On Sunday, millions of demonstrators around the globe marched for labor rights (KVAL.com has posted a gallery of photos from international workers’ day celebrations).
In the US, thousands of protesters turned out in Wisconsin where the battle over collective bargaining rights rages on.
Wisconsin demonstrators marched two miles through downtown Milwaukee, waving US and Mexican flags and holding signs showing a raised fist in the shape of the state. Similar scenes played out across the nation and around the world, as millions of workers from Havana to Berlin and Istanbul took to the streets.
The rally ended at a park nearby Lake Michigan, where AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka addressed the crowd about the importance of solidarity between immigrants and labor.
“It’s the same fight,” he said. “It’s the same people that are attacking immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights, student rights, voting rights.”
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, founder and executive director of Voces de la Frontera, accused Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other conservatives of “scapegoating immigrants, union workers, and poor people for rising unemployment, low wages and lack of benefits.”
Thousands of supporters marched through downtown Los Angeles to demand a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the country. As the protesters moved through the streets, they chanted, “Legalization or no re-election!”
The Hispanic community is torn over the best approach to pressuring President Obama to support a path to citizenship. Pro-immigration reform leaders have mostly stopped asking Hispanic citizens to vote against the president and other Democrats in 2012 because the Republicans are the ones really blocking reform, says Javier Rodriguez of the March 25 Coalition.
But not everyone agrees with that approach.
Alfredo Gutierrez, a former Democratic state senator from Arizona, said Obama could not be counted on to enact the promised reforms.
“We should deny our votes to Obama, a man who clearly is not sincere about his intentions,” he told AFP.
“We will not get anything from Obama. We just need his to stop the systematic deportation of children, students and parents, because it is destroying our community.”
Thousands of protesters turned out in New York and Connecticut. In Hartford, more than 1,000 union members and their families gathered near the state Capitol to protest the growing assault on middle-class workers by the GOP and corporations.