May Day 2017: ‘Immigrants are welcome here’


(May 2, 2017) — On May Day, the streets of Seattle rang with the voices of thousands of workers and community members: “Say it loud and say it clear, immigrants are welcome here… Hey, hey, ho, ho President Trump has got to go… Ho, ho, hey, hey, immigrants are here to stay.”

From Earth Day to May Day, from the Women’s March to the March for Science, we have entered the Age of Resistance.

Union members, communities of color, seniors, the LGBTQ community, young people, environmentalists, and women and men from all walks of life have been saying loud and clear:

“We demand a place at the table. We demand a voice in determining our future. It is time to usher out the age of fossil fuels, the age of inequality, the age of bigotry, hatred and racism, and it’s time to transform our world into one of compassion, fairness, justice, tolerance, and restoring a sense of the common good.”

President Trump’s Loyalty Day proclamation once again misses the point.

The people do not celebrate limited, bigoted, and corporate-driven government. Rather, the tens of millions of people marching and speaking out since Inauguration Day celebrate America’s immigrant past, present, and future; religious freedom and tolerance; transitioning to an equitable and fair renewable energy economy; and sharing equitably the wealth and prosperity created by working people. Those are two very different visions of American values.

Yesterday as thousands assembled in Judkins Park getting ready to march, hundreds came together at the Washington State Labor Council to make signs and prepare for joining the surge of labor and community struggling for justice.

A special shout-out to UFCW, Teamsters, SPEEA, IAM, PSARA, MLKCLC, IBU, SAG-AFTRA, Washington CAN, the Backbone Campaign, LIUNA and others who joined us under the new mural at the WSLC’s Seattle office, which depicts the history working people and their unions.

We came together as unions and community and we spoke with one voice.

Jeff Johnson is President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the largest labor organization in the Evergreen State, representing the interests of more than 600 local unions and approximately 450,000 rank-and-file union members.

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