For May Day this year, AFSC staff across the United States organized, supported and participated in a May Day marches, rallies, and protests to support of immigrants’ rights, and humane immigration reform.
Our staff in worked with coalition partners in Charlotte, Durham, and Greensboro to hold rallies in all those cities and garnered attention from several local media outlets.
Des Moines, Iowa
More than 100 people gathered at Grace United Methodist Church for one of two local events expressing concern about the Arizona law.
AFSC has been supporting vigils at the local Aurora ICE detention center for over a year. More than 200 people attended this month’s rally, helping to raise awareness of the treatment of detainees. If you would like to learn more about how undocumented detainees are treated, see our “Locked up but not Forgotten” report from New Jersey.
About 100 people were at the Labor Day rally. AFSC's Arnie Alpert gave a speech about Arizona and talked about human immigration reform: “We need to tell Congress, including those who want to be our friends, that we want immigration reform, not more raids. We want respect for human rights, not a militarized border. We want family reunification, not an endless 'back of the line' process. We want respect for the rights of all workers, not a new Bracero program. And we want a reasonable path to legal status, not an obstacle course whose end is somewhere over the rainbow.”
More than 3,000 people participated in a march from the city of Everett to East Boston. Immigrant communities and supporters chanted the slogans, "Obama listen, the town is in the struggle! Latinos in Arizona, the world is with you!" AFSC's Gabriel Camacho helped to organize the march. Summary and a photos are available on the Proyecto Hondureno blog.
San Diego, CA
Pedro Rios of AFSC San Diego office addressed the audience of 4,000 people at the May Day rally in that city. Pedro said: "We march today for dignity and against state sanctioned bigotry, we march today for respect and against family separation, and we march today for justice in our communities and against communities that are under siege by immigration enforcement agents. Our moment to organize is now; whether in Arizona or in DC, we will be heard."
Fort Myers, FL
AFSC’s Paul-Andre Mondesir coordinated a community event at the 2e Eglise Baptiste Haitienne De Fort Myers. He along with AFSC’s Lucio Perez-Reynoso and Marie-Georges Jean provided free legal services for several hours. 27 Haitians received individual support and were registered to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).