Voces de la Frontera organized a march from Milwaukee’s south side to the downtown Milwaukee County Courthouse May 1 as recent anti-immigration legislation in Wisconsin has seen Latinos turn out in higher and higher numbers at marches and rallies across the state.
Among other things, the march was for a living wage, workers’ rights, students’ rights, Latino voter mobilization, to declare victory over Wisconsin’s anti-immigration bill AB 450, and to defend DAPA and DACA.
Deferred Action for Parents and Americans (DAPA) and its sister initiative, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA+), seek to improve the situation for unauthorized immigrants in the absence of congressional action on the issue. DAPA and DACA+ would give immigrants with deep ties to the country more options to stay and work in the United States.
Voces de la Frontera, led by executive director Christine Neumann-Ortiz, is Wisconsin’s leading immigrant rights group. They are a grassroots organization that believes power comes from below and that people can overcome injustice to build a better world. Their Workers’ Centers in Milwaukee and Racine support immigrant and low-wage workers through legal clinics, ‘Know Your Rights’ trainings, English classes, citizenship classes and more.
Voces de la Frontera officials organize this annual May Day march to show the will of Milwaukee’s immigrant and Latino residents and speak out against certain legislation as it comes along. May Day 2016 marked the 10th year demonstrators marched in Milwaukee in support of immigrant and workers’ rights.
May 1 is known as May Day, but it is also known as International Workers’ Day, a celebration of workers’ rights around the world. In the early 19th century, labor movements were fighting for things like eight-hour work days and the right to unionize. On Sunday, May 1st, there were demonstrations around the world still fighting for rights for workers.
Politicians joined in on the march in Milwaukee including former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton.
Similar demonstrations took place across the world for International Workers’ Day. Hundreds of people marched through Los Angeles in a May Day rally aimed at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for his anti-illegal immigration platform that includes building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Members of the crowd carried a large blow-up effigy of Trump holding a Ku Klux Klan hood, along with signs that read: “Dump Trump.”