Why I'm Marching on May 1st
When my brother and I were trying to cross the United States border for the first time in 1983, we got caught by the US border patrol. We had been walking for hours before they got us. We were very tired. They put all 15 of us in a small van where we spent the entire night. They locked us up. They didn’t let us go to the bathroom or provide any water for us. It was a long night. We were released the next morning, and put back in Tijuana.
I am going to the March for Dignity and Resistance on May 1st to join hundreds of other marchers on the streets of Oakland because I still remember that night in that van.
I am going to march because when I practiced law in New York for five years, I heard and fought hundreds of cases of immigrant workers who were cheated out of their wages. Domestic employees, landscapers, construction and restaurant workers who were told by their employers that they had no rights in this country, and if they dared to demand their back wages, they were going to be deported. I am committed to do what it takes to continue sharing their stories. May 1st is, after all, International Workers Day. The holiday goes back to 1886 when striking workers in Chicago clashed with police for four days in their struggle for an 8-hour work day.
I am going to march because during 17 years of activism, I have learned to hold on to hope for the restoration of human dignity for all. This march upholds a vision of justice that brings together the struggles of immigrants, workers, young people and many other forgotten sectors of the American society. During this day, we will have one fight and that is “for the life we want to live and to build the world we want to live in.” (Excerpt from the march’s flyer).
I am going to march as part of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights who will march in solidarity too. Understanding our call to eradicate the conditions that keep our communities poor, isolated, incarcerated and invisible, we will join the march with our staff and allies.
You can join us too and march with us. The March will start at Fruitvale in Oakland at 3pm on Tuesday May 1st. You can join us for sign making at the Ella Baker Center (1970 Broadway, Suite 450) from 1- 2:30 PM on May 1st. At 2:30 we will travel by BART to the march. For more information, visit http://mayday2012.blogspot.com/.
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