Thou­sands show sol­i­dar­ity with im­mi­grants, ob­ject to Trump’s poli­cies

New Straits Times - - World -

PORT­LAND Day, cel­e­brated as In­ter­na­tional Work­ers’ Day, fol­low sim­i­lar ac­tions world­wide, in which protesters from the Philip­pines to Paris de­manded bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions.

But the wide­spread protests in the US were aimed at the new Repub­li­can pres­i­dent. In cities large and small, the protests in­ten­si­fied through­out the day.

Teach­ers work­ing with­out con­tracts opened the day by pick­et­ing out­side schools in Philadel­phia and Pitts­burgh. Ac­tivists in Phoenix pe­ti­tioned state leg­is­la­tors to sup­port im­mi­grant fam­i­lies. In a Los An­ge­les park, thou­sands waved Amer­i­can flags and signs read­ing “love not hate”.

Selvin Martinez, an im­mi­grant from Hon­duras with an Amer­i­can flag draped around his shoul­ders, took the day off from his job wax­ing casino floors to protest.

“We hope to get to be re­spected as peo­ple, be­cause we are not an­i­mals, we are hu­man be­ings,” said Martinez, who moved to Los An­ge­les 14 years ago flee­ing vi­o­lence in his coun­try.

The White House did not re­spond to re­quests for a re­sponse to the May Day demon­stra­tions.

In Mi­ami, Al­berto and Mari­bel Re­sendiz closed their juice bar, los­ing an es­ti­mated rev­enue of US$3,000 (RM12,980), to join a rally.

“This is the day where peo­ple can see how much we con­trib­ute,” said Al­berto Re­sendiz, who pre­vi­ously worked as a mi­grant worker in fields as far away as Michi­gan.

“This coun­try will crum­ble down with­out us. We de­serve a bet­ter treat­ment,” he said.

In Oakland, more than 1,000 peo­ple marched peace­fully along with Mexican, Viet­namese, Chi­nese, Filipino and other im­mi­grants.

While union mem­bers tra­di­tion­ally march on May 1 for work­ers’ rights around the world, the day has be­come a ral­ly­ing point for im­mi­grants in the US since mas­sive demon­stra­tions were held on the date in 2006 against a pro­posed im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment bill. AP


Po­lice dis­pers­ing protesters at a May Day rally in down­town Port­land, Ore­gon, on Mon­day.

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