May 1, 2009
EPCC STATEMENT FOR MAY 1 RALLY FOR FULL RIGHTS FOR ALL IMMIGRANTS IN LOS ANGELES
We march today, May 1 to demand full legalization and rights for all immigrants and for workers rights. We militantly are in solidarity with all working people of the world and in the United States.
Today the Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) will be marching with the AJLPP and ANSWER-LA and with the May 1 Immigrant Coalition. We are demanding full rights for all immigrants, a stop to ICE raids and deportations and to fight for better workers rights and living conditions.
May Day is honored all around the world as a day of celebration of the struggles and achievements of the working class and their allies. The origins go back to May 1886 in Chicago where a general strike took place demanding an eight-hour working day. Police shot down and killed four workers at the McCormick harvesting Machine Co. plant. This led to the famous rally at Haymarket Square in Chicago. A police riot ensued, and many people were killed.
In 1889, at the founding meeting of the Second International (of socialist and labor parties) led by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels held in Paris, May 1 was declared as International Worker's Day, to honor the martyrs of the Haymarket police killings.
As millions of workers and their allies take part in the May Day celebration, all around the world, year after year - to assert their determination and to express international solidarity of the working people. In the Philippines, May 1 was commemorated as early as 1903 with a general strike led by the Union Obrera Democratica Filipina in front of the Malacanang Palace in Manila against the US occupation.
In the USA, May 1 was first declared, in 1921, as "Americanization Day". In 1958 US Congress passed a law and president Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1959 as the first official observance of "Loyalty Day". Since then every president has issued a proclamation, declaring again and again May 1 as the official Loyalty Day.
While the workers around the world declare their fundamental antagonism against the capitalists and asserting the victory of the working class, - by rallying, singing, shouting slogans and reasserting their right to struggle, the workers in North America are supposed to express their "loyalty" to their bosses.
In Los Angeles, there will be five marches – a show of diversity and fractiousness of the labor movement and the burgeoning immigrant rights movement. AFL-CIO and the County Federation are marching with MIWON to Placita Olvera. The former March 25 Coalition that led the 4 million mach in LA in 2006 is now a former shadow of itself is marching alone.
We seriously hold President Obama to his promise that he will work for a genuine immigration reform and legalize 14 million immigrants who are waiting for that promise. We are deeply hopeful that he fulfills his campaign promise to the immigrant community most especially to 1.5 million Filipinos who are not yet legalized and the other 14 million waiting in the wings.
We demand a stop on attacks on all workers. Stop wages freeze, job freeze on the state, county and city levels, stop massive layoffs, stop budget cuts and the stop the rhetorics of “shared sacrifices while we know that bourgeois capitalist and bank bosses oozes with billion dollar bail-outs for themselves.
Stop scape goating the immigrants and stop all ICE raids. It’s the time to treat all workers as creators of the social wealth, not as rags and a burden to society.
IMMIGRANTS UNITE, FIGHT FOR FULL RIGHTS FOR ALL IMMIGRANTS!
ALTO LOS REDADAS! STOP ICE RAIDS!
MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT!