Raleigh Organizes for May Day Rally
May Day 2017 rally in Raleigh and Durham highlighted Workers Solidarity with Black, Brown, Muslims, women, LGBTQ and immigrant workers. The actions Started with a high spirited rally with over casted sky , winds and pouring rains at the Raleigh ‘s Moore Square Park. Nathanette Mayo (President of NC Public Service Workers Union-UE local 150) stood behind her union’s banner held by local 150 members and spoke about the history and egacy of fighting back (see her speech HERE)! Black Workers For Justice’s Angaza Sababu Laughinghouse spoke about why building solid coalitions like the Peoples Assembly ,Southern Workers Assembly and the Call for a National Black Liberation Assembly were critical organizing spaces. He asked all to commit to organizing tenant associations, workplace committees, school youth groups, neighborhood/community organizations to engage in local battles fronts. In his closing remarks, he asked those committed to organizing deeper and broader in the resistance and fightback ahead to raise their fist in solidarity.
At this closing point, participants began to march downtown to the Wake County Detention Center then to the NC State Legislature on Jones Street. Hundreds of Black, Brown, young, immigrant, Muslim, women immigrant workers and their allies rallied in front of the State House to protest the state’s repressive legislation and Trump administration’s anti-worker and mass deportation policies. “Even immigrants with papers are scared to go out, (and) feel discriminated against,” said Latina marcher Reyes. “Mr. Trump why do you hate us?” asked a 10-year-old Mexican youth.
50 local businesses signed up to support the march in the Triangle, NC, as sister marches took place in New York, PA, DC, Chicago, Detroit, LA, Texas, Atlanta, Richmond, VA and hundreds of cities. While some businesses closed, others gave the day off to employees who wished to participate in the march. Despite gusty winds and overcast skies, spirits were high as the colorful crowds surged through the streets of the nation’s capital too, chanting, singing and even dancing as onlookers cheered them on and cars honked their support. “Who’s Power ? PEOPLES WORKERS” “Whose country? OUR country!” and “Tell me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like!” “WORKERS UNITED…NEVER CAN BE DEFEATED!” were among the popular chants. Similar marches and rallies took place around the country, turning the day into a virtual holiday for many, as May Day 2017 is in nearly 70 other countries a recognized workers holiday!