“Resist state violence! Rise up for our communities! Reclaim our power!”
This chant was shouted by over 200 Long Beach residents, as they filled the streets of downtown Long Beach in support of the International Workers’ Day march.
With a coalition of 19 community organizations, the event rallied community members to stand united for issues including workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights and rent control.
“Through our hardships we stand here in support of fair treatment,” said George Funmaker, a member of Red Earth Defense, an indigenous-led group which focuses on issues affecting marginalized communities.
The march began at Cesar Chavez Park Tuesday and featured a number of community advocates and speakers.
The May Day March featured numerous speakers, including Jonaya Chadwick, a resident of Long Beach threatened by increasing rent costs.
“My mom and I could [be] losing our home tomorrow,” Chadwick said. “It could be you tomorrow, and eventually it will affect everyone in Long Beach.”
As the march began, the large crowd made its way down Magnolia Avenue toward Long Beach City Hall. Event organizers and the Long Beach Police Department kept traffic at bay as the march crowded the streets in front of the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse.
While many attendees were veterans of the May Day march, plenty of new faces came out to stand in solidarity. Andrew Mandujano, a senior business major and member of the Cal State Long Beach chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America, was excited to be a part of the event.
“It’s great to be able to come out and show support of fair treatment,” Mandujano said. “I’m just following the lead for now and hopefully play a bigger role next year.”