebration of International Workers Day at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. SMU is the biggest university in the Metroplex. It’s the same University that brought out right-wingers to the opening of the George W Bush Presidential Center on April 25, so it’s not known for hosting progressive events, but the students and community activists gathered for the first-ever May Day celebration this year.

A special tribute was given to Lucy Parsons. While she is who is most famous for helping lead the 8-hour day movement in Chicago, she was born in Johnson County near Dallas.

Glenn Johnson, a graduate student in theology, organized the event. He brought together the Workers Defense Project, Jobs with Justice, the campus’ Human Rights Department, Our Walmart, and one of his professors for an invigorating and educational evening at the student center.

Photo: Dallas’ biggest early-May march went down Ross Avenue. Jim Lane/PW