May Day: Resisting All Things Trump

May 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A sea of humanity moved through the streets of downtown Los Angeles Monday for the annual May Day march, with organizers and participants spurred by a distaste for the presidential policies of Donald Trump.

Thousands of people gathered in MacArthur Park for the march dubbed “Resist Los Angeles,” designed to be a show of “resistance, unity and defiance” against such White House policies as ramped-up enforcement of immigration laws and an effort to build a massive border wall.

Various organizations that marched separately in the past joined forces this year, uniting under the banner “May Day Coalition of Los Angeles” and organizing the march from MacArthur Park to Los Angeles City Hall.

It marks the first time in more than 10 years there has been such unity among organizers of May Day marches. Organizers predicted that more than 100,000 people would participate in the “Resist Los Angeles” event, but the crowd fell well short of that goal.

Los Angeles police did not give an official crowd estimate, but authorities told reporters at the scene they were estimating around 15,000 participants.

“This is probably five times larger than last year, but it’s not as big as 2006. It is definitely 30,000 to 40,000 people, I heard,” Stuart Kwoh, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, told City News Service.

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Kwoh, who also addressed the crowd from a large stage that was erected on the Spring Street steps of City Hall, tied the lessons of the Los Angeles riots — which broke out 25 years ago Saturday — to Trump’s attempts to strong-arm local police forces into cooperating with federal immigration laws by threatening to cut off federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

“In 25 years we have learned that the police cannot be an occupying military force. They have to have the trust of the community. And they cannot have the trust of the community if they are an occupying deportation force either,” Kwoh told CNS.

UCLA student and Native American activist Shannon Rivers, who is also a leader of the movement pushing the city to divest its money from Wells Fargo due to its support of the Dakota Access pipeline, said various issues brought people to the march.

“There’s all kinds of different issues. Migrant issues, the freedom and right to mobility. People have a human right to be mobile,” Rivers told CNS.

“We have gay-transgender issues, we have LGBT issues. We have inequality. Those are basic structural things we have to change. I don’t know if we can change those things in our current system. We are so xenophobic.”

Along list of speakers who addressed the crowd, including Alex Caputo-Pearl, president of United Teachers Los Angeles; Rusty Hicks, executive secretary and treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor; and Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“We (teachers) will stand with this movement. We will stand with you for civil rights, for educational justice and this movement is the most important movement in the United States and the teachers are with you,” Caputo-Pearl told the crowd.

Juan Jose Gutierrez, national coordinator of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, said the march would send a message to the Trump administration that “our just struggle for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship is here to stay until we win it.”

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a candidate for governor, was among those taking part in the march.

“This year you’re going to see an unprecedented number of people here in Los Angeles, primarily because of what’s going on with Trump and his administration — the ban, the wall, the talk of deporting 11 million people.

Nobody’s ever done that anywhere,” he told KCAL9. “I think for all of those reasons you’re going to see an outpouring of people today.”

While many did respond to organization requests “to miss work, not take their children to school, shop or operate their businesses,” organizers speculated fear and the work day timing were among the reasons for the lower than anticipated turnout. Protest fatigue was another.

“Monday is a work day so most people are out,” Emiliana Guereca, co-executive director for the Women’s March Los Angeles said via email.

“I do think marcher fatigue has set in,” she said, adding “there is too much at stake to lose momentum … “There have been dozens of marches, there are only so many one can attend,” Guereca said.

Recent immigration raids have left many undocumented immigrants afraid to be out in public, and even more worried that their public protests could lead to being targeted for deportation.

“We were not sure what to expect because of the immense threats that currently face our communities,” said Elizabeth Espinoza with the UCLA Labor Center. She said the Center has seen a “greater interest in people participating in civic engagement activities, including massive protests” since Trump’s inauguration, noting that 30,000 people turned out on a weekday and that over 100 organizations had endorsed the march.

While the “Resist Los Angeles” event was advertised as a unity march, a separate late-afternoon march was held in Boyle Heights, beginning at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Evergreen Street and ending at Mariachi Plaza at First and Boyle streets. Another protest march was held in front of La Puente City Hall.

Meanwhile, about 100 Trump supporters stood in front of the downtown Federal Building, chanting “Put America first” and “USA,” while some carried U.S. flags and signs with messages such as “Repeal Obamacare” and “Trump — Make America Great Again!” Led by a phalanx of Los Angeles police officers, the Trump group marched from the Federal Building to LAPD headquarters.

Jo Reitkopp, chair of event organizer “Make California Great AgainmInc.,” said Trump supporters wanted to “step up and stand for our country and its Constitution … for which millions of USA military men and women have lost their lives.”

Police set up a skirmish line to separate the pro- and anti-Trump forces in the Civic Center area. Both sides shouted back and forth, often using profanities, but there were no reports of any physical confrontations.

Building a movement of resistance is difficult, noted Hugo Romero with the UCLA Labor Center in an email Wednesday. “But it must be done if we want to thrive for the next four years and beyond.”

EGP staff writer Stacey Arevalo contributed to this story.

 

Immigrant Workers Moved by Show of Support

May 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Immigrant workers must speak up against the injustices they face, said Socorro Aranda Monday as she joined the thousands of people carrying signs and chanting during May Day marches and rallies in downtown Los Angeles.

With President Trump’s constant negative portrayal of immigrants, it’s more important than ever to speak out, said the 78-year-old native of Nicaragua.

“We did not come to take anybody’s job away,” Aranda said, before accusing Trump of failing the working class.

“We are just fighting for a living wage.”

Thousands of people marched on the streets of Los Angeles Monday during the annual May Day marches. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Thousands of people marched on the streets of Los Angeles Monday during the annual May Day marches. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Traditionally a day to rally for workers’ rights, in recent years May 1 observances have evolved to include other social, political and civil rights issues, most notably rights for immigrants in the country illegally and for reforming U.S. immigration policies.

Monday, the focus was on resisting President Trump and his policies – on all fronts.

“We must not stand idly by and watch our country while it’s under attack,” said Maggie Reyes, 60, of Pasadena.

This year, May Day was not just about issues important to workers, but also a chance to voice opposition to the president’s rhetoric, and the consequences to those who don’t, labor attorney Glenn Rothner told EGP.

“I’m tired of Trump demonizing immigrants,” he said. “I hope the take away for leaders is that they should be running scared in 2018.”

Estimates on the number of people who took part in the May Day events vary, ranging from 15,000 to 30,000, less than a third of what organizers anticipated.

The protest march kicked off at MacArthur Park and ended with a rally at Los Angeles City Hall, where, as one speaker said, this was “not a party but a protest and a fight.”

While some protesters acknowledged it’s unlikely the president would be moved by their display of resistance, they were adamant about the importance of supporting those being targeted by his executive measures and constant attacks.

Carol Peralta, 23, marched for her parents, who immigrated to the United States from Central America.

“Our families may not be able to come out, out of fear, or they just don’t have the privilege of being able to take a day off from work, so we have to be here to represent them,” she told EGP.

Peralta said it made her hopeful to see it’s not just Latinos fighting Trump’s immigration stance.

“Even if they are not being affected by it directly, everyone can see the wrong,” she said.

But across the way, at the downtown Federal Building, a line of LAPD officers stood between May Day marchers and a group of 100 or so Trump supporters who were there to defend the president’s actions. One of their signs said it all: “Love our America and constitution or leave!”

“I’m with them,” a small boy of about 12 years old told police, pointing at the pro-Trump contingent from which he’d somehow been separated. His words, innocent as they may have been, were a poignant reminder of the gulf between the two sides.

“It shows that in their mind there is a separation, Peralta said after witnessing the exchange. “ There is a distinction for them, that ‘I’m not one of them.’”

Various organizations that marched separately in the past joined forces this year, uniting under the banner “May Day Coalition of Los Angeles.” (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Various organizations that marched separately in the past joined forces this year, uniting under the banner “May Day Coalition of Los Angeles.” (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Angered by the “hate Trump is encouraging,” Jay Ellis, 73, said he went to the march to turn his anger into something more positive.

“I’m here to support Latinos,” he told EGP, happy to see the crowds of people who poured into the streets of downtown L.A.

“It’s great to see Trump can’t stop everything,” he said.

Alvaro Reyes grew increasingly emotional as he looked out over the crowd gathered and listened to speakers rail against the wave of deportations that have shaken the immigrant community.

Reyes, a member of the United Service Workers West, said more people would have come out “but they were scared.”

“Everything Trump has done has been against Latinos and against the unions that are fighting for our rights as workers,” he pointed out.

Twenty-four-year-old Cynthia Ross works as a caregiver and is a member of Service Employees International Union 2015. Monday’s May Day protest was her first, and she said she was at first worried about her safety, but her fears subsided as she was surrounded by other Trump resisters, whether they were there to fight for Obamacare, immigrant rights, or against budget cuts.

“This has brought us together,” Ross said. “We must not let Trump break us apart.”

Sporting a ”Team Cedillo” t-shirt, Noel Salazar told EGP that our elected officials must also to stand up to the president.

“They must hold [Trump] accountable,” he said.

Dorian Adams-Wilson says she believes in the city, including it’s leaders, are in “full resist mode.”

“I want Trump to know we are going to resist everyday,” because “our lives are at stake.”

 

Thousands Gather in DTLA for Annual May Day March

May 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A sea of humanity moved through the streets of downtown Los Angeles today for the annual May Day march, with organizers and participants saying distaste for the presidential policies of Donald Trump led
more people than usual to take part.

Tens of thousands of people gathered in MacArthur Park for the march dubbed “Resist Los Angeles,” designed to be a show of “resistance, unity and defiance” against such White House policies as ramped-up enforcement of immigration laws and an effort to build a massive border wall.

“It’s about showing that people who are working-class matter,” marcher Miguel Cruz told CBS2 as the crowd gathered at MacArthur Park, preparing for the trek to City Hall.

Various organizations that have planned marches in the past joined forces this year, uniting under the banner “May Day Coalition of Los Angeles” and organizing the march from MacArthur Park to Los Angeles City Hall.

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

It marks the first time in more than 10 years there has been such unity among organizers of May Day marches. Organizers predicted that more than 100,000 people would participate in the “Resist Los Angeles” event. While thousands of people were participating, the crowd appeared to be well short of
the six-figure mark as it neared City Hall. The Los Angeles Police Department had not given an official crowd estimate as of early afternoon.

At MacArthur Park, musician Tom Morello of the band Rage Against the Machine was among those rallying the crowd before the march began.

Juan Jose Gutierrez, national coordinator of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, said the march will send a message to the administration of President Donald Trump that “our just struggle for comprehensive
immigration reform with a path to citizenship is here to stay until we win it.”

Organizers also called for a general strike in recognition of May Day.

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Together we know that we can stop a Trump agenda, a Trump agenda that wants to build a wall, not build better lives, but build a wall. We know that if we march on May 1 we can continue to stop an agenda that seeks to penalize workers,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane
Immigrant Rights, or CHIRLA.

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a candidate for governor, was among those taking part in the march.

“This year you’re going to see an unprecedented number of people here in Los Angeles, primarily because of what’s going on with Trump and his administration — the ban, the wall, the talk of deporting 11 million people.

“Nobody’s ever done that anywhere, he told KCAL9. “I think for all of those reasons you’re going to see an outpouring of people today.”

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Marchers carried a large U.S. flag, and many carried signs with messages such as “Rise Up LA,” “Stop LAPD cooperation with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)” and “ICE out of California.”

Among those expected to speak at a May Day rally at City Hall are Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, various religious and union leaders and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles.

At 3:30 p.m., another march will be held in Boyle Heights, beginning at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Evergreen Street and ending at Mariachi Plaza at First and Boyle streets.

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Meanwhile, a group of pro-Trump activists held a gathering of its own. About 100 Trump supporters stood in front of the downtown Federal Building, chanting and carrying signs and U.S. flags while police kept traffic moving on North Los Angeles Street. A dozen or so anti-Trump protesters – many wearing
black clothing with ski masks covering their faces – stood outside yellow police tape occasionally trying to shout down a Trump supporter. One person set fire to an American flag as tensions heightened, and an anti-Trump protester, his face covered, was handcuffed and placed in a police van.

Trump supporters chanted slogans including “Put America first” and “USA,” while some carried signs with messages such as “Repeal Obamacare” and “Trump – Make America Great Again!” Led by a phalanx of Los Angeles police officers, the Trump group marched from the Federal Building to LAPD headquarters.

Jo Reitkopp, chair of event organizer “Make California Great Again Inc.,” said Trump supporters wanted to “step up and stand for our country and its Constitution … for which millions of USA military men and women have lost their lives.”

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck vowed that officers would be out in force to ensure the demonstration remains peaceful. He asked marchers to remember that his officers are in support of them and are not representatives of the federal government.

“My message is this: I know there are a lot of folks that are upset about recent immigration issues, have other issues with the federal government. You know, remember this is our city. Your police department supports you,”

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Beck said during a recent appearance on ABC7. “We depend upon your cooperation. And let’s make this a demonstration of L.A. unity and not the things that divide us.”

Representatives from some community groups have called for a general strike in conjunction with the marches, even encouraging students to either not attend school or walk out of classes. There was even a call for the Los Angeles Unified School District to close for the day, but the district rejected the request.

“At the heart of this decision is our unwavering commitment to keep kids safe,” LAUSD Superintendent Michelle King wrote in a letter in early April. “Civic engagement undeniably plays a vital role in our democracy, and we embrace the rights of all students, families and employees to unite and magnify their voices locally so that their messages can resonate on a larger scale.

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

(EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

“Nevertheless, schools continue to be the safest places for students to incubate an interest in civic engagement, and we encourage all schools to use May 1 as an opportunity to discuss matters of civic importance,” King wrote.

Some students have taken part in walkouts during past May Day events, but it was unclear if any similar actions were planned.

Organized ‘Resist’ance Planned for May Day Protest

April 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Saying the aggressive tactics of President Donald Trump have united them, members of dozens of organizations said Tuesday they are joining forces for the annual May Day march in Los Angeles, and they predicted a crowd of up to 100,000 people descending on city streets for Monday’s demonstration.

With the group banded under the banner “May Day Coalition of Los Angeles,” organizers said more than 100 groups have come together for a massive joint campaign, including the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, ACLU, and other unions. It will mark the first time in more than 10 years that all marches on May Day in the city have announced unity among the groups.

The march, called “Resist Los Angeles,” is scheduled to begin in MacArthur Park at 11 a.m. Monday and end at City Hall.

As many as one million people marched in Los Angeles for immigrants’ rights during previous May Day marches. Organizers of coming May 1 march hope to attract 100,000 protesters to downtown L.A. (EGP photo archives)

As many as one million people marched in Los Angeles for immigrants’ rights during previous May Day marches. Organizers of coming May 1 march hope to attract 100,000 protesters to downtown L.A. (EGP photo archives)

Protests marches in 2006 and 2007 drew hundreds of thousands of people in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Some estimates ran as high as 1 million people at the March 25, 2006 protest and rally, the largest of all protests held across the country that day.

Although the protest movement splintered in subsequent years over direction and leadership, with different groups holding competing marches, May Day protests have become a part of the ongoing national agenda, and continue to stress immigrant rights and immigration reform, as well as workers’ rights.

In 2010, 60 thousand people attended the May Day march to protest SB 1070, a controversial Arizona law that required police officers to check a person’s immigration status if they had “reasonable suspicion” the person was in the country illegally.

The courts largely ruled the law unconstitutional.

Trump’s stepped-up immigration enforcement orders, recent raids and other Trump policies have spurred a number of protest marches since his inauguration. Coalitions of groups from various backgrounds and causes are again uniting to fight back.

The rights of undocumented immigrants are again taking center stage.

Juan Jose Gutierrez, national coordinator of the Full Rights for Immigrants Coalition, spoke Tuesday at a news conference at City Hall attended by several dozen organizers and said this year’s May Day march would send a message to the Trump administration that “our just struggle for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship is here to stay until we win it.”

Members of dozens of organizations predict a crowd of up to 100,000 people will descend on the streets of Los Angeles Monday. (EGP photo archives)

Members of dozens of organizations predict a crowd of up to 100,000 people will descend on the streets of Los Angeles Monday. (EGP photo archives)

Organizers are also calling for a general strike on May Day. They want people to refrain from economic activity, such as shopping or eating out at restaurants.

The San Gabriel Valley Sanctuary Coalition is calling on people to not go to work and for students to not go to school. They will hold a seperate march at 11 a.m., from Bassett High School to La Puente city Hall.

“Together we know that we can stop a Trump agenda, a Trump agenda that wants to build a wall, not build better lives, but build a wall. We know that if we march on May 1 we can continue to stop an agenda that seeks to penalize workers,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said officers will be out in force Monday to ensure the demonstration remains peaceful. He asked marchers to remember that his officers are in support of them and are not representatives of the federal government.

“My message is this: I know there are a lot of folks that are upset about recent immigration issues, have other issues with the federal government.

You know, remember this is our city. Your police department supports you,” Beck said during an appearance on ABC7. “We depend upon your cooperation. And let’s make this a demonstration of L.A. unity and not the things that divide us.”

Information from City News Service used in this report.

 

Activists Announce L.A. May Day March

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The May Day Coalition of Los Angeles, a network of nearly 60 organizations from throughout Southern California, expects thousands of protesters to take to downtown’s streets May 1 for a march and rally titled “Resist Los Angeles,” it was announced Wednesday.

The event’s organizers are encouraging people to take the day off work and school, close their businesses and participate in the event, which supports diversity, immigrant and worker rights and economic equality.

“There’s so much at stake right now for our families, our communities, and our nation,” said Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

“Families, Muslims, and basic constitutional rights are under attack in the United States and that means the bedrock of our economy, the pride of our communities, and strength of our diverse nation are also under attack,” she said. “We can join the resistance, shut it down in the best way we know how or we can watch from afar hoping we are not the next target.”

Participants are invited to begin gathering at 11 a.m. on May Day at MacArthur Park, with the march set to begin at noon. It will move east on Wilshire Boulevard toward downtown Los Angeles and is expected to conclude with a rally in front of City Hall at Grand Park.

The annual downtown International Worker’s Day rallies have been mostly peaceful, but marches in 2007 ended in violence when police and demonstrators clashed in MacArthur Park. The confrontation resulted in lawsuits and an examination of Los Angeles police crowd-control policies.

Primero de Mayo se Enfoca en Salarío Mínimo y Derechos de los Inmigrantes

May 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Durante el día del trabajador y para continuar su lucha a favor del incremento de salario, representantes de algunos de los más grandes sindicatos de Los Ángeles acompañados de líderes comunitarios y trabajadores entregaron hoy viernes al Concejo de la ciudad unas 100 mil firmas de apoyo a una iniciativa para aumentar el salario mínimo.

La entrega de las cartas, realizada momentos antes del inicio de la sesión del Concejo, fue hecha por la Coalición “Raise the Wage” (Aumentar el Salario) que está liderando la campaña para pedir que el salario mínimo en Los Ángeles se eleve a $15.25 la hora.

“Ahora mismo, miles de padres trabajadores viven preocupados diariamente de si podrán alimentar a sus hijos por la noche”, declaró hoy Laphonza Butler, codirectora de Aumentar el Salario y presidente del Sindicato Internacional de Trabajadores de Servicios (SEIU) de California.

Las más de 100 mil cartas, marcadas con el nombre de la campaña, fueron llevadas al salón de reuniones del Concejo en canastas para la ropa, cubos para trapear y carritos para mercado, entre otros.

“Trabajar 60 horas a la semana y todavía tener que vivir de pago en pago no es correcto para ningún estadounidense”, escribió en su petición el trabajador hispano Alfredo Hidalgo.?? “Merecemos esto”, afirmó Hidalgo al pedir el aumento de salario mínimo.

Por su parte, Jessica de la Rosa, destacó en su solicitud que pide “que se aumente el salario mínimo porque mi madre merece más de $98 por sus días de 12 horas de trabajo”.

“He estado ganando el salario mínimo como mesera en un restaurante durante 20 años y también he sido engañada sobre las horas extras, los descansos y las propinas”, reclamó Zenaida Torres, una trabajadora de Boyle Heights.??Torres, quien es madre soltera, dijo que “Los Ángeles es una ciudad cara” y aseguró que, “hoy se siente bien saber que 100.000 angelinos están con nosotros para aumentar el salario mínimo y hacer que se cumpla”.

El Concejo de Los Ángeles lleva varios meses estudiando el impacto en la economía y en los negocios de un aumento del salario mínimo en la ciudad a $13,25 la hora, según una propuesta del alcalde Eric Garcetti.

Un informe presentado ayer por Till von Wachter y Jeffrey Wenger, dos economistas contratados por la ciudad para analizar tres reportes recientes sobre el efecto del aumento del salario mínimo, se inclinó a favor del incremento.?? En su informe los economistas señalaron que “si el debate fuera sobre aumentar el salario mínimo a $13.25 la hora para el 2017 creemos que el impacto estimado por Berkely-IRLE es el escenario más posible”.

El estudio Berkely-IRLE concluyó que los beneficios de aumentar el salario mínimo en Los Ángeles serían superiores a sus costos.

Se esperan más marchas y demostraciones a favor del salario mínmo y los derechos de los inmigrantes a lo largo del día, incluyendo la feria de recursos que se llevará a cabo afuera del City Hall a partir de las 5pm.

May Day Rallies to Focus on Worker and Immigrant Rights

April 30, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of downtown Los Angeles tomorrow for annual May Day marches supporting rights for workers and immigrants, with an emphasis on pushing for a $15 minimum wage and implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

The rallies and marches are expected to make life difficult for afternoon commuters in downtown Los Angeles, with street closures planned throughout the area to accommodate what are expected to be massive crowds. In an annual theme, police are urging motorists to avoid the area if at all possible and plan alternate routes.

A pair of marches are planned downtown, with participants expected to begin rallying at 3 p.m. and marching at 4 p.m.:

— Participants in the International Workers March will gather at Olympic Boulevard and Broadway, then march north on Broadway to Grand Park at Broadway and First Street.

— Participants in the Full Rights March will gather at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Broadway, march east on Cesar Chavez, south on Main Street, east on Aliso Street, south on Alameda Street then west on Temple Street, again ending at Grand Park.

The theme of the Full Rights March is “On May Day, No Justice Delayed,” pushing for an increased minimum wage, implementation of Obama’s orders to protect millions of immigrants from deportation and an end to police violence.

“It is our duty as a labor movement to fight for a living wage and enforcement so that working families have a chance to thrive,” said Rusty Hicks, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. “The time is now to raise the wage for hundreds of thousands of working Angelenos.”

Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, added that “justice has been denied to millions who await their chance at the American Dream.”

“Justice has been denied to millions who work hard and earn barely enough to survive,” she said. “Justice has been denied to millions whose dignity and respect have been trampled by law enforcement agencies. Enough is enough and our presence on May Day is the exclamation point in our demands.”

The Los Angeles City Council is debating a proposal to raise the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $13.25 an hour by 2017, to $15.25 an hour by 2019, and higher levels in subsequent years based on the Consumer Price Index.

Supporters of the wage hike proposal say it will lift hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers out of poverty and that businesses are capable of absorbing the increased costs, while critics of the plan say it would drive businesses out of the city and slow job growth.

Los Angeles County officials are also conducting studies on a possible hike in the minimum wage.

On the immigration front, millions of immigrants are awaiting the outcome of federal litigation over Obama’s “deferred action” orders, which have been put on hold by a judge in Texas. Opponents of the orders — most notably Republicans in Congress — contend Obama overstepped his authority in issuing the orders.

Martha Arevalo, executive director of the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles, said her organization is working to help immigrants take advantage of the programs, if they are implemented.

“On May 1, we will come together with our partners to give the community reliable, up-to-date information on what the programs do and don’t do, and our legal and organizing staff will be there to answer questions from the public,” Arevalo said.

Miles Protestan para “Mantener a las Familias Unidas”

May 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Desde tempranas horas de esta mañana, miles de personas salieron a las calles en el centro de Los Ángeles para la marcha anual del “Primero de Mayo”. Los protestantes piden al Congreso que tome acción sobre la legislación de reformar el sistema de inmigración del país y ponga fin a las deportaciones que dividen a las familias.

Los manifestantes cantaban a coro “Sí se puede” y otros llevaban una bandera americana gigante desafiando las altas temperaturas para participar en la protesta, que tradicionalmente atrae a multitudes de participantes y bloquea las principales rutas de tráfico a lo largo de gran parte del día.

El Concejal de Distrito 1, Gill Cedillo se reune con los protestantes frente al centro de Detención en el centro de Los Ángeles. (Cortesía de oficina del concejal Gil Cedillo)

El Concejal Gill Cedillo CD-1 se reune con los protestantes frente al centro de Detención en el centro de Los Ángeles. (Cortesía de oficina del concejal Gil Cedillo)

La marcha de este año lleva el tema “Mantener las Familias Unidas” con el fin de acabar con las deportaciones que dividen a los padres de sus hijos.

“Llevamos muchos, muchos años exigiendo un mejor trato para nuestra comunidad y vemos que las cosas están definitivamente mejorando especialmente en lugares como California, pero no es suficiente”, dijo Angélica Salas, directora ejecutiva de la Coalición de Derechos Humanos para Inmigrantes en Los Ángeles.

Salas instó al Congreso a aprobar una reforma migratoria.

“Ganaremos a favor de las familias inmigrantes y ganaremos por América, un país, que necesita políticas de inmigración justas que reflejen los valores estadounidenses”, dijo Salas .

Nathaniel Lowe, portavoz de la Comunidad de Desarrollo Equitativa de Chinatown, dijo que se está abogando por mejores condiciones de trabajo. “Muchos de los trabajadores son inmigrantes y se enfrentan a problemas como la deportación y necesitan un camino a la ciudadanía”, dijo Lowe.

Varias calles fueron cerradas en la zona – incluyendo Broadway, entre calles alrededor del la 11 y Temple y las calles Hill y Spring entre Olympic y Primera, según el Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles.

Los usuarios del transporte público también enfrentan retrasos y/o desvíos en varias

rutas del centro. La información sobre las rutas de autobús está disponible en www.metro.net.

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