More than 600 people from all walks of life gathered Monday night at MacArthur Park in Long Beach to be part of the International Worker’s Day march.
Students, working class people, women, men, children and senior citizens showed up with a significant number of banners, placards, posters and t-shirts as symbols of resistance against the Trump administration.
The central theme of the event was to honor International Worker’s Day and to demand that Long Beach be a “sanctuary for all.” Marchers chanted anti-Trump and pro-immigrant slogans on the streets of Long Beach until the rally ended at City Hall.
“This is a historic day. Over 130 years ago the May 1 strike was held by the workers,” said Alex Montances, one of the co-organizers of the event. “Today workers are fighting for better working conditions, better pay and an end to child labor.”
The march attracted massive attention from the Long Beach and neighboring communities.
“We are thrilled to see the community has come out. It’s a demonstration for Long Beach officials that we deserve and [we] need to have a sanctuary for all,” said Ernesto Rocha, one of the organizers of the event.
Before the march began, the organizers hosted a small round of speeches. The members from different organizations spoke about their struggles and stories they heard from their coworkers and relatives. There were also members of the community who took the floor at the event.
“These people have the right to express their feelings towards government under the first amendment, and I agree with them. I myself am a son of an immigrant,” said Sebastian Echeverry, a participant of the event.
Many of the guest speakers of the May Day Coalition organizations advocated for immigrant rights, justice for the Indigenous American community and Long Beach becoming a sanctuary city, and spoke against a Muslim ban and a border wall on the Mexican-American border.
“We are fighting for rights of all immigrants. All oppressed exploited people, are here today to addressed the issues affecting us under the Trump regime,” said Jedi Jimenez, a member of Anakbayan Long Beach.
The May Day Long Beach Coalition is a coalition of 19 diverse community organizations. Long Beach Peace Network, Long Beach Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Health Care Workers Council and Housing of Long Beach were among the organizations that came to the event.
The marchers were escorted by security patrolling members throughout the rally until they get to their destination in front of City Hall.