File photo by Soren Sum.
Over 400 community members are expected to gather at Long Beach’s MacArthur Park Monday evening to bring awareness to the rights of workers and immigrants and to build unity as part of a nationwide movement known as May Day.
Themed “Sanctuary City for All!” this year, the May Day Long Beach Coalition plans to demand that all Long Beach city leaders make Long Beach a sanctuary city and protect undocumented immigrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deportation.
Currently, the Long Beach City Council has only formally backed two State Senate bills tied to immigration enforcement and religious freedom protections when they voted unanimously in February to support the California Values Act.
Organizers will also call on city officials to protect all people of color, Muslims, women, the LGBTQ community and others “under attack by the Trump administration and groups that promote hate and discrimination.”
The event will begin at 5:00PM with a short program at MacArthur Park, located at 1321 East Anaheim Street, followed by a march ending at Long Beach City Hall, located at 333 West Ocean Boulevard, for a closing program that is expected to wrap up at 8:00PM.
Speakers will include immigrants, youth, hotel and warehouse workers, clergy, LGBTQ, victims of police brutality and other Long Beach residents.
Topics of conversation include: the importance of Sanctuary City police in Long Beach and protecting undocumented immigrants along with other community members; resisting attacks on Muslims, Palestinians, immigrants, women, LGBTQ and the environment by the Trump administration and other groups; and building a mass movement of working class communities within Long Beach and standing together for justice and equality.
“Over 130 years ago, the first May Day honored organized labor and the long struggle to win an eight-hour workday and other fundamental workers’ rights,” organizers said in a release. “Today, workers and immigrants around the world are now fighting a larger enemy: the growing racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, and anti-people policies of the new Trump administration and other governments around the world.”
The event will also commemorate International Workers’ Day, celebrated annually on May 1.