Thousands of workers took to the streets of cities around the world Saturday in rallies marking May 1, International Workers’ Day. In Turkey, police fired tear gas and arrested over 200 protesters in Istanbul after declaring May Day protests had violated a coronavirus-related curfew. In Cuba, officials largely canceled annual May Day celebrations for a second year in a row due to the pandemic. More than a million workers usually gather each year in Havana’s Revolution Square to mark the holiday.
Enrique Tondique Domínguez: “It is a happy day because it is May Day, but it is also a sad day because many workers are no longer with us.”
Cuba has had one of the lowest death rates per capita in the world from the coronavirus, with fewer than 700 deaths.
Here in the U.S., May Day protesters called on the Senate to pass the PRO Act, a bill that would make it easier for workers to form unions. This is prison abolitionist, author and activist Angela Davis speaking at a May Day rally in San Francisco.
Angela Davis: “We have to protect the right to organize. Pass the PRO Act!”
In Washington, D.C., thousands of immigrants and their supporters marched through downtown and to the National Mall, demanding President Biden and Congress act in support of 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. This is Jein Ryu of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.
Jein Ryu: “President Biden, it’s been decades since Congress has passed any meaningful legislation to legalize the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States. You ran your campaign with a promise of immigration reform and a promise of protection for immigrant families. Nothing has changed. You have failed to put immigration reform in American Family Plan and protect the immigrants from deportation. You gotta do better!”