FRAMINGHAM – Community leaders and members said they will join together Monday, May 1 from 6-8 p.m. in front of the Memorial Building to defend the rights of all people to work, organize and provide for their families without fear of exploitation, retaliation, and deportation.
May 1 is International Workers Day. In Chicago in 1886, a general strike was held to push for an 8-hour work day on May 1. Since then, May 1 has become a significant day for working people across the world.
This year, organizers of May 1st celebrations and rallies are planning for the largest mobilization of immigrants and supporters since the Trump election to call for an end to the Trump administration mass deportation strategy, said organizers.
The Trump administration’s systematic attempt to criminalize immigrants is not only an assault on the civil rights of communities of color but a dangerous path that is already having dramatic consequences in communities across the country as hate crimes against immigrants and those perceived to be foreign continue to spread. Hundreds of thousands of diverse groups of supporters are expected to march for workers rights and immigrant rights nationwide, said organizers.
Wally Soper, Natick resident and Administrative Coordinator at the Labor Resource Center/CLA at UMASS Boston, said “I moved from Dorchester to Natick in late 1980’s when GM employed thousands (they closed in 1997) and this is the first May day celebration in MetroWest that I remember which is really exciting.”
Framingham resident Alejandra Duarte, also a Unitarian Universalist First Parish in Framingham member, said, “We cannot let those who stand to profit from low wages, unsafe workplaces and increased deportations divide us against each other. We will stand united and make our voices heard. Our strength is grounded in our ability to work together and take collective action to make sure the needs of our families are met.”
Lily Huang, with Mass. Jobs with Justice and La Voz de la Comunidad said “We are sick and tired of a political and economic system that prioritizes corporate profits over the basic needs of our communities. We know that the change we need won’t come from President Trump, his corporate cabinet, or billionaire-backed politicians in Congress. The only way to take action is to come together and work to raise wages and working standards for all of us. That’s why we’re fighting for the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition priorities: Passing Paid Family Medical Leave, Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and passing the Fair Share Amendment on the 2018 ballot to invest in quality public schools, affordable higher education, a transportation system that works, and high-quality early childhood education.”
The Trump administration’s deportation forces have terrorized immigrant families, hurt the economy for all working people and threaten the safety of all communities, said organizers of the Framingham event.
Taxpayers already spend more money on immigration enforcement than enforcing on all other laws combined.
Immigrants strengthen our economy by creating millions of jobs every year, running almost a fifth of the small businesses across America. They do the work that our families need and that drives our economy, like caring for our children, the sick and the elderly, and securing and cleaning our offices and airports, said organizers.