NPR — Marches in support of worker rights and labor unions are taking place around the world Monday, dubbed “May Day.” Here in the U.S., they’re expected to draw larger than usual crowds due to President Trump’s efforts to crack down on immigration.
In heavily Latino Los Angeles, where labor unions also hold big sway, community organizers spent much of the last weekend doing last minute planning and logistics, as well as peacekeeping training.
In 2006, massive immigrant rights marches in Los Angeles and in other major cities on May Day were often credited with killing a sweeping anti-illegal immigration bill in Congress. Community organizer Tony Bernabe remembers those protests fondly. But 11 years on, Congress is no closer to striking a deal on immigration, and he thinks things are getting worse.
“There is fear in the community,” Bernabe said. “This administration is scaring them.”
Despite predictions of large crowds, organizers say some would-be marchers could be afraid to come out. Many people in the country unlawfully have kept a low profile since the inauguration of Trump, who’s pledged to tighten U.S. immigration and build a wall along the Mexican border.
“If the Trump administration has done something very well, it has united lots of communities who otherwise would not be marching together,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, spokesperson for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.
In cities from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles to Seattle, the more traditional May Day labor marches are expected to swell with women’s groups, police reformers — basically anyone who wants to protest the president. Smaller crowds of pro-Trump counter-protesters are also likely.
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