May Day protests expected across US

Indo Asian News Service

Washington, May 1 (IANS) Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are expected to take to the streets on Monday in massive May Day events across the US, mostly protesting the policies of President Donald Trump, the media reported.

May Day -- also known as International Workers' Day -- has spawned protests around the globe in past years highlighting workers' rights. But on Monday, the impetus for the US marches span from immigrants' rights to LGBT awareness to police misconduct, the USA Today reported.

"There's a real galvanisation of all the groups this year," said Fernanda Durand of political advocacy group CASA in Action, which will lead a march of about 10,000 people for immigrants' rights through Washington.

"Our presence in this country is being questioned by Donald Trump. We are tired of being demonised and scapegoated. We've had enough."

Durand's protest is part of the "Rise Up" umbrella movement that will hold 259 events in more than 200 cities in 41 states focusing on immigrants' rights, she said.

Another widespread effort, dubbed "Beyond the Movement", will feature a collection of racial-justice groups and include protests and marches in more than 50 cities, from Portland to Miami.

Trump released a statement on Friday declaring May 1 "Loyalty Day" as a way to "recognise and reaffirm our allegiance to the principles" upon which America was built, calling on all government buildings to display the US flag and schools to observe the holiday with ceremonies, reports the USA Today.

Originally a pagan celebration dating back two millenniums and heralding the return of spring, May Day has morphed into a global observance of workers' rights. But its emergence as an international workers' rights day actually arose from a May 1, 1886, Chicago strike for the eight-hour workday.

In 2006, the focus of May Day demonstrations shifted to immigration when roughly one million people, including nearly half a million in Chicago alone, took to the streets to protest federal legislation that would have made living in the US without legal permission a felony.

--IANS

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