Photos by Asia Morris.
An estimated two- to- three hundred people marched three miles, from MacArthur Park to Long Beach City Hall, in honor of International Workers’ Day and immigrant rights on Monday.
Composed of 19 community organizations who are pro-immigrant, pro-workers, pro-human rights, pro-social justice and pro-Black Lives Matter, the May Day Long Beach coalition organized the evening’s rally and march to stress the importance of implementing Sanctuary City policy in Long Beach under the theme “Sanctuary City for All!”
While Long Beach City Council backed two State Senate bills prohibiting municipalities from participating in deportations or assisting federal agencies in making a case for deportations, as well as prohibiting cooperation in establishing religious or ethnic registries, speakers at the MacArthur Park rally urged the city to declare sanctuary status.
Before the march, Maribel Cruz, representing the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition, stood atop a concrete picnic table and spoke into a mic, declaring the city as her home, having lived here for the past 25 years as an undocumented person. Born in Mexico City, Cruz was brought here by her parents when she was two.
“My parents are hard working people that have been in this city and I think it’s time for their voices to be heard, for city council to hear us and know that we want Long Beach to become a sanctuary city,” Cruz said. “[…]We want to know that we shouldn’t be afraid to walk out of our doors, we shouldn’t be afraid to take our kids to school, we shouldn’t be afraid to go to the doctor, because we don’t want one more family to be separated.”
— Asia Morris (@TheAsiaMorris) May 2, 2017
Those marching shouted in unison “Get up, get down. There’s a people’s movement in this town,” and “When workers’ rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” among other chants. The march also stopped in front of the Westin in downtown on Ocean Boulevard in solidarity with the workers who have been protesting the mistreatment of employees.
Speakers from Housing Long Beach, Filipino Migrant Center, Clean Ports Campaign, Red Earth Defense, Greater Long Beach Interfaith Organization, National Council on Independent Living, Warehouse Worker Resource Center and other organizations bookended the march with calls for renters and workers rights, an end to the growing hate, bigotry, racism and sexism under the new Trump administration, protection of the environment and international solidarity.
The march ended at city hall just as the sun began to set, while those carrying banners representing their organizations and beliefs formed a large circle to mark the closing program.