San Jose May Day march demands justice for all
San Jose, CA – More than 500 people marched through downtown San Jose for the annual May Day event. On one side of the street, hundreds of cars carrying Mexican flags and flags of the United Farm Workers Union drove by and honked in support. The May Day Coalition of San Jose organized the march and invited dozens of speakers from various community and labor organizations to raise issues important to their community. The community groups marched from Roosevelt Park to San Jose City Hall.
Many of the attendees of the were receptive to the needs of the unemployed. Immigrant rights groups immediately connected the rights of the unemployed to the struggles of undocumented workers. A recurring chant throughout the march was, “What’s outrageous? Kids in cages!” Since a plurality of San Jose is Chicano and Mexicano, many groups rightfully established connections to the situation at the border. A large group wore green t-shirts saying, “Papeles para todos” or (Legal) papers for all and spoke about the fight for documentation for all workers.
Mike Paradela of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization stated, “It’s exciting to see all the energy on the ground! People recognized the need for solidarity across all areas of struggle from the concentration camps at the border to police brutality to the rights of the unemployed.”
After the protest, on the walk back to the starting point, members of the Northern California Unemployed Committee observed a significant number of cops stopping and arresting members of the Chicano and Mexicano community. The San Jose cops pulled many of them over, punishing them for being proud of their heritage and nationality.
Organizations that participated in this year’s march included: Anakbayan Silicon Valley, Anakbayan De Anza, the Northern California Unemployed Committee, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Green Party, MAIZ San Jose, Papeles Para Todos (Papers for All), Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS), the Santa Clara County Single-Payer Healthcare Coalition, Silicon Valley Democratic Socialists of America, the Party of Communists USA, UNITE-HERE, and many, many more.