The enthusiastic marchers went through downtown Fresno chanting “the people united will never be defeated.” Photo by Mike Rhodes.

International Workers Day Celebrated in Fresno

This is the front of the march, shortly after leaving Fresno City Hall. Photo by Mike Rhodes

May Day was celebrated in downtown Fresno on May 1. The theme was immigration reform, and about 300 people enjoyed the march, music and camaraderie with family and fellow workers.

International Workers Day is a celebration of the working class, and marches are held in cities throughout the world. Achievements such as the eight-hour workday, the end of child labor, the ongoing effort for every worker to earn a living wage and immigrant rights are featured.

The march went through downtown Fresno stopping briefly at the Fresno County Jail, where Gloria Hernandez spoke about the injustice of the criminal justice system.

In solidarity with the thousands of poor and working people incarcerated in the jail, marchers continued through Fresno and stopped again at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility. Speakers denounced the separation of families and the importance of immigrant rights.

Chanting “the people united will never be defeated” (in Spanish) the marchers returned to Fresno City Hall where they had begun.

This event was organized by the May 1 Coalition. Groups at the march included the United Farm Workers (UFW); the Dolores Huerta Foundation; the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); the Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN); We Are Home Action; Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB); and Reedley Social Services Inc.

A clarinetist plays during the May Day march. Photo by Peter Maiden.

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May Day marchers on Fresno Street. Photo by Peter Maiden
Gloria Hernandez speaking at the Fresno County Jail. Photo by Mike Rhodes
Olga Loza with the Dolores Huerta Foundation led the chants at the May Day celebration in Fresno. Photo by Mike Rhodes.
Guadalupe Gaciento holds a banner at the rally for May Day at City Hall. Photo by Peter Maiden
  • Mike Rhodes is the executive director of theCommunity Alliance newspaper and author of the book Dispatches from the War Zone, about homelessness in Fresno. www.mikerhodes.us is his website. Contact him at mikerhodes@comcast.net.

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