The May 1st International Workers’ Rights march began around 5pm in Judkins Park in the Central District. It was a large gathering of various workers and immigrant rights communities from throughout Seattle. Religious and community leaders gave empowering speeches reminding the listeners of the importance of their struggle, the respect for all peoples’ rights and a call to join in peaceful protest. The media and police officers on bicycles surrounded the park and quietly monitored. As the march began, signs were raised and spirits were high. Homage to César Chávez and the United Farm Workers was paid by chants of “Sí! Se Puede!”
We danced and clapped with the brass band accompanying the march. The sousaphone had a “borders blow” sign, the trumpet “another Jew against borders and walls.” A lot of smiles and slogans were shared as the group descended the hill into the International District. We were provided with a beautiful view of the water, and lowering sun. The procession entered the International District, where shop owners and residents waived to us. The ever-present bicycle patrol, as well as peacekeepers from the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and other ally communities, continued to flank the marchers.
Ending downtown, near the Wells Fargo building, was relatively anti-climatic. Despite a large group of various organizations representing immigrant, worker, LGBT, and anti-racist communities, we seemed to be the only people there. The sidewalks were deserted, save enforcement officers. Maybe nobody else cared, but we cared. The private prison industry and corporate banks continue to make a profit from the detention of immigrants, workers are un-paid or under-paid, communities of color and LGBT persons face discrimination in law and society, and the peaceful struggle for dignity and solidarity continues.
Vanessa Arno is currently a 2nd year law student at Seattle University School of Law focusing on immigration and international law; she is not yet an attorney.
Vanessa’s contributions to the The Law Office of André Olivie BLOG provide general information only and are not to be considered legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice regarding the issues discussed above or any other immigration related issue please contact Attorney, Andre Olivie at (206) 724-1940.