PRESS RELEASE: May Day March 2013 in Seattle

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MEDIA ADVISORY

 

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 2, 2013

 

Contact: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition,

ph: 206.650.2106, em:  info@elcomitewa.org, Twitter Tag: #M1SEA.

 

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.”

 
In spite of adverse media reporting the march went off without a hitch. Demonstrators came from Auburn, Tacoma, Bellingham, and some as far as Yakima. The march also benefited from a strong youth presence with one contingent organized by local high school students, and another arriving from the local colleges and universities. As legislation is debated locally as well as nationally, participants made it clear that there is a need to continue the pressure for humane reform, and the right of all members of the community to live and work without fear. 

 

For more information, contact the following: El Comité Pro Reforma Migratoria Y Justicia Social and the May 1st Action Coalition, ph: 206.650.2106, em:  info@elcomitewa.org, Twitter Tag: #M1SEA.

About elcomitewa
El Comite is a social justice organization based in Seattle, Washington.

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