Immigrant Rights Groups, Community Organizations, Labor Unions, OWS to Announce Plans for United May Day Actions

For Immediate Release: 4-26-12

Teresa Gutierrez (May 1st Coalition) 917-328-6470

Valeria Treves (NICE) 917-324-3305
Mariano Munoz OWS activist (718) 714-8630
Rally Organizers to Announce Permits Secured, March Route Confirmed, Labor & Immigrant Rights Workshops and Cultural Performances to Take Place Throughout the Day

“Rage against the Machines” Tom Morello to perform on May 1st in Union Square

Press Conference to be followed by a “Know Your Rights” Training for Immigrant Workers at 6:30pm at 1199SEIU

WHAT:    Press Conference to announce plans for May Day and march to Wall St.
WHEN:    Thursday, April 26 at 4pm, march kick-off at 5:30pm
WHERE:     Union Square 14th & Broadway, South Side
WHO: (list in formation) May 1st Coalition, Labor union representatives, La Fuente, New York Immigration Coalition, New Immigrant Communities Empowered (NICE), El Centro de Inmigrante, National Institute for Latino Policy, Mothers on the Move, National Lawyers Guild, Occupy Wall Street Immigrant Worker Justice Working Group, Occupy Wall Street en Espanol, Occupy Wall Street Latin America, National Lawyers Guild, Community Farmworker Alliance, Adelante Alliance, Jornaleros Unidos, Restaurant Opportunities Center-NY, Domestic Workers United, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Laundry Workers Center United, Brandworkers International, Independent Workers Movement, La Peña del Bronx, Centro Guatemalteco Tecun Uman, Philippine Forum

On Thursday, April 26th, representatives of dozens of immigrant, community and labor organizations, along with organizers from the Occupy Wall Street movement, will gather to unveil plans for a massive and historic May Day rally to take place on Tuesday, May 1st at 4PM in Union Square. After months of careful planning, a diverse and united coalition has finalized plans to gather under the banner of “LEGALIZE, ORGANIZE, UNIONIZE”, demanding an end to the criminalization and exploitation of immigrant workers, and the stranglehold of the 1% on communities across the city, state and country. The program for the day will include community speakers, cultural performances, music, food, and celebratory activities for the entire family, including face-painting for children.
At 5:30PM, a spirited march will depart from Union Square for Wall Street, making stops along the way to target the corporations, banks and government agencies who have profited off of the harassment and deportation of immigrants and the attacks on workers rights, speakers at the press conference will announce that permits have been secured and that coalition organizations are providing members as “pacers” (marshals) along the route to have a well-organized and safe demonstration.
The May Day march to Wall Street will include several taxis and a truck along the route. Workers from across the immigrant community will be participating in actions targeting employers who exploit immigrant labor, including restaurant workers, domestic workers, laundry workers and bakery employees.  Ignacio Villegas, a pantry cook from Mexico who works at Capital Grille restaurant, calls on the immigrant community to join the rally, saying “your participation in May Day as immigrant workers is very important, because we live in the shadows and our working conditions are like slavery. Our presence on May 1st will tell the elected officials, bosses and other people in power that we are also part of the economy. As workers in the richest country in the world, we aren’t getting any of the wealth we create.”
Patricia Francois, a domestic worker who was verbally and physically abused by her former employer, emphasized that “May Day is a very important day because  many of us are exploited and verbally abused and we need to organize to put a stop to it. Particularly in the domestic worker industry, where women of color and immigrants are exploited every day we must stand up and be heard. Far too long we’ve been exploited and today it must stop. May Day is our day!”
Marina Diaz, an organizer of Centro Guatemalteco Tecun Uman said “Because of unfair U.S. economic policies our people are forced to migrate to the U.S. and risk their lives crossing the border. Every May Day since 2006 we have gathered at Union Square to demand legalization and justice for all workers.”
 “On Int’l Workers Day, we will once again march with millions of workers and immigrants in New York and around the world to collectively fight for our rights, to demand legalization and to fight against and call an end to deportations, trafficking and other forms of abuses and exploitation by the 1%,” stated Jonna Baldres, Deputy General Secretary of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON).


In addition to the 4pm rally, the May 1st Coalition will be providing a fully-permitted space in Union Square from 12pm on for community members, the unemployed, students and those who take off from work to gather and celebrate May Day together. The Occupy Wall Street movement will be sponsoring workshops throughout the day, providing legal referrals, “know your rights” classes and face-painting for children. Legal services will be provided by the National Lawyer’s Guild.

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