For Immediate Release: Monday, May 1, 2017
Contact: El Comité and the May 1st Action Coalition,
Marchers take to the streets of Seattle in defense of community members for the 18th Annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights.
SEATTLE – An estimated ten thousand demonstrators took to the streets of Seattle to participate in the 18th Annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights. The events began at Judkins Park at 11:00 a.m., with a brief program that included music, speeches, and logistical announcements for the procession. Participants then filed westbound, on Lane Street to start the March at 3:15 p.m. Native Northwestern Hand Drummers joined the Ce Atl Tonalli Aztec Dance group in setting the cadence and leading the march to toward its destination.
Early weather conditions impacted today’s turnout, but rain notwithstanding, the march was the largest May Day Procession in Seattle since 2010, when the introduction of the now infamous SB 1070 law was codified as state-sanctioned discrimination in Arizona. Marchers came out in support of various causes and under different banners, but united as one community seeking dignity, above all. Many participants acknowledged that many of the issues presented aren’t independent of each other, but rather, intersect with each other.
The march swelled as feeder marches and action stations provided additional marchers along the way. The first feeder march arrived by way of the Veteran’s Anti-War Formation, which marched in the morning and arrived at Judkins Park. Organized labor also provided a sizable contingent along 16th Avenue and Jackson Street, and a Women and Families contingent joined the march on route through downtown. Additionally, separate action stations provided additional participants as well. The first action station was based at the King County Juvenile Detention Center, followed by an action station at Seattle University, another outside of Swedish Medical Center, and the final action station, in front of Amazon Corporate Headquarters.
The march route ended at the Fisher Green at Seattle Center with a program initiated by members of the Duwamish Tribe who welcomed the procession onto their ancestral lands. The concluding program was organized with the thought in mind that our communities need to heal in light of increased incidences of racism and xenophobia. Juan Jose Bocanegra, a representative of the May 1st Action Coalition noted, “We need to continue engaging each other and supporting each other’s struggles. Make no mistake, this administration will continue ramping up attacks against labor, against immigrants, against women, and against our Muslim brothers and sisters. Resistance is our way of saying that we will not comply, we will not allow our communities to be oppressed.”