Thousands rally in US for workers, immigrants, against Trump

Members of the

Labor unions and immigrant advocacy groups launched May Day rallies in cities across the United States on Monday, with the largest demonstrations expected late in the day as organizers target the immigration policies of President Donald Trump.

Protesters march through the streets in Portland, Oregon, on May Day. "We employ people. We pay taxes, and we make America great".

After police announced that the permitted protest was now illegal, the antifa crowd ran south, smashing windows, lighting fires and spray-painting businesses.

Hundreds of people, many of them immigrants, rallied on the steps of the state Capitol in Harrisburg.

In Chicago, Brenda Burciaga, 28, was among thousands of people who marched through the streets to push back against the new administration.

The measures are opposed by many state and local leaders in heavily-Democratic California, which in recent years has adopted immigrant-friendly policies such as issuing driver's licenses regardless of immigration status.

On May 1, 1886, it became global worker's rights day for a strike in Chicago seeking the 8-hour workday. All 20 employees either marched, or didn't show up for work that day.

President Trump has ordered more aggressive enforcement of immigration laws, sped up deportations, and ultimately wants to erect a wall along the US-Mexico border.

In 1990, Soviet protesters heckled then-President Mikhail Gorbachev at a May Day parade on Red Square.

Thousands of union members and activists marched in the shadow of some of the biggest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, including a hotel that bears the president's name. Giving up a day's wages will hurt, said Contreras, who also teaches salsa dancing and hopes to study computer science one day, but he felt compelled to stand up and fight, even as deportation fears grow around him.

In Los Angeles, organizers expected tens of thousands of people to converge on MacArthur Park during the morning before marching downtown to a rally in front of City Hall. Supportive parents joined the teachers, many of whom took sick days to protest.

Several protesters, like 39-year-old Mario Quintero, outed themselves as being in the country illegally to help make their point. "And when they come here, they're being criminalized and they're being put in situations that force people to have to hide, to have to be clandestine here in this country and that is not OK", protester Kati Barahona-Lopez said.

Rebecca Schreiber said she attended the rally "because I support immigrant rights and immigrant justice". "That's why I am here, to support not only myself but my entire community".

In Miami, Alberto and Maribel Resendiz closed their juice bar, losing an estimated revenue of $3,000, to join a rally.

But workers and others were being escorted inside by sheriff's deputies, who on occasion were lifting the arms of the chained activists to allow people to go underneath them and get in. "We've had enough", she added. The day has become a rallying point for immigrants in the US since demonstrations were held in 2006 against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.

The focus of May 1 shifted to immigration in the 2006 when roughly 1 million people, including almost half a million in Chicago alone, took to the streets to protest federal legislation that would've made living in the USA without legal permission a felony.

"We know that the Trump administration is attacking our communities, and we are here to stay and here to be united", Jose Palma, organizing director of the community group Neighbor to Neighbor, told the crowd.



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