Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Day: Oakland, CA, 2007

It sure is a pleasure to see our contemporary working class breathing new life into the international labor holiday that started in this country. Today, despite contrary headlines, thousands of immigrants and friends, took part in a march that stretched out for over a mile and took some 25 minutes to pass me on its way from the poor barrios of East Oakland to the downtown federal building.

This year's themes were a demand for cessation of raids on workers that tear families apart -- and for immigration reform that provides a plausible path to legalization.

Many folks seemed simply happy to be together, speaking out for themselves in the sun.

Others were a picture of determination!

As is usual when the nanny takes the day off, the children came on the march.

Mexican and Central American immigrants have a lot of friends, especially those who have experienced arbitrary U.S. government attention since 9/11.

Supporters of the fired Woodfin Suites Hotel workers were out in force. Twelve courageous housekeepers asked for the legal minimum wage they are entitled to -- and got canned on April 27. Follow the link to donate to the Hardship Fund and join the picket on Thursday, May 3 at 5 pm outside the hotel in Emeryville.

Immigrant workers who come together in these marches feel their strength -- there's an unanticipated force pushing up from the ground level of our society and we better get used to it.

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