International Labor Day March in San Jose, CA. (Fight Back! News / Staff)
San Jose, CA – More than 500 people marched through downtown San Jose for the May 1st annual event. Hundreds of cars with Mexican flags and United Farm Workers Union flags drove by on one side of the road honking their horns in support. The May Day Coalition of San Jose organized the march and invited dozens of speakers from various community and labor organizations to address issues that are important to their community. The community groups marched from Roosevelt Park to San Jose City Hall.
Many of the participants in the were open to the needs of the unemployed. Immigrant rights groups immediately linked the rights of the unemployed to the struggles of undocumented workers. A recurring chant during the march was, “What is outrageous? Children in cages! “Since a large number of San Jose are Chicano and Mexicano, many groups have rightly made links to the situation on the border. A large group wore green T-shirts that read “Papeles para todos” or (legal) papers for everyone and talked about the struggle for documentation for all workers.
Mike Paradela of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization said, “It’s exciting to see all the energy there! People recognized the need for solidarity in all areas of struggle, from the concentration camps on the border to the brutality of the police to the rights of the unemployed. “
After the protest, members of the Northern California Unemployment Committee watched significant numbers of police officers stopping and arresting members of the Chicano and Mexicano communities on their way back to their trailhead. The San Jose police pulled many of them up and punished 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 Unemployment Committee, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, the Greens, MAIZ San Jose, Papeles Para Todos (Papers for All), and the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS), the Santa Clara County Single-Payer Healthcare Coalition, the Democratic Socialists of Silicon Valley in America, the Communist Party USA, UNITE-HERE and many, many more.