Thousands across US join May Day protests for workers, immigrants’ rights

Thousands across US join May Day protests for workers, immigrants’ rights

Thousands of Americans took to streets in major US cities such as Washington, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles to join May Day demonstrations for the rights of workers, women and immigrants.

“It is not my first time to join the event. I joined because the workers of America have been giving a very rough deal for really long time. Workers need more rights, shorter work days, better safety, laws for better pay,” Treg Waahl told Xinhua news agency, referring to May Day as the International Workers Day.

“You have to keep asking, keep trying,” said Waahl, who was among hundreds of people marching in the downtown of Washington DC on Monday.

“I am a cabin maker, I never had an employee because I cannot afford to pay the health insurance. I cannot teach anybody what I do. I think that is really wrong.” Philips Palmer, another protester, said.

Zakiya Scott, one of the organisers, told Xinhua that the May Day demonstration was the culmination of a series of protests starting from early April by a newly formed umbrella organisation called the Majority coordinating more than 50 protest groups across some 100 US cities.

Besides the traditional themes, this year’s May Day “is also being used to call attention to Trump’s job creation promises, pro-corporation and anti-worker stances”, the organiser said, citing May Day as US President Donald Trump’s 101st day in office.

At least four demonstrators were arrested on May Day in Oakland in California after they chained themselves together to block a county building in protest against Trump’s tough immigration policies.

In downtown Chicago, organisers estimated an attendance of 20,000 people in the May Day rally. They carried banners and signs calling for immigrant and workers’ rights, environmental justice and a higher minimum wage.

In a Los Angeles park, several thousand people chanted “love not hate” in opposition to the new administration.

The White House had no immediate response to the May Day demonstrations.

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