New Orleans marchers call for worker and immigrant rights on May Day
New Orleans, LA – Community members gathered with activist and immigrant rights organizations at the Benito Juarez monument in New Orleans on May 1, to celebrate International Workers Day.
Speakers from Union Migrante, an immigrant workers’ organization, recounted their experiences of discrimination and unequal access to essential public services. They called for solidarity in the spirit of May Day to win full equality for immigrants in the city, regardless of immigration status.
The demonstrators marched to City Hall, taking the street and chanting slogans in Spanish and English, including “Oye! Escucha! Estamos en la lucha!” and “Get up, get down, migrant workers run this town!”
Toni Jones of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization connected the struggle for immigrant rights to the struggle of the multinational working class to gain rights and safety in the workplace, as commemorated by May Day.
“In 2006, the immigrant rights movement in Chicago and other cities renewed the celebration of May Day in this country,” Jones said. “The international working class is the vehicle for revolutionary change in our time.”
Sebastian Miscenich of New Orleans Immigrant Rights Action raised the need for comprehensive legal aid to immigrants held in detention, translation and interpretation when accessing public services, and disaster relief for community members denied access due to immigration status.