May Day 2008 International Workers Day and Mobilization to Support Immigrant Rights!


Reports from Around the World




Lee Siu Hin

National Coordinator
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
ActionLA Coalition
Peace NO War Network


May Day 2008:



May Day 2008 Call to Action!


National Immigrant Solidarity Network


On May Day 2008, National Immigrant Solidarity Network is calling for a multi-ethnic, decentralized, multi-topic and multi-tactic national day of mobilization to support immigrant workers rights.


1. No to anti-immigrant legislation, and the criminalization of the immigrant communities.

2. No to militarization of the border.

3. No to the immigrant detention and deportation.

4. No to the guest worker program.

5. No to employer sanction and “no match” letters.

6. Yes to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
7. Yes to speedy family reunification.

8. Yes to civil rights and humane immigration law.

9. Yes to labor rights and living wages for all workers.

10. Yes to the education and LGBT immigrant legislation.


We acknowledges that there’ll be multiple call to actions from across the country to organize May Day 2008, and each coalition will present their sets of demands. We should respects each other organizing and encourage and supports everyone’s issues:


1) Multi-ethnic, Decentralized and Multi-topic mobilization: while everyone will pledge to support immigrant workers rights at May Day 2007, local groups can choose to includes any other topics for their mobilizations: civil rights, anti-war, Katrina, labor rights, health care…., etc.


2) Decentralized Multi-Tactic May Day organizing: We will encourage everyone to organize their actions at May Day, but will let local groups to decide what they want to do at the day: march, boycott, strike, lunch action, vigil, community event, conference or congressional lobby day, etc.Understanding the connections between our individual conditions of life and the lives of people everywhere in the word allows us to come together and organize across all borders. WE NEED to link the connections between: wars in Africa, south America, Asia, Iraq, Palestine & Korea with sweatshops in Asia as well as in Los Angeles, New York; international arm sales and WTO, FTAA, NAFTA & CAFTA with AIDS, hunger, child labors and child solider; multinational corporations and economic exploitation with racism and poverty at home–then we can win the struggle. Let’s all come together, on May Day 2008, to build a new immigrant rights and civil rights movements!












May Day 2008 Local Reports:


ILWU West Coast Port Shut Down


May Day revival on three fronts: labor, immigrant, and antiwar

Sharat G. Lin – San Francisco Independnet Media Center

What started on May 1, 2006 as some of the largest political demonstrations in U.S. history for immigrants' rights have in 2008 brought together three fronts -- labor, immigrant, and antiwar -- in one struggle for peace and social justice.

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The work stoppage at all 29 West Coast ports on May 1, 2008 by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was an historic turning point for the U.S. labor movement. For the first time in more than seventy years, a major U.S. trade union led marches and a system-wide strike on May Day. And for the first time ever, it was not for economistic reasons, but for the political demand to end the disastrous and debilitating U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan .

The work stoppage by 25,000 dockworkers idled towering cranes and closed ports from Seattle to San Diego . Truckers refused to cross picket lines. The backlogged ports handle the steady stream of manufactured goods from off-shored factories in Asia in the new globalized economy.

Until recently, organized trade unions have been reluctant to reclaim May Day as International Workers' Day in the United States . Labor bureaucrats affiliated with the AFL-CIO and Change to Win have declined to support May Day actions because of their collaboration with corporate management in brokering labor contracts. Despite this, individual union locals have begun to support the ILWU and immigrant rights demonstrations on the first day of May.

Among the unions that joined in the ILWU-led May Day march in San Francisco were the United Transportation Union Local 1741 ( San Francisco school bus drivers), University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union, Inlandboatmen's Union (affiliated with the ILWU), and Oakland Education Association (OEA teachers and school employees). In San José , locals of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Unite Here! joined in the May Day march for immigrant rights.

While widely celebrated outside of the United States , May Day itself was born in Chicago during the struggle for the eight-hour working day. A march by striking workers along Michigan Avenue on May 1, 1886 is widely regarded as the world's first May Day march.

In mobilizing for May Day, ILWU leader Clarence Thomas had stated that resolutions against the war were important, but they do not stop wars. "But when you stop the ports, the White House listens and the whole world listens," he said to a gathering in Oakland on April 24.

Indeed, the impact of the ILWU strike has already been felt around the world. At the May Day rally in San Francisco 's Justin Herman Plaza , Thomas broke the news that Iraqi port workers had shut down Iraq 's two main cargo ports ( Basra and Umm Qasr) in solidarity with the ILWU closure of U.S. West Coast ports.

In a prepared statement read by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) coordinator Michael Eisenscher, the Iraqi labor movement reminded the world, "The invaders helped to foment and then exploit sectarian divisions and terror attacks where there had been none. Our union offices have been raided. Union property has been seized and destroyed. Our bank accounts have been frozen. Our leaders have been beaten, arrested, abducted and assassinated. Our rights as workers have been routinely violated."

The statement, signed by 37 Iraqi labor leaders, continued, "We demand an immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from our country, and utterly reject the agreement being negotiated with the U.S.A. for long-term bases and a military presence. The continued occupation fuels the violence in Iraq rather than alleviating it. Iraq must be returned to full sovereignty. … We thank you for standing with us."

In addition to trade unions; peace, antiwar, and impeachment organizations were well represented. Three candidates for national political office -- Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, and Gloria La Riva -- addressed the rally. There was also a visible demand for immigrants' rights in the ILWU march. A contingent of signs read, "Stop ICE raids. Stop war."

The signs were a reminder that the spark that ignited this revival of May Day came on May 1, 2006 when millions of immigrant workers and their families marched throughout the United States in protest against a legislative attempt to criminalize their existence in the country. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the May Day marches of 2007 and 2008 followed in the wake of the largest political demonstration in Northern California's history when more than 250,000 people marched in San José on May 1, 2006. Aerial photos show how the demonstration packed the full width of the street and stretched out for more than 4 miles.

May Day 2008 brings together three fronts -- labor, immigrant, and antiwar -- in a common unified struggle for peace and social justice.







Danny Byrnes

Community to Community


Numbers up around five-hundred filled the streets yesterday in Bellingham 's Third Annual Immigrant Solidarity March. We had a great turnout with great weather. "Si Se Puede" could be heard for blocks! Starting at Maritime-Heritage Park , the masses marched to the Whatcom County Courthouse and on to Cornwall Park for a delicious feast of carne asada and much more. The march was without incident and was filled with a positive atmosphere. "The people united will never be divided!"


Attached are several photos we liked.


Bellingham Herald article:

Photos from the Herald:










Chicago , IL


Chicago : Twenty thousand march for immigrant rights May 1

By Fightback News Service

Chicago , IL -
20,000 people joined a massive demonstration for immigrant rights here on May 1. The International Workers Day protest was backed by more than 100 Latino, labor, community and religious organizations, including the March 10 Movement and Centro Sin Fronteras.

One of the speakers was the son of Elvira Allerano, Saul, who flew in from Mexico to address the crowd. The heroic fight of Elvira Allerano and her family has made her an important symbol for the immigrant rights movement. Elvira Allerano resisted deportation for more than a year, taking sanctuary in a Chicago church. She was arrested last August in Los Angeles and deported to Mexico .

Other speakers included Hatem Abudayyeh of the Arab American Action Network and Richard Berg, president of Teamsters Local 743. 100 workers and family members from Local 743 marched together in the protest, the largest contingent of any union.

Musical guests included Boots Riley of The Coup, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Ben Harper.

May Day demonstrations demanding legalization and full equality for undocumented workers took place across the U.S. on May 1.




Los Angeles , CA

MAY DAY ACTIONS CITYWIDE: Port Shutdown, Student Walkouts, Downtown Marches


LOS ANGELES INDYMEDIA: May Day demonstrations and marches were held throughout the region yesterday. Two marches converged downtown at 5th and Broadway in the late afternoon. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people took part in the downtown demonstrations. Although not as large as the past two years the marches were described as festive and high spirited. Immigrant rights was the primary focus of the demonstration, but other issues such as the Iraq war were featured as well.


Scattered student walkouts and sit outs also took place at a number of local high schools. Dockworkers at the port of Los Angeles staged a one day strike that halted port operations for the day. The dockworkers’ strike, which included all west coast ports, was called by the workers to protest the continuing US war on Iraq .



Workers/Immigrants March Rally in LA on May 1


—For the third year in a row. more or less than 30,000 marchers from three major groups- the MIWON, March 25 Coalition and the April 7th Coalition for Full Immigrants Rights in Los Angeles and demand full rights and legalization for immigrants and to commemorate International Workers Day. The media called it “a combination of a holiday parade and party celebrations” Different media outlets have different estimates like a conservative estimate from as low as 7,000 from KCRW and as high as 30,000 from NPR radio. In Los Angeles , California the newly formed Filipino American For Immigration Reform (FAIR) with the Pilipino Workers Center marched from Historic Filipinotown to Macarthur Park and joined 15,000 strong MIWON contingent that marched from Macarthur Park to downtown Broadway.


Initial Report
Filipino Immigrants Network for Empowerment (FINE)
May 1, 2008
Los Angeles , CA


Los Angeles—For the third year in a row. more or less than 30,000 marchers from three major groups- the MIWON, March 25 Coalition and the April 7th Coalition for Full Immigrants Rights in Los Angeles and demand full rights and legalization for immigrants and to commemorate International Workers Day.

The media called it “a combination of a holiday parade and party celebrations” Different media outlets have different estimates like a conservative estimate from as low as 7,000 from KCRW and as high as 30,000 from NPR radio.

In Los Angeles , California the newly formed Filipino American For Immigration Reform (FAIR) with the Pilipino Workers Center marched from Historic Filipinotown to Macarthur Park and joined 15,000 strong MIWON contingent that marched from Macarthur Park to downtown Broadway.


The almost a hundred strong Filipino American contingent rallyist marched down Alvarado and Beverly Streets to 7th street and Alvarado at Macarthur Park where the march marched for two miles towards Figueroa Street . They were composed of the Association of Filipino Workers (AFW), Youth UNITE, KMB Pro People Youth, JFAV, Samahang Pilipino at UCLA , People’s CORE, PWC and Gabriela-Network-LA.

They marched with the Korean drummers and the BRU yellow-clad marchers led the lively crown with chants like LEGALIZATION NOW. THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED, AMNESTY NOW!

Joint MIWON/March 25th and April 7 Coalition March/Rally

On the other hand, the April 7 Coalition composed of another 15,000 strong led by the Hermanidad Mexicana, Latino Movement –USA and ANSWER-LA marched together with the March 25 Coalition in Olympic and Broadway at around 2;00 PM.

The two contingents met at 5th and Broadway Streets and marched together at 1st street and Broadway at around 3:30 PM. Another group from American Apparel factory in Alameda marched and joined the rally. The 4,000 strong contingent marched with signs-LEGALIZE LA.

The rally was later held from around 5:00 PM where speakers after speakers asked for immigration reform and a pathways for citizenship not a guest workers program.

For more information contact cdir – usa or the Filipino Immigrant Network for Empowerment (FINE) at (213)241-0906 or



More Photos


Photos from Ron Gochez
Social Justice Educator/Community Organizer
Union Del Barrio


Venice High School Students Walk out of Class

Marcus LA Indymedia

Venice High School Students Walk out of Class, Los Angeles , May 1st, 2008

Venice High School S...


Venice High School Students Walk out of Class, Los Angeles , May 1st, 2008



Madison , WI


Immigrant Workers Union (UTI)

Contact Information:   Alex Gillis 608/345-9544  Email:

Madison , Wisconsin -May 1st, 2008


Today, around 700 hundred people march from Brittingham Park in Madison demanding immigration reform and immigrant rights in the streets and in the workplace.  The third anniversary of the massive marches of spring 2006, hit Madison with renewed energy to further the agenda of immigrant and labor rights. The labor movement and the immigrant rights movement showed a united front in their demands that highlighted issues such as the demand for universal health care, an end to the war, and that the Dane County Sheriff step down. 


The events began a little after noon with the arrival of students from local high schools and the University of Wisconsin . The students were chanting "Sí se puede" creating enthusiasm among the crowd that received them. In a rally characterized by high hopes and positive energy, the police registered no incidents.


Towards the end of the rally, there were a few words spoken by Dane County Supervisor Al Matano, Jorge Carrera and Hector Ordoñez from U.T.I (Immigrant Workers Union), Frank Medina (Lawyer), Patrick Hickey from Workers Right Center, Will Williams from TAME /  MAPC,  M.E.Ch.A (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan), C.A.N (Campus Antiwar Network), I.S.O. (International Socialist Organization), Local Spanish media, WNPJ (Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice), and others.


The speakers who received the largest applause were those who expressed support for the main demands of immigration reform and to a stop to Sheriff Mahoney's harassment of immigrant workers and their families.


Organizers of the event were content with the rally yet were quick to point out that the labor and immigrant rights movement face huge challenges in the near future. "Raids are really shaping the turn out of the rallies, but it is about time people will overcome this general mood of fear and regain the streets" Clarissa Pearson (IWU)


The Immigrant Workers' Union thanks the Madison community for its continued support of immigrant workers, especially the May Day Committee that has been working with IWU since August 2007. The committee along with UW student organizations, and the tens of volunteers that helped spread the word about the rally. Yvonne Geerts, IWU said, "2008 has been a hard year to organize around this issue. Many families are really afraid to exercise their rights due the increase of raids and the general mod against immigrants". Miguel O., father of two said, "but at the end, we know there is no other way forward"


Now Dave Mahoney has to decide


Far from gone; critics of Dave Mahoney are spreading among the community. He is reporting any non US citizen (whether documented or not) to ICE.


He argues he is asked by ICE to do so. However, not only he is not mandatorily obligated by the ICE, but also creating a lot of negative effects in the community. At this moment, many people within the immigrant community do not trust in the credibility's of a judge sentence anymore "The judge sentenced my brother for 3 days of jail but Mr Mahoney decided to punish him harsher and deported him. Now that he's away, it ruined his 4 year old's childhood by reporting him to the ICE" testified Rosalba Rodriguez.

Dave Mahoney has to choose between bringing Madison jails to the immigration reform debate arena or do the right thing and wait for the new immigration reform to apply new regulation instead of using the current broken system to remove workers form the county.


IWU says that the only way out for this situation is to call for a recall of Sheriff Mahoney. Time is running out and Mahoney is proving a lack of community sensitivity and leadership to keep a safe and pro-human rights community.










Milwaukee , WI


Thousands Marched Through Downtown Milwaukee

Protesters want a fair and just immigration reform
bill passed within the first 100 days of the next
President’s term

El Conquistador Newspaper staff
3206 W. National Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215
May 1, 2008

Milwaukee (ELCNN) - They came by the thousands, the
young, the children, the senior citizens, and middle
age protesters chanting “Si Se Puede”, and “Today We
March, Tomorrow We Vote” along the 6th Viaduct route
to Veteran Parks on the lakefront. This year, the
Immigration Reform protesters were predominately young
that included teenagers, and children outnumbering
their parents, grandparents, and adults. Their sheer
numbers has sent a strong message to public and
elected officials that indeed they are part of this
nation and tomorrow they will change the face of
America through their vote. The future is in their
hands, and most likely a stream of new leaders
marching for their rights will follow.

The massive march is one of the 200 marches taking
place in about 200 cities throughout the nation.

Organizers are focusing on voter registration and
setting an agenda for the next president. The march
began from the front offices of Voces de la Fronteras,
1027 S. 5th St. and was led by teenagers wearing white
t-shirts with red letters saying “Just Immigration
Reform first 100 days” hoping to ensure the next
President elected and the U.S. Congress can finally
enact an immigration bill that would legalize and pave
the way for the more than 13 million undocumented
immigrants to stay in this country.

Voces de las Fronteras in Milwaukee organized the May
1st National Day of Action march “A Day Without
Latinos” with labor groups in support of comprehensive
immigration reform legislation. A press release on
Thursday from the organization stated, “in figure
backed by ACLU legal observers, Voces de la Frontera
organizers put the number marching in Milwaukee today
at 30,000, with the city's march expected to be one of
the largest in the nation once again.”

"Support for the day's 'First 100 Days' message was a
massive expression of the urgent need for change from
the next presidency. Today's march was also the city's
most diverse yet in making a call for fundamental and
just immigration reform. In this crucial election
year, the march will call on the next President to
make comprehensive immigration reform a priority for
his/her first hundred days – and on the current
administration to stop tearing families apart through
immigration raids and the criminalization of workers
and employers through ‘No Match’ attacks,” Christine
Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera Executive Director

In Wisconsin, the Hispanic population increased by
more than 4%, greater than the national hispanic
growth rate, and more than 271,000 Hispanics lived in
Wisconsin in 2007. The population of Hispanics has
grown by 40% since 2000, according to the U.S. Census

H. Nelson Goodson, Managing Editor of El Conquistador
Newspaper and who joined the march representing
Taxpayers for Immigration Reform says, “Taxpayers for
Immigration Reform based in Milwaukee has been
advocating nationwide since last Summer for Latinos
and supporters of immigration reform to continue to
shop at Latino owned businesses and businesses which
support our community.” The group says immigrants as
taxpayers do pay taxes on just about everything on a
daily basis. Taxpayers are not required to be U.S.
citizens to pay them.

For the above reason, as taxpayers we have embarked
and joined the national campaign to continue to push
for Immigration Reform that would provide a path for
legalization for more than 13 million undocumented
immigrants who do pay taxes. 

Everyday, Latinos and immigrants pay millions of taxes
in the U.S.A. We should spend our money where we are
welcomed and respected as immigrants who do contribute
millions of dollars to our economy. It’s time for our
government and public officials to recognize the
million of taxes we contribute everyday, Goodson

Even today, all of us can feel the affects of our
economy, and there is talk of a recession in the
distant future. What President George W. Bush and
Congress needs to do is to pass another stimulus
package to help stabilize our economy. It is with
common sense that they need to pass a Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Bill as soon as possible so our
nation can keep our manufacturers, and other producing
companies, and its workers working in order for them
to contribute to our economic wealth.

“We do have an economic impact in this nation, and we
need an effective strategy for financial management of
our economic purchasing power which totals in the
billions of dollars to influence immigration reform.

We should continue to invest, shop and spend our money
in businesses and entities in our communities that
respect us, do welcome us, and support immigration
reform,” said Goodson.

There are three major factors for the 890 billion
dollar boost of our economy that is generated by
undocumented immigrants. Their economic contributions
is a major boost to the U.S. economy with the combined
value of their labor, their stimulus on our economy,
and the taxes they pay, according to a University of
California-Los Angeles study by Raul Hinojosa.
Undocumented immigrants from Mexico alone contributed
between $154 billion and $220 billion to the Gross
Domestic Product of the United States in 2000, and
undocumented immigrants paid up to $20 billion in
Social Security taxes between 1990 and 1998.

Immigrants paid $80,000 per person more in taxes
during their lifetime than they received in public
benefits as of 1998; due to immigrants' younger age
profile compared to the "native" population,
immigrants will contribute up to $500 billion to
Social Security from 1998 to 2022, according to a
report by the Office of Migration and Refugee Policy
and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
U.S. born children to undocumented immigrants are
included and considered illegal in most studies.
However, they do contribute to our economy by paying
taxes, working and buying homes, goods and services
adding to the stimulus on our economy just as their
parents do.

A city economic study reported that the south side
households in the predominately Latino community
located inside Postal Zip Code 53204 in Milwaukee
spend more than $91 million annually in retail goods,
according to the 2006 Department of City Development
statistics. In one day, they spent approximately
$249,315.06. The biggest tax-generating base for the
city comes solely from the south side.



New York , NY


Thomas Marczewski – NYC Indymedia


Immigrants, union members and workers of all creeds celebrated May 1st with protests and marches throughout NYC. Demanding better rights, access to greater opportunities and safeguards for their neighborhoods demonstrators protested outside of the city hall, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge , and congregated at Union Square .






Oakland , CA


Brooke Anderson, Organizing Director

East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy 







Philadelphia , PA


No One Is Illegal Banner Drop
12th and vine

Press release

Today on international workers day, a group calling itself the Stolen Land Committee hung a banner off the east face of an abandoned building at 12th and Pearl streets reading "No One Is Illegal."


The group took this action in solidarity with workers throughout the world who march and rally today in commemoration of those who lost their lives during the struggle for the 8 hour day here in the United States .  In particular the group seeks to highlight the struggles of undocumented immigrant workers here in the united states who risk their lives on dangerous border crossings to come to the United States and work.  2 years ago in 2006, Immigrant workers lead the largest demonstrations in the history of the United States on mayday. 


Unlike some labor unions, the stolen land committee recognizes that the criminalization of these workers and the treatment of immigrants as a possible terrorist threat which we should fortify our borders against serves the interests of large agricultural companies and corporations seeking to drive down the wages of all workers in the United States .  By criminalizing undocumented immigrants large employers are able to pay immigrants sub-minimum wages and threaten them with deportation should they start to unionize.  Agricultural and domestic workers, jobs where many undocumented immigrants are concentrated, are the two groups of workers that do not enjoy the right to unions and collective bargaining granted under the national labor relations act passed during the new deal era.  Just as labor unions are under threat in the U.S. as major employers move or threaten to move their operations overseas to exploit cheap labor in the name of being 'internationally competitive,' so too are they under threat by the criminalization of a large portion of the working class right here in the United States.


Currently migration across the U.S./Mexico border is the largest migration in the history of humankind.  An estimated 1 million people cross each year.  As the border has been militarized, starting in the 90s with operation gatekeeper, significant barriers have been placed along the border in areas where it is easiest to cross.  This has pushed immigrants to crossing in dangerous areas like the Sonora desert in Arizona , or the rugged mountains in southern California where many die of exposure or dehydration.  It is no coincidence that increased border restrictions were put into place just as the U.S, Canada and Mexico were entering the North American Free Trade Agreement which by opening borders to capital and the flow of goods has rapidly devastated the Mexican economy and created a huge increase of migration as people lose their land and struggle to feed their families.  


Today the same corporations who benefit from defense contracts in Iraq are benefiting from contracts to build border walls, place cameras and sensors and build detention centers to hold deportees.  The Border Patrol has now become the largest Federal policing agency in the country and the national guard has been consistently mobilized in the name of 'securing our borders.'  White supremacist vigilante groups, such as the Minutemen are openly patrolling the border with arms and receiving huge amounts of media attention.  This anti-immigrant hysteria gripping the country is more about feeding corporate profits and whipping up racism at home to win reelection campaigns than it is about keeping immigrants out.   The reality is the U.S. economy has always been dependent on immigrant labor and that immigrants today play a huge role in keeping the economy going at all.  Without the steady inflow of undocumented migrants to feed U.S. industry with labor, spend money here and pay taxes for which they will never recieve benefits, many sectors of the U.S. economy, especially in the part of the U.S. that is historic northern Mexico , would cease to function. 


In the era of the globalization of capital and the opening of borders to the free flow of goods and services, but not of workers it becomes increasingly clear that these borders serve to divide workers from eachother for the benefit of companies seeking to exploit labor in order to realize super-profits.  Today, as workers celebrate international workers day across the globe, and as immigrant workers and immigrant rights marchers across the United States breathe new life into the American labor movement we say:


No One Is Illegal!

Stop The Raids and Deportations!

Amnesty Now!

No Apartheid Wall!

No to Empire!

No to Plan Mexico !

No to Plan Columbia !

U.S. out of the Middle East !

There Can Be Not Justice On Stolen Land!

They Didn't Cross The Border, The Border Crossed Them!

Solidarity with Working People everywhere!



St. Paul , MN


St. Paul , MN : 1,000 march on May 1st for immigrant rights

By Brad Sigal

St. Paul, MN -
1000 people marched to the Minnesota State Capitol on May 1, International Workers Day, in support of immigrant and workers' rights. Marchers demanded a stop to the immigration raids and deportations that target immigrant workers and families. They also called for legalization for all undocumented workers. The rally started in a park overlooking the Mississippi River, marched through downtown Saint Paul and ended at the State Capitol.

One of the recently-fired workers from D'Amicos restaurant spoke at the rally about their struggle. In early April, D'Amicos fired 15 long-term Latino immigrant workers, accusing them of 'social security no-match' violations. The workers have waged a protest campaign and have galvanized broad local support. A student from Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis whose father was deported last year also spoke at the rally. Students walked out from some area high schools to attend the rally. A group of immigrant workers from greater Minnesota also came by bus.

Along the march route, stops were made in front of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press building and the Minnesota Public Radio building, while delegations of marchers went inside to demand that the media outlets stop using the term "illegal" to refer to undocumented immigrants. The march also stopped in front of the National Guard building to make the connection between wars that the U.S. government wages abroad and the immigrants that come here fleeing U.S. wars and economic policies.

The Saint Paul march was organized by the May 1st Coalition, which includes the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition (MIRAc), Asamblea para los Derechos Civiles, Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network, and many other groups.


San Francisco , CA




San Francisco State Students Walk Out, Join Workers on May Day

by Carrie Lee SF Bay Indymedia


Over 600 San Francisco State University students walked out of their classes and blocked traffic May 1st to protest further cuts to California 's education system. After the walk out students joined the May 1st march in Dolores Park marching with thousands of people. Earlier in the morning students from the Student Worker Action Network joined the ILWU in solidarity by participating in a community picket line at the Port of Oakland . The students protested a proposed increase to next semester's fee increase, which is an increase of 113 percent since 2002. The proposed increase of student fees are a part of a $14.65 million cut to next year's SFSU budget and part of a larger $4.8 billion budget cut to California 's education system. As a result essential services will have to be cut, people will lose their jobs, students will have fewer classes and be forced to pay more for less.

original image ( 2048x1536)

Over 600 San Francisco State University students walked out of their classes and blocked traffic May 1st to protest further cuts to California 's education system. After the walk out students joined the May 1st march in Dolores Park marching with thousands of people. The students protested a proposed increase to next semester's fee increase, which is an increase of 113 percent since 2002. The proposed increase of student fees are a part of a $14.65 million cut to next year's SFSU budget and part of a larger $4.8 billion budget cut to California 's education system. As a result essential services will have to be cut, people will lose their jobs, students will have fewer classes and be forced to pay more for less.

Students, concerned about the fate of higher education, have organized on campus at San Francisco State to address the lack of resources that will be made available to them. These cuts mean the equivalent of 100 full time teachers will no longer be returning and up to one third of all Ethnic Studies classes will be cut among many other classes. Groups on campus, such as the Fight the Fees campaign and the New Front Coalition, have led a series of teach-ins and rally this past semester to educate students. This included a march to Sacramento in an attempt to sway California 's legislators. The students have participated in direct action on International Workers day to ally themselves with the workers on campus and to show solidarity with a broad worker-led movement on May 1st.

Earlier in the morning at about 5:30 AM a group of San Francisco State students, which are a part of the Student Worker Action Network, joined the community picket line at the Oakland docks to shut down the railroads in solidarity with the striking dock worker's shut down of the west coast ports to demand an end to the war. Students back at campus proceeded to walk out of classes and into the streets. Around noon a rally at Malcolm X Plaza was held and honored the rich legacy of activism on campus which was the historic setting of the longest strike in the history of any University in the U.S.

As students began to gather around the Malcolm X plaza many of them began to shout "Walk out at SF State, shut it down like '68," among many other chants. In displaying solidarity with Immigrants rights many of the students shouted in spanish, "Ningun Ser Humano es Ilegal" and "No borders, no walls, Education should be free for all." As students approached 19th Avenue the amount of students completely blocked off traffic on both sides of the street. While many of the students began to wait for the Muni to join the immigrants rights demonstration in Dolores Park several students chose to stay in the streets to voice their concern at the budget cuts. Students blocked the street for half an hour in which during this time they played drums, danced, and wrote chalk all over the street.

Students marched to the immigrants rights demonstration in Dolores Park afterwards from the Church Muni Stop. Felipe Rivera, a junior currently at San Francisco State , commented "The budget cuts demonstrate that this campus is not run in the interest of its workers or students. Together we need to democratize our workplaces and our educational setting. Students and workers need to work together to fight the budget cuts." While the government funds a war during an economic crisis, builds more prisons, students yelled "No cuts, no fees, education should be free!" Krystal Triggs, a junior at San Francisco State said, "We are told when we're young that we have to get an education to make it in the world. What we didn't know is that we have to fight for the education. We are not victims anymore." The budget cuts and fee increases will have a negative impact on faculty, students and workers. The walk outs, as some students expect difficulty in graduating and registering for classes, will demonstrate that on International Workers Day it was possible for students and workers to work together in a struggle that affects all working people.



San Jose , CA


May 1 Immigrant Rights March

By Carlos Reyes – Fight Back News




San José , CA - On May 1, 1500 youth, families, workers and other community members gathered in east San José to demand legalization, an end to the raids and deportations and respect for human, civil, and labor rights.


Speakers at the kick-off rally included members of the community group Voluntarios de la Communidad, who talked about city ID cards and Student Advocates for Higher Education, an organization of undocumented college students. Strengthening Our Lives addressed the need to register and vote and Mark Silverman, an immigration lawyer, also spoke.


After the rally there was a spirited march, chanting, “¡Sí se puede!” and waving Mexican and American flags, through the heart of the Chicano/Mexicano community and on to City Hall in downtown San José.



Santa Cruz , CA


May Day 2008 Actions in Santa Cruz and Watsonville


[ San Francisco Bay Independent Media Center ] The Movement for Immigrant Rights Alliance (M.I.R.A.) is a coalition of UC Santa Cruz students, community members, and diverse organizations working together to build a unified voice for people with migrant backgrounds, particularly those labeled undocumented. M.I.R.A. aims to raise public awareness about the rights and living conditions of immigrants who are continuously attacked and dehumanized by corporate media and public policy. Through dialogue, action, and reflection, M.I.R.A. strives to create a movement for human rights that transcends man-made borders.

M.I.R.A. called for a rally at UCSC and march to Santa Cruz on May 1st, May Day, to demand the DREAM Act be passed in the U.S. , a stop to ICE raids, the construction of a day laborer center in Santa Cruz , a fair contract for AFSCME workers and an end to the militarization of borders.

Hundreds of families, students and workers participated in May Day activities in Watsonville which included free legal consultations, a rally in the plaza with speakers, musicians, face painting and a brinkolin (jump house) for kids. Homemade signs stated, human rights start with immigrants, legalization now, end the war, we are not criminals, fuck Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), let's help people!, yes we can, and asked the fundamental question, "Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?"



Santa Rosa , CA


Immigrant rights march from Latino neighborhood through downtown Santa Rosa to Juilliard Park , led by Aztec dancers and the American flag. Triple theme: Halt nationwide ICE raids, cancel NAFTA and declare Sonoma County a county of refuge. Photos by Martin McReynolds


Seattle , WA


Laury Kenton, Photographs by Elliot Stoller

Seattle Independent Media Center

On May Day, several thousand demonstrators marched through downtown Seattle to advocate for immigration reform and to protest deportations.

The demonstration was organized by El Comite Pro-Amnistia General y Justicia Social (The Committee for General Amnesty and Social Justice). It was sponsored by a host of organizations — including immigrant-advocacy groups, human-rights organizations, student groups, churches, and labor.


The theme of the event was "We are not undocumented. We are not illegal. We are workers." Many of this year's speeches focused on the growing outrage over how some police and other local officials treat immigrants. During the pre-march rally, Archbishop Alex Brunett told the crowd that the Catholic Church "respects the law" but "cannot ignore the human needs of immigrant workers and their families when the law fails to protect their basic human rights." Archbishop Brunett told immigrant workers "You are welcome in our parishes, our schools, our hospitals and our social services. Our hospitality does not require documents."


The rally was followed by a march from Judkins Park to the Seattle Center . Aztec dancers wearing pheasant-feather headdresses led the march. A wide range of people marched, including many who had marched earlier in the ILWU march. A group of University of Washington students joined the march, making their way via bikes and buses. The group included members of S.L.A.P. (Student Labor Action Project) and MEChA, (a Chicano activist group organized for educational access for immigrants and immigrant rights). At the Seattle Center , the Blue Scholars gave a free concert, and Aztec dancers performed.


To encourage people to attend both events, the Backbone Campaign, America in Solidarity, and SNOW Coalition and CISPES provided a "We're All In This Together - Bridge Building Hospitaliy Event" from 2-5 p.m. at the Seattle Labor Temple. The event included music by Hot Cargo as well as snacks and a place to rest their feet before joining a sidewalk feeder procession.

During the past six months, 3,314 immigrants from Washington , Oregon and Alaska have been deported or returned voluntarily to their native country, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Nationally, nearly 120,000 individuals during that period have been removed from the U.S. Many of these people have family members -- often children who are American citizens -- who are left behind.


Today's immigration policies encourage a steady stream of immigrants to work in the nation's factories, fields, and offices. Multinational corporations use immigrants to drive down wages and benefits. When these workers realize that they are being exploited, their vulnerable legal status is used against them. Labor is demanding that wages be determined by the work done, not by the worker's immigration status.


Although comprehensive immigration reform isn't on the immediate horizon, the marchers were resolute, many chanting "Sí, se puede!" ("Yes, we can!") as they marched through the streets of Seattle .


Report Back From the ILWU May Day March


Over 25,000 lILWU members held an 8 hour strike to protest the war in Iraq . The strike stretched down the west coast, from Seattle to San Diego , effecting 29 ports. The ILWU has a history of political activism, it was one of the initial unions to oppose the wars in Vietnam , Iraq , and Afghanistan . However, the May Day strike was the first time in decades that an American union organized a strike in response to U.S. participation in a war. The union took a stand against both Democrats and Republicans, holding both parties equally responsible for funding the war in Iraq and Afghanistan .

The strike defied the ruling of an independent arbitrator, who decided last week that the union had to report to work on May Day. ILWU International President, Bob McEllrath released a statement saying that "Longshore workers are standing down on the job and standing up for America . We're supporting the troops and telling politicians in Washington that it's time to end the war in Iraq ."

In Seattle , over a thousand people showed their solidarity with the union by marching alongside them. The event drew activists from a variety of organizations, including students, anti-war activists, immigrant rights activists, and labor activists. Some of the march slogans included:

  • "No peace, No Work"
  • "People not Profit"
  • "No to war. Yes to peace."
  • "An injury to one is an injury to all"
  • "Long live international solidarity"

During the post-march rally, speakers spoke about the toll of the war. One speaker commented that it was a day of "Blood, roses, and justice". Another commented that "We are all citizens of the same planet....We cannot ignore the injustices in Afghanistan and Iraq ."

A recurring theme in many of the speeches was how Bush's war economy has hurt working people. Health care, education, and roads have all deteriorated as domestic expenditures have been diverted to the war. In commenting about the increasing costs for food and gas, one speaker said "Inflation is like assassination to the poor."

Another theme in the speeches was that only labor has the power to change society. Lynne Dodson, President of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1789 (Seattle Community Colleges) told the crowd that "we are workers creating a world we want."

Organizers made an effort to build bridges with other movements. One ILWU speaker said that the anti-war movement is a rank and file movement. Another told the marchers that they all were part of a proud and beautiful family that should look out for each other. Speakers from other organizations praised ILWU's courage in standing up against the war. A student organizer from Seattle Central Community College told activists, "We need a movement willing to take action against the war. The longshoremen have taken the first step."




New Paltz , NY



REFORM NOW! in New Paltz NY . Featured performers were the radical hip-hop group
ReadNex Poetry Squad and Mexican revolutionary singer/guitarist Zenote Sompantle.
My own duet, The Flames of Discontent, traded sets with the above acts. We also
had several wonderful speakers as well and a guest poet, Olsoul, a young man who
offered a powerful spoken word piece.

The site was a large club in the hear of New Paltz , NY 's business district,
the Muddy Cup, which is frequented by students of SUNY New Paltz. The club was very
crowded---standing room only with many also sitting on the floor and standing up
against side walls. The best news to report is that our message of workers and immigrants'
rights, peace and social change was heard clearly. This was a mixed audience that
was multi-cultural and ranged in age from an 86 year-old activist (who'd worked
as an organizer for the CIO) to teenagers. All were with the program and cheered
loudly at the anti-Bush, pro-labor, pro-immigrants' rights commentary, both
in verse and discussion, and of course for the cries for a cure for our healthcare

The Flames of Discontent opened with our rocking versions of classic protest anthems:
"Bread and Roses", "16 Tons" and the Brecht/Eisler song "Solidarity
Song". Zenote Sompantle offered a powerful set that included both Spanish-language
and English language songs, all complimented by his powerful, soulful singing and
masterful Flamenco cum Jazz-Rock fusion guitar playing. Olsoul then offered his
piece, starting it at the back of the house and moving forward as his intensity
built. He was the perfect opener forthe already celebrated RedNex Poetry Squad.
Here's a group of young poets of color, Black and Latino, who find the nexus
between Jack Kerouac, the Last Poets and Public Enemy. Easily mixing free-verse
spoken word with throbbing hip-hop, they had the house on its feet by the end of
their first set. Featured was their rhythmic, wrenchubng version of "Wade in
the Water", which opened with their DJ (DJ H20)playing part of a track of an
early recording of this slave rebellion song, and then folds into pounding percussive
backing, with the ReadNex raps over it. Their statement about freedom cold not be

Guest speakers here were Gary Bischoff, local activist and host of "Radio Free
Kingston" (WKNY-AM) and Yvonne Seiwell, director of the Max's Kansas City
Project, a foundation which offers grants to musicians in medical crisis.

The Flames returned to play reconstructions of "Viva La Quince Brigade"
(the Spanish Civil War song), plus Woody Guthrie's epic about the plane wreck
at Los Gatos , "Deportees", Brecht and Eisler's intense anti-war song
"The German Miserere". Zenote returned to the stage for a lengthy Flamenco
guitar exposition, which featured his hands blurring not only on the strings, but
the sound-board of his instrument as well. The crowd was by then ready fior another
explosive set by the ReadNex Poetry Squad. This second, lengthy  set was highlighted
not only by more spoken word and hip-hop pieces, but break-dancing. One of the pieces
performed was dedicated to immigrants, "from all generations and all countries".
It reminded us all that we're all from elsewhere and the roots of Native Americans
can be traced back to tribes from other lands as well. Another piece spoke of the
roots of hip-hop in African griot culture.

Guest speakers at this break included Mikey Velarde, of M.E.Ch.A. de Vassar and
also the May Day Working Group of Vassar Coolege; and Alma Rodriguez of the Workforce
Development Institute.

The show ended with one more selection each from the Flames of Discontent (a rockabilly
version of Joe Hill's anti-war "Stung Right") and  Zenote Sompantle
(a powerful cumbia piece for which he brought up a djembe player and background
singer/percussionist). All returned to the stage to go out with a powerful rendition
of the labor anthem "Solidarity Forever", with improvised raps by the
ReadNex Poetry Squad inserted into the militant verses of this classic. By the time
we ended, the audience was dancing, shouting and charged for of revolutionary vigor...hopefully
ready for a social action. Now that's the next, obvious step.

For more info on the performers:

The Flames of Discontent -
ReadNex Poetry Squad -
Zenote Sompantle has no website, but can be reached at












Tucson , AZ

Virginia Leavell

Virginia Activists Take Action Against Raids at Pilgrim's Pride Plants

Two immigrant justice activists from the organization The People United
prepare to cross into the United States from Mexico without passing
through an authorized port of entry early Saturday morning, April 19th.
Jeff Winder from Nelson County and Sue Frankel-Streit from Louisa County
will walk forty miles of migrant trails through the Sonoran Desert to a
Border Patrol highway checkpoint, where they may be arrested.  They will
carry only the water and food they can on their backs. The crossing will
officially end at May 1st demonstrations being organized by Mexicans
Without Borders in Washington , DC .

In light of anti-immigrant policy, like the resolution passed in Prince
William County Virginia requiring police to verify documentation for
anyone under suspicion for having committed a crime and limiting county
services to citizens, and increasingly frequent raids throughout the state
and region, Winder hopes the action, "will spark greater involvement from
non-immigrant communities in the struggle to protect all of our rights."

This week at least 300 workers were arrested in a series of raids at
Pilgrim's Pride poultry plants in five states, one of which in Moorefield ,
West Virginia , where many Virginia residents work. In the past several
months throughout Virginia dozens of workers have been arrested and
detained in similar raids, and are currently undergoing deportation

Frankel-Streit, 44, says, " U.S. border and immigration policy does not
make us safer. The end result of the current anti-immigrant tide in
Virginia is a police state that affects us all, which is what we see here
in Arizona ; rural towns surrounded by prisons and urban areas vulnerable
to document checks at bus stops."

Ricardo Juarez, coordinator of Mexicans Without Borders, says that the
organization has endorsed the action to, "focus attention on the reasons
why people are forced to cross the border in search of jobs and survival."

Solidarity actions are being organized by members of the Virginia
Immigrant Peoples Coalition for Friday, April 18th in Harrisonburg ,
Charlottesville , and Richmond , Virginia .

The People United will hold a press conference on the border at the
Nogales port of entry south of Tucson , AZ on Tuesday, April 22. The
conference will take place at the dirt parking lot on the US side of the
border at 3 pm. The group expects the crossing to be completed by Tuesday.


May Day 2008 Report from Around the World




May Day 2008 Statement from the Iraqi Labour Movement
To the Workers and All Peace Loving People of the World

April 29th, 2008

On this day of international labour solidarity we call on our fellow trade unionists and all those worldwide who have stood against war and occupation to increase support for our struggle for freedom from occupation - both the military and economic.

We call upon the governments, corporations and institutions behind the ongoing occupation of Iraq to respond to our demands for real democracy, true sovereignty and self-determination free of all foreign interference.

Five years of invasion, war and occupation have brought nothing but death, destruction, misery and suffering to our people.  In the name of our "liberation," the invaders have destroyed our nation's infrastructure, bombed our neighbourhoods, broken into our homes, traumatized our children, assaulted and arrested many of our family members and neighbours, permitted the looting of our national treasures, and turned nearly twenty percent of our people into refugees. 

The invaders helped to foment and then exploit sectarian divisions and terror attacks where there had been none.  Our union offices have been raided. Union property has been seized and destroyed.  Our bank accounts have been frozen. Our leaders have been beaten, arrested, abducted and assassinated.  Our rights as workers have been routinely violated.

The Ba'athist legislation of 1987, which banned trade unions in the public sector and public enterprises (80% of all workers), is still in effect, enforced by Paul Bremer's post-invasion Occupation Authority and then by all subsequent Iraqi administrations. This is an attack on our rights and basic precepts of a democratic society, and is a grim reminder of the shadow of dictatorship still stalking our country.

Despite the horrific conditions in our country, we continue to organise and protest against the occupation, against workplaces abuses, and for better treatment and safer conditions.

Despite the sectarian plots around us, we believe in unity and solidarity and a common aim of public service, equality, and freedom to organise without external intrusions and coercion.

Our legitimacy comes from our members.  Our principles of organisation are based on transparent and internationally recognised International Labour Organisation standards.

We call upon our allies and all the world's peace-loving peoples to help us to end the nightmare of occupation and restore our sovereignty and national independence so that we can chart our own course to the future.

    1)   We demand an immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from our country, and utterly reject the agreement being negotiated with the USA for long-term bases and a military presence. The continued occupation fuels the violence in Iraq rather than alleviating it.  Iraq must be returned to full sovereignty.

    2) We demand the passage of a labour law promised by our Constitution, which adheres to ILO principles and on which Iraqi trade unionists have been fully consulted, to protect the rights of workers to organize, bargain and strike, independent of state control and interference.

    3)   We demand an end to meddling in our sovereign economic affairs by the International Monetary Fund, USA and UK . We demand withdrawal of all economic conditionalities attached to the IMF's agreements with Iraq , removal of US and UK economic "advisers" from the corridors of Iraqi government, and a recognition by those bodies that no major economic decisions concerning our services and resources can be made while foreign troops occupy the country.

    4)   We demand that the US government and others immediately cease lobbying for the oil law, which would fracture the country and hand control over our oil to multinational companies like Exxon, BP and Shell. We demand that all oil companies be prevented from entering into any long-term agreement concerning oil while Iraq remains occupied. We demand that the Iraqi government tear up the current draft of the oil law, and begin to develop a legitimate oil policy based on full and genuine consultation with the Iraqi people. Only after all occupation forces are gone should a long term plan for the development of our oil resources be adopted.

We seek your support and solidarity to help us end the military and economic occupation of our country.  We ask for your solidarity for our right to organise and strike in defence of our interests as workers and of our public services and resources. Our public services are the legacy of  generations before us and the inheritance of all future generations and must not be privatised.

We thank you for standing by us. We too stand with you in your own struggles for real democracy which we know you also struggle for, and against privatisation, exploitation and daily disempowerment in your workplaces and lives.

We commend those of you who have organised strikes and demonstrations to end the occupation in solidarity with us and we hope these actions will continue.

We look forward to the day when we have a world based on co-operation and solidarity.  We look forward to a world free from war, sectarianism, competition and exploitation.

Endorsed by:  (signers as of 4/29/08)

    Hassan Juma'a Awad, President, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU)
    Faleh Abood Umara, Deputy, Central Council, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU)
    Falah Alwan, President, Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI)
    Subhi Albadri, President, General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (GFWCUI)
    Nathim Rathi, President, Iraqi Port Workers Trade Union
    Samir Almuawi, President, Engineering Professionals Trade Union
    Ghzi Mushatat, President, Mechanic and Print Shop Trade Union
    Waleed Alamiri, President, Electricity Trade Union
    Ilham Talabani, President, Banking Services Trade Union
    Abdullah Ubaid, President, Railway Trade Union
    Ammar Ali, President, Transportation Trade Union
    Abdalzahra Abdilhassan, President, Service Employees Trade Union
    Sundus Sabeeh, President, Barber Shop Workers Trade Union
    Kareem Lefta Sindan, President, Lumber and Construction Trade Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW)
    Sabah Almusawi, President, Wasit Independent Trade Union
    Shakir Hameed, President, Lumber And Construction Trade Union (GFWCUI)
    Awad Ahmed, President, Teachers Federation of Salahideen
    Alaa Ghazi Mushatat, President, Agricultural And Food Substance Industries
    Adnan Rathi Shakir, President, Water Resources Trade Union
    Nahrawan Yas, President, Woman Affairs Bureau
    Sabah Alyasiri, President (GFWCUI) Babil
    Ali Tahi, President (GFWCUI) Najaf
    Ali Abbas, President (GFWCUI) Basra
    Muhi Abdalhussien, President (GFWCUI), Wasit
    Ali Hashim Abdilhussien, President (GFWCUI) Kerbala
    Ali Hussien, President (GFWCUI) Anbar
    Mustafa Ameen, Arab Workers Bureau, President (GFWCUI)
    Thameer Mzeail, Health Services, Union Committee
    Khadija Saeed Abdullah, Teachers Federation, Member
    Asmahan, Khudair, Woman Affairs, Textile Trade Unions
    Adil Aljabiri, Oil Workers Trade Union Executive Bureau Member
    Muhi Abdalhussien, Nadia Flaih, Service Employees Trade Unions
    Rawneq Mohammed, Member, Media and Print Shop Trade Union
    Abdlakareem Abdalsada, Vice President (GFWCUI)
    Saeed Nima, Vice President (GFWCUI)
    Sabri Abdalkareem, Member, (GFWCUI) Babil
    Amjad Aljawhary, Representative of GFWCUI in North America





Fukuoka , Japan


A report about police repression upon the May Day demo by Freeter Union
Fukuoka (southern Japan ), on 1 May.

Tenjin, Fukuoka (South Japan), Police block off May Day demonstration by
Freeter Union

Source (Asahi Newspaper, in Japanese):

May 1, 2008, "Freeter/non-regular employment workers Fukuoka " (Freeter
Union Fukuoka ) held a rally called "Freeter/Poor People's Mayday: May
Disease Festival 2008" at a park in Chuo (Central) Ward of Fukuoka City.
After the rally, when about forty participants were about to start the
demonstration, the Fukuoka prefectural police department warned that the
demonstration could be deemed to violate the Road Traffic Law, and
halted it.

Demonstrators, dressed up in various costumes such as a monkey, banging
drums or pans, waving flags with slogans like "Anti-Poverty," tried to
walk out onto public thoroughfare. Immediately, the prefectural police
department , who had arranged about fifty police officers around the
park, gave them a warning that the demonstration could be regarded as a
violation of the Road Traffic Law. While both sides had a vigorous
argument, the surrounding area became tense for a moment.

While Eguchi, the deputy chief of Chuo station of the prefectural police
department, explained that the police "warned them because they were
about to go to public thoroughfare in a group without getting permission
of road-use," Ono, Chairman of Freeter Union Fukuoka, said "We normally
register for permission when we use roadways, but this time we did not.
This is a repression towards freedom of expression."



Hamburg , Germany

Mayday Riots in Hamburg

hello, my name is_______ 02.05.2008 21:31

Hamburg , germany , 1st of may 2008. 1,000 nazis marched in through 
Barmbek district, protected by the police, while 10,000 antifascists 
protested and attempted to stop the Nazi demonstration.

the police violence against peaceful blockades sparked the heaviest 
riots Hamburg has seen since the 80's.

the anti-nazi actions consisted of rallies, concerts, barricades on 
the street and on railroad tracks (which actually delayed the arrival 
of the neo-nazis), and a protest march.

when about 8 000 people blocked the starting point of the neo-nazi 
demonstration, the police, instead of canceling the neo-nazi march, 
decided to attack the blockade with water cannons, pepper spray and 

the organizers of the anti-nazi demonstration decided to cancel the 
march at this point. right afterwards, the demonstration was attacked 
again by thecops for standing on a crossroad which turned out to be 
part of the alternative route for the fascist demonstration.

in the meantime, the nazi demonstration didn't receive as much 
attention from the police as it should have. most of the police force 
was engaged in fighting antifascist, while the nazis could attack 
people on the side of their demonstration, among them a couple of 
journalists, without the police giving them too much trouble.

on the nazi route, the water cannons were in permanent operation to 
keep off protesters and clear burning barricades. a spontaneous 
demonstration of 3 000 antifascists was stopped by water cannons, 
close to the S-Bahnhof Ohlsdorf (a train station), which was the end 
point of the neo-nazi march.

when the neo-nazis arrived,they were welcomed with flying stones. The 
situation almost turned into a street battle with stones been thrown 
on both sides.

When neo-nazi leader Jürgen Rieger started to sing the first verse of 
the Deutschlandlied (german national hymn), which has been illegal 
since 1945 (only the third verse is legal), the concluding rally was 
immediately canceled. the police attempted to arrests Rieger, which 
failed due to the resistance of his fellow neo-nazis, who fought back 
the police. With massive pepper spray use, the police managed to move 
the neo-nazis into the train station. But their departure proofed to 
be difficult, since a lot of their buses were destroyed or left 
without them. A number of later skirmishes on subways and train 
stations were reported.

main article:

related indymedia posts:

Riot in front of the Rote Flora.
later that night, in front of the autonomous culture center Rote 
Flora, a fight between kids and the police broke out. 4 people were 
arrested. These Quarrels are common, especially after big demonstrations,

and have been more frequent since the G8 protests last year.

Neo-nazi identified in an assault on antifascists. Siegfried Borcher, 
called SS-Sigi by his mates, lives in Dortmund . you can find a picture 
of him here:

200 Nazis riot in the Bremer HBF.
On the way back from Hamburg , 200 neo-nazis assaulted everybody at the 
train station who looked remotely left-wing. the police watched and 
did nothing for a long time. as the finally decided to arrest one of 
the fascists, they were attacked by his kameraden. stones, bottles and 
firecrackers flew through the air, and the cops decided to let the 
arrestee go.

nazi postings on,
during the demonstration, several postings appeared, claiming that an 
antifascist was killed at protests. since no reliable sources could be 
found, these posts were deleted by the indy-moderators. In a later 
post, the name of the supposed victim was given, an antifascist 
journalist, who has been defamed by nazi newspapers in the past.
The antifascist journalist enjoys best health. These postings are 
believed to have been launched to stir up violence at the protest.

mainstream media reports:,1518,551037,00.html,2144,3305672,00.html

a lot of these reports miss the fact, that Hamburg has a long history 
of police violence, especially since 2001, when a coalition of the 
newly formed ultra right-wing Schill party and the conservative CDU, 
(chirsitian democratic union) took over the government. If you just 
only think about the Bambule protests 2002-2003 or the student 
protests in the last 4 years, this kind of militant resistance come as 
no surprise.



Indonesia , Jakarta


Indonesia , Jakarta Anarchist May Day Carnival Repressed: Hundreds arrested

Hundreds of anarchists, punks, and anti-authoritarians were arrested on may day parade in Jakarta but already released at of Polish anarchist who attend the demonstration also arrested and were deported yesterday.





Mayday report from Maribor

Also this year Maribor took part in a Euromayday process along with all
other cities in Europe and beyond. This was our fourth year of involvement
in Euromayday network. After some problems with organisation and
involvement of individuals and groups to join the activities concerning
mayday parade we decided to organise more on symbolical level to support
transnational activities of precarious (no)workers worldwide on the local
context. This year we didnt organized parade on the street of Maribor , but
we made the small direct actions in city with distribution of our
leaflets. During the preparation we decided to make 2 leaflets which can
attract people that they can realize their position inside the system of
labour exploatation. On first leaflet "Precarity in Maribor " we put six
most typical precarios workers: construction worker, truck driver, nurse,
waitress, programmer and journalist. For each of this workers we put small
explanation of his personal circumstances concerning work and life.  For

Construction worker say: "Im migrant worker from Bosnia . I work on the
construction site of apartment building. I have family at home. I live in
workers dormitory. After 12 working hours per day, I dont have much
freetime. I share my room with 5 fellow workers. For bed I pay 150 euros."

We also described the term precarity and what are its most negative
disadvantages. Some words about Euromayday, who organize it and why were
also part of explanation.

Special thing which people really like it was mayday money. Printed 500
euro bill with demand: Im your monthly european living wage! Cheap housing
and income for everbody.

The mayday party at the evening of 30.april took place in Pekarna cultural
center. We made the living room on the parking space, screen the movies
from our EVS volunteer Alex from Sweden . His collective RAFilms from
Malmoe made  very inspiring and eductative movie about radical feminist
music groups and how they put their political messages to the public. We
were also supprised by the visit of our friends from Genova. The band
Blownpeperbags stopped in Maribor on their way from Sarajevo to Graz .

Mayday in Maribor was not so big and publicly anounced as it was in last
years. On the other side we are happy that some political event finnaly
happened in cultural center Pekarna, where is a chance to become partly
dispaced and gentrified space in the next years. Our main preocupation is
therefore not concentrated on the transnational processes at the moment
but more to inside complex unification and search for new common ground
where our defensive strategies can be developed.

with great love to all mayday stars and beyond

Infoshok collective



Sapporo , Japan


Reports of the May Day demo in Sapporo (main city of Hokkaido ), Japan .
Hokkaido is the northern island of Japan , where Lake Toya , the site of
G8 2008, is located. The "Unity May Day for Freedom & Lives in Sapporo "
was held on 29 April.

●A report from the organiser of Unity May Day for Freedom & Lives in
Sapporo (30/4/2008)

It is over. And now it begins.

A huge success in the May Day held yesterday (29 April)

The May Day went well with about 200 participants despite our
inexperience. Many thanks for those who joined us, who gave a hand to
make it happen, and who gave moral support from difference places.

The Sapporo May Day was organised for workers as well as for those who
are not be able to work and who do not feel like to work.

It created a meeting place for marginalised people from different
backgrounds such as disabled, sexual minority, Koreans in Japan ,
indigenous Ainu people whose lives have been put in precarious and
unfair conditions.

At the rally, we had a maximum fun as the venue turned into a commons’
park [something like a temporary autonomous zone]. The parade turned out
to be huge and packed with the multitude. We totally enjoyed walking
among full of unknown people whom we met for the first time. Yay! The
sound demonstration was awesome and the chanting bloc came up with real
voices from the heart.

We were really impressed by the fact that a large number of participants
whom we had not ever met before came and joined us. We wondered whether
this means that the established movement have turned away people who
actually should have come and joined the May Day.

This is the beginning of the precariate/indie May Day in Sapporo .
This is the beginning of the end of the unjust world.
The May Day 2008 is over but it is the beginning of another May Day.

See you all in the next May Day.
Keep up our lives till we meet at the next May Day.
Let make a change in the world till the next May Day.
See you all in the new world

That is what we hope for.

●Sapporo Shinbun

Demonstration for workers' rights: 200 converged in Sapporo

Caption: Youth on marching in appealing for eradicating wage gaps by
saying ‘anti-poverty’ and ‘we are also human beings’.

On 29th April, “Unity May Day for Freedom & Lives in Sapporo ” in which
the disabled and casual workers claimed their rights to live was held in
Odori Park , Sapporo .

Approximately 200 demonstrators marched along the central business
district in chanting such as ‘we demand the minimum standards of living’.

It was organised by a citizens’ group ‘the concerning for human rights
and livelihood for the disabled and minorities’ (K.S, a director) in
order to demand higher wages from low wages and draw an attention for a
plight of poverty.

Y.K one of organisers, gave his speech by saying ‘speak up and protest
against the modern economic structure which drives competition among the
poor’ at the rally in Odori Park . The following demonstration was led by
a truck in which installed a DJ playing music and appealed against the
low-wage and long working hours.



Tokyo , Japan

Various reports of "Mayday for Freedom and Lives" in Tokyo , 3 May.

Mayday for Freedom and Lives organising committee
There are all sorts of numbers being put out by the news, but we
estimate the final turnout for the demo around 1,000 people. A huge
crowd gathered for the declaration, so many that the assembly space
overflowed; after the declaration ended and we set out, the roughly 550
people present split up into two "forces" and continued to increase in
size, making it very difficult to grasp precise numbers. The swarm
dispersed peacefully in front of the station, and the all-night party
was also a great success, drawing a full house; people spilled out onto
the street, creating spontaneous pools of interchange. We would like to
thank everyone for showing up and making the event a smashing success.

Yomiuri Newspaper
(5/3/2008 20:39)

"Employees Are Not Disposable!" Irregular Workers' Mayday, Shinjuku
Demonstration March

Among a labour market where part-time and other irregular workers have
come to comprise one-third of the workforce, freeters and other youth
participated in "Mayday 2008 For Freedom and Lives" on the 3rd, near
1,000 people (numbers according to sponsor) shouting "Irregular
Employees Are Not Disposable!" in a demonstration march through
Shinjuku, Tokyo.

This demonstration was organized the "Freeters' General Union", which
allows individual membership, and marks the event's fourth time.
Participants danced and chanted slogans such as "Raise Hourly Pay!",
"Shorter Work Hours!" to the beat of quick-paced music flowing from atop
truck beds in a "Sound Demo" as they proceeded in a two-hour walk around
JR Okubo and Shinjuku stations.

Asahi Newspaper
"Independent Maydays" celebrated all over Japan
A Call to Eliminate Wage Disparity and Poverty
5/3/2008 22:52

Part time workers, freeters, and other low income earners whose lives
are fraught with instability gathered together in places all over Japan
for Mayday, choosing "Independent Mayday" celebrations over existing
union events. On April 3rd, 550 people participated in the "Mayday 2008
For Freedom and Lives" demonstration march in Tokyo . With "Don't
Denigrate Our Lives!" as their common phrase, young people are beginning
to network.

"Give Us Job Security!"
"Employees Are Not Disposible!"
These feelings and others were expressed on the placards held up during
the 2-hour music-accompanied parade through Shinjuku's busy streets.

Young people hastened from Nagoya , Kumamoto , Sapporo , Kyoto , Fukuoka ,
and Hiroshima , where events have already been held, to participate in
Tokyo , and events are scheduled to take place in Sendai and Osaka as
well. The Tokyo Executive Committee, working to create a Freeter General
Union, has formed a caravan and is traveling around the events to offer

One of the committee members, Y.I. (26) of Tokyo 's Setagaya ward
continues to live "life on a tight-rope" as a part-timer worker. After
five-years of social withdrawal, Y tried his hand at finding employment,
but it didn't go well. "It's hard to live in a society that demands
'perfect'. I want to create a network of people who share this feeling,
where we are all visible."

"Everyone has a voice. Wage Disparity and Poverty and unchangeable if we
remain silent," appealed Freeter General Union Head Secretary M.Y.

Mainichi Newspaper
Mayday: Irregularly Employed Youth Gather in the City

Irregularly employed youth, including part-time and temp-workers, were
the theme of "Mayday 2008 For Freedom and Lives" held on the 3rd in
Tokyo . Almost 1 in 2 young workers are irregularly employed, which
results for them unstable and difficult lives. These participants
demanded "guaranteed wages to live straight."

This is the fourth year of Mayday events, organized first in 2005 by
"Freeters' General Union," which many irregularly employed youth
continue to join. As well as Tokyo , events this year were held in
Sapporo , Kyoto , and Fukuoka among other cities.

At the assembly in Shinjuku ward, associations and labour unions
involved with irregular employment and homelessness issues called for
the right to life and an improvement in working conditions. Afterwards,
around 550 people (numbers according to sponsor) participated in a
demonstration march. "Irregular Employees Are Not Disposable!", "Let us
Live!", "No More Kickbacks for Temp-Agencies!" were among the repeated

A 33-year-old man who works as a temporary day-laborer and attended the
event had this to say:
"I'm fed up with wages too low to live on and thuggish employment
practices. I've been doing temp-work for almost 10 years, and I think
it's time that irregularly employed workers raise their voices."



Stockholm , Sweden

Here's a little movie I made from the Anarchist and later the
Anarcho-syndicalist (SAC, about 7000 members) demonstrations. About 800
in the first demo, and combined with the AS about 2500 people
demonstrated. Everything went smoothly and unlike last year there where
no incidents with the police at all. In Sweden , May Day is a national
holiday but most people nowadays treat it like any day of so the
demonstrations are not as big as they could be. The biggest demo was the
Social Democrats in Stockholm with 13.000 participants.

Watch the movie: 

Explanations in English.







Great American Boycott
International Workers Day
The history of May Day as a labor holiday


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Special Thanks


Thanks for many local immigrant activist who send us the reports/links to compile this report!


National Immigrant Solidarity Network


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