May 2, 2013
For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 2, 2013
Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition,
Thousands of Demonstrators take part in the 13th Annual May Day March & Rally for Workers and Immigrant Rights.
March focus was to voice community concerns regarding the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill proposed by the “gang of eight.”
SEATTLE – Thousands demonstrators took to the streets of Seattle to participate in the 13th Annual May Day March & Rally for Workers and Immigrant Right. The events began at Judkins Park at 1:00 p.m., with a Rally that hosted speakers from the local faith-based organizations in the Seattle area. Speakers represented several denominations and faith communities, which then filed westbound, on Lane Street to start the March at 3:00 pm.
March participant, Alma Gutierrez noted, “we’re here for our families. It is a shame that our communities are divided by raids and repression with absolute impunity.” Others echoed similar concerns as yearly deportations have now exceeded more than 390,000 in recent years. Organizers noted that it is insulting that the most recent Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill is still nebulous on several details, save for the enforcement mechanisms.
According to Juan Jose Bocanegra, “It’s like the ‘good, the bad, and the ugly.’ We want to keep the good, we want to change the bad, and we want to get rid of the ugly.”
The procession was led by the Ce Atl Tonalli Aztec Dance Group that helped pace the march from 20th and Jackson Streets, to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building in downtown Seattle. The march ended with a program that included speakers from different segments of the community. They spoke on how current immigration law impacts youth, families, LGBTQ, women, workers, and others.
Carlos Padilla, an organizer with the Washington DREAM Act Coalition mentioned, “I had to come out of the closet as undocumented…later, I came out of the closet as gay. I am an undocuqueer youth. All our movements all our concerns are one. We are a community that seeks justice for all.”
Bocanegra reflected on the day’s activities, “Our message has been clear throughout the day. I keep getting asked if there was anxiety before the march. All we can do is prepare for what we need to do to ensure the march serves to demonstrate our unified message. Fact of the matter is that unfortunately, last years events are the central focus for many news agencies. Somehow, 15 minutes of property destruction at a separate event are deemed more important than the human crisis we’ve seen over the last 26 years with families being separated, workers being exploited, and people being held in the most inhumane conditions at private, unregulated Detention Centers.”