In countries around the world, May Day is also known as International Workers' Day, and hard-won labor rights are usually the center of attention. But since 2006, immigration organizers in the United States have planned rallies on May 1 that bring attention to the economic benefits the country's immigrant workers bring to the country. This year is no different, and with a worsening climate in Washington, the need for pro-immigration rallies is more than evident. If you want to protest too, finding a May Day protest near you is easy. There are more than 250 protests nationwide.
The day is being organized by the movement Rise Up, an umbrella group of 44 grass roots pro-immigration reform organizations. According to a report in USA Today, they have organized some 259 events in 200 cities in 41 states across the country. Luckily for you, they have put all these protests on their website. Visit that link and you can sort the many actions by city and state to find the one closest to you. In addition to the protests, they're advocating that supporters should stay home from work and school and not spend money to show the collective economic power of the immigrant community.
One of the largest protests will likely be in Washington, D.C., where Fernanda Durand of CASA in Action is expected to lead some 10,000 protestors through the streets, just days after the Climate Change march. She told USA Today that "there's a real galvanization of all the groups this year" thanks to Trump. "Our presence in this country is being questioned by Donald Trump. We are tired of being demonized and scapegoated. We've had enough,” she added.
And this year the protests may not just focus on immigration rights and reform. Another group, Beyond the Moment, is organizing marches across the country for May 1 as well. Their website breaks down the many issues that they're organizing for:
March, protest, strike, and resist May 1st as we stand for labor rights, immigrant rights, reproductive rights, criminal justice, Indigenous rights, Black liberation, gender justice, LGBT rights, and our collective power as the people. May Day we resist together!
This is likely a result of Trump and his unique ability to bring together a wide variety of social justice movements in opposition to him and his policies, as seen at the Women's March, Earth Day March for Science, and others.
This past week Trump seemed to potentially single out Monday's marches by naming May 1 "Loyalty Day." The proclamation reads:
The United States stands as the world's leader in upholding the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice. Together, and with these fundamental concepts enshrined in our Constitution, our Nation perseveres in the face of those who would seek to harm it.
It also emphasizes Republican principles such as "limited government."
However, it's worth mentioning that Trump is by no means the first president to declare May 1 as Loyalty Day.
Those marching are showing their loyalty to American values of inclusiveness and tolerance, but don't expect the Trump administration to see it that way. Show where you stand by heading out on Monday and joining in a protest near you.