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News :: Human Rights
Boston May Day March
02 May 2009
About 400 people marched from East Boston to Chelsea to Everett to observe May Day--a day for workers' and immigrants' rights. Organized by several local organizations such as Centro Presente, the Chelsea Collaborative, the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBEC), the American Friends Service Committee, and the Boston May Day Coalition, people marched the streets under the motto “Yesterday We Voted for Change, Today We Demand Change!”

"Without immigrants this country of ours--because it's ours as well--would not be in any way near as good as it is," said Oscar Chacon, Executive Director of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities. "It is because of immigrants of yesterday, immigrants of today, and immigrants of tomorrow, that this nation is indeed still, in spite of all the difficulties, a beacon of hope."

READ MORE FOR PHOTO/VIDEO ESSAY:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJrD6rGUznQ
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photos/video Boston May Day March
As part of a international mobilization for workers and immigrants rights, Boston joined major cities in the United States in the May 1st celebration. Labor day has been traditionally celebrated on September 1st in the United States, but since 2006, the immigration movement has brought back the tradition of celebrating international workers day on May 1st in commemoration of the Haymarket massacre in Chicago (see BAAM's article below on "How Migrant Workers Won the 8-hour Day").

During his 100-day press conference, Obama promised to enact reforms to an "immigration broken system" but many had hoped for his promises to take place in immediate steps, such as the moratorium of raids.

Senator Anthony Gallucci was present in Everett in support of the rally and talked about his father, an Italian immigrant, who came to the United States when he was five years old. His grandparents, he said, spoke no English and had no money. "As a young boy I remember my father telling me that he could never become president of the United States because he wasn't born in this country," he said, "But this country was built by immigrants and continue to be built by immigrants. We can choose to remember who built this country and has made this country great."

The message of the immigrant mobilization was simple, end the draconian enforcement policies of the Bush administration and establish a new immigration policy based on human, civil, and labor rights.

Abelino Granados, a U.S. citizen who arrived from El Salvador 23 years ago fleeing the civil war of the 1980s, said that three of his children were deported in 2004. All three between the ages of 20 and 24 years old, were picked up from his home in an immigration raid. "All of my children were taken away and I was left here alone," he said, "They came to the United States because they couldn't find work in El Salvador and all they wanted is to have more opportunities."
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photos/video Boston May Day March
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photos/video Boston May Day March
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photos/video Boston May Day March
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photos/video Boston May Day March
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photos/video Boston May Day March
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photos/video Boston May Day March
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photos/video Boston May Day March
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photos/video Boston May Day March
See also:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJrD6rGUznQ
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