4.29.2007

May Day Immigration March in the Works

It looks like there is another march in the works here in town, according to LaComunidad, a Madison Spanish-language newspaper that features the headline "El 1ro. de mayo: Grand Marcha en Madison" on the front page of its April 19 edition. Here's my translation of a few bits of the article:

The Union of Immigrant Workers (UTI) and many other organizations are preparing a march on the Capitol on Tuesday, May 1st at noon. The event is part of the demonstrations nationwide calling for a reform that really offers a solution to ALL the immigrants of the country...

Besides the marches, the national pro-immigrant organizations have called for a Second National Boycott on the first of May that consists of not working, not buying or selling anything, and not going to school. It demonstrates that we are a vital part of this nation's workforce and also displays our economic power.

The article goes on to say that the day's events on the Square and at Brittingham Park will commemorate the 130th anniversary of the "martyrs of Chicago" and the International Day of the Worker. It also mentions that County Board Supervisor Ashok Kumar introduced legislation to recognize the day . Here's the operative language approved unanimously on April 19:

*NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED *that the Dane county Board of supervisors does hereby recognize May 1st as "International Workers' Day" (El dia del trabajo) to recognize their right to work, their right to a living wage, their right to humane and safe working conditions and their right to be protected from abused; and**

* BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED *that the Dane County Board of Supervisors encourages employers in Dane County to respect the rights to take part in the May 1st activities without a punitive resource."

Now, maybe it was reported incorrectly, but "protected from abused" and "without a punitive resource" don't make sense to me.

I really can't tell whether Tuesday's march will rival last year's April 10 rally or not.

Yesterday, a man handed me a small slip of paper as I walked with a friend near Library Mall. It outlined a march protesting violent crime, which is set for May 1, starting on Willy Street and moving up to the capitol.

I immediately wondered if this wasn't a somewhat disingenuous pretext to get more people marching on the Capitol Square on a day well-known for labor protests. Alex Gillis, writing a second piece in LaComunidad more recently, calls for students of Latino workers to get involved as well.