Global demonstrations in support of workers’ rights, labor unions, and immigration reform are taking place around the world on Monday, May 1, also known as May Day.
Police detained more than 70 people in Turkey after protesters defied a ban to march in Taksim Square, the Associated Press reported. Meanwhile, Spain’s two largest unions called for a day of action under the banner “No More Excuses.” And leftists in Poland marched in opposition to the country’s ruling conservative party.
Other events took place in Greece, Bangladesh, Cuba, the Philippines, and other nations.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets in the U.S. Many organizations have called for a general strike in support of the protests.
This year’s demands are especially intersectional. Activists in the U.S. are calling for an end to President Donald Trump’s attacks on immigrant and communities of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, and workers. Many are part of groups such as the Fight for $15, the Food Chain Workers Alliance, Movimiento Cosecha, and other advocacy collectives.
“There’s a real galvanization of all the groups this year,” Fernanda Durand of CASA in Action, which will lead a march of about 10,000 people for immigrants’ rights through downtown Washington, said Sunday. “Our presence in this country is being questioned by Donald Trump. We are tired of being demonized and scapegoated. We’ve had enough.”
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“The policies of the Trump administration are motivated by cruelty and villainize black and brown people. We are resisting on May 1 to clearly state that these policies are wrong and that most Americans don’t support cruelty and racism,” said David Huerta, president of SEIU United Service Workers West and on behalf of the May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, a network of more than 100 community organizations, in a statement last week.
Durand continued, “We’re going to be able to show we are one voice, one people speaking for those whose lives are being trampled on.”
Monday’s protests come just after the Peoples Climate March, which saw hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets around the world to demand action on climate change and an end to fossil fuel use. The environmental movement declared its support of the May Day actions last week, just after labor unions expressed their backing of the climate marches. Organizers stressed that solidarity was “key” among the movements.
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