Hundreds March for Workers’ Rights

May 2, 2017

By Ana Gomez Salcido 

On Monday, May 1, International Workers Day, hundreds of people rallied and marched through the streets of downtown San Diego to ask for support for workers, as well as immigrants, in the United States.

Attendants gathered outside the Federal Court in San Diego at 3 p.m.

“No justice, no peace” and “the people united, will never be divided” were some of the chants heard at the hour-long rally.

Union leaders janitors, teachers and taxis talked about their work conditions and demanded justice for their community.

“The janitors of San Diego didn’t go to work today to be here,” said Dolores Sanchez, a member of the SEIU United Service Workers West, a union that represents more than 40,000 janitors, security officers, airport service workers, and other property service workers across California.

“Deportations and injustice towards workers must stop. Apart from all the difficult things that we have to endure as workers, like discrimination and not having  good wages, many workers have to live with the fear of deportation.”

The rally participants who were in favor of workers and immigrants rights faced a small group of Donald Trump supporters who caused a short stir at the rally.

Officers from the San Diego Police Department who were present at the rally had to separate the Trump supporters from the rally. The Trump supporters, however, stayed until the end of the rally, although there were no more altercations.

This year, the organizers decided to hold another rally and march in North County, which lead to less people attending the rally celebrated in downtown San Diego in comparison to previous years.

“Every year, people from Vista come all the way down to Downtown San Diego,” said American Friends Service Committee Director  Pedro Rios. “This year there was another event in North County so people could march in their own communities.”

“This year has been rough for immigrant communities, especially so with President Trump’s rhetoric, which is very aggressive and has damaged a lot of people in the immigrant communities,” Rios added. “We are seeing changes in immigration laws and that affect the labor force, which is mainly composed by the immigrant community.”

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