4 arrested at May Day protest in Oakland

Lauren Perry
May 3, 2017

Today is International Workers' Day, or May Day, and immigrants rights groups across the country are planning to hit the streets in protest of President Trump's policies on immigration.

They hope large crowds will get President Donald Trump and congressional lawmakers to rethink efforts to expand deportations and pressure local governments to assist federal deportation agents.

"We oppose the criminalization of immigrants!"

Scores of immigrants upset about the Trump administration's push for immigration enforcement marched Monday in Brentwood, echoing May Day demonstrations across the country.

Waving American flags and signs reading "love not hate", the Los Angeles demonstrators used the May Day event usually aimed at promoting worker rights to express their ire against Trump's plans to restrict immigration.

In Providence, Rhode Island, about the same number of people gathered at Burnside Park before a two-hour protest that touched on deportation, profiling and wage theft.

About 300 people gathered at a Home Depot near Minneapolis to protest what they said were the antilabor practices of some local janitorial companies that clean stores for Home Depot, Sears, and other retailers.

The groups are calling on state lawmakers to support the "Safe Communities Act" that would prevent state funds from being used for federal immigration enforcement, effectively making MA a "sanctuary state". "Clearly, when we're talking about a wall, that's Trump's proposal". Protests in the Bay Area and the nation are set to spotlight everything, including the environment, police conduct and especially immigration.

Portland police say officers have arrested three people near Pioneer Square during a May Day rally and march which they now consider a riot.

Nationwide, protests from Seattle to Miami centered around Trump's aggressive enforcement of immigration laws.

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Selvin Martinez, an immigrant from Honduras, said he took the day off from his job waxing casino floors to demonstrate Monday.

Other protesters left their workplaces to join the rally, some in groups.

Teachers working without contracts opened the day by picketing outside schools in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In Washington, a march is planned Monday afternoon from Dupont Circle to the White House.

The demonstrations waned in subsequent years as groups took different approaches on immigration, including lobbying and voter registration. We are exhausted of being demonized and scapegoated.

"This is the day where people can see how much we contribute", said Mr Resendiz, who previously worked as a migrant worker in fields as far away as MI. "This country will crumble down without us". "We had a good solid turnout in the middle of the day in downtown Houston and a few hundred tonight".

The protesters are beating a drum chanting "the people united will never be defeated" in English and Spanish.

At least one protest has turned violent: In Paris, protesters threw "gasoline bombs and other objects" at police, while officers threw tear gas at the crowd and clubbed some demonstrators with truncheons, Reuters reports.

In addition to rallies, immigrant rights activists in communities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Texas and elsewhere are calling for strikes to show Americans the demand for immigrant labor and immigrants' purchasing power.

International Workers' Day was heavily endorsed by socialist and communist parties, so in 1921, it became known as Americanization Day in the U.S. Then in 1955, during the Cold War, Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower renamed it Loyalty Day.

Other reports by VgToday

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