Bay Area residents and advocacy groups began amassing at Fruitvale Plaza shortly after 2 p.m. on Tuesday for the May Day protest for workers’ and immigrants’ rights.
Standing on International Boulevard near Fruitvale Avenue, people raised their signs and chanted, watching Aztec ceremonial dancing while waiting for the program to start.
Oakland students, who had walked out of high schools from around the city, held their own rally at International and 35th Avenue before joining the main demonstration.
Speakers were preceded by prayers offered by Ohlone elders an, standing on a large flatbed truck that led the march. Speakers included Sagnicthe Salazar of the Chicana Moratorium Coalition and Cat Brooks of the Anti Police-Terror Project.
Maria Trujillo, a janitor who is was formerly undocumented and is now a U.S. citizen, explained that she knew “what it’s like to be afraid in her own community.”
Many are afraid right now to go to work, to buy groceries, to go to school, (worried) that if they go out, the will be detained,” said Trujillo, speaking through a interpreter.
Immigrants, especially women, are afraid to report domestic violence and sexual abuse, fearing it could lead to deportation,” she said.
Referring to the diverse crowd, she said, “This is not what they (government officials) want to see. We’re united, we’re standing together. We will not let fear hold us back.”
Speakers stressed the importance of the fight for basic human rights and solidarity with all workers and communities of color across the world. As a common sign read, “There are no borders in the workers struggle”.
Starting a little after 4 p.m., the march proceeded slowly and peacefully down International Boulevard to San Antonio Park where booths offered resources and trainings on knowing your rights and how to help friends and neighbors in the event of an immigration (ICE) raid.
The ending celebration included a Palestine Youth Movement Art Exhibit and Trump piñata breaking,
Multiple actions and protests took place in Oakland and the greater Bay Area throughout the rest of the day. A few of these include protests at I.C.E. in San Francisco, a rally outside Citibank in Oakland by a coalition of environmental and climate justice organizations, and a sit-in at the Alameda County Administration Building.
In the action aimed at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, four people were arrested. Protesters were asking that supervisors put an end to practices of the Alameda County Sheriff, such as hosting of the controversial Urban Shield SWAT training, collaborating with ICE, and plans to expand the county jail system.