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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 72/No. 16      April 21, 2008


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(lead article)
Support builds for Chicago May 1 action
Noon rally to demand ‘Legalization for all!’
Militant/Ilona Gersh
Some 140 people attend April 5 press conference by sponsors of May Day march in Chicago demanding legalization for all immigrants. Jesse Jackson, of RainbowPUSH Coalition, is at the microphone, flanked by leaders of immigrant, Black, labor, and student organizations.

CHICAGO, April 5—Some 140 people attended a press conference today at the South Side headquarters of the RainbowPUSH Coalition. The organization’s president, Rev. Jesse Jackson, called for “organizing a massive demonstration here in Chicago and around the country on May 1.”

“Martin Luther King was for massive direct action,” Jackson said. “We honor his memory today by building this march.” The press conference followed an event honoring King on the 40th anniversary of his assassination.

The Chicago action, which calls for legalization for all and an end to deportations, is set to begin at noon. As in previous years, thousands of workers are planning to take the day off work to participate. It is one of dozens of similar May Day actions called across the country.

Also addressing the press were representatives of the Latino Chapter of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, March 10th Coalition, and other groups building the march. “We cannot tolerate one standard of treatment for native-born workers and another for foreign-born workers,” Larry Davis, president of Teamsters Local 743, told the press.

Davis pointed out that International Workers Day began in Chicago with mass struggles for an eight-hour day. He pointed out that “many of the leaders of that movement were immigrant workers.”

New endorsers include a number of local union bodies: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2081, Teamsters Local 743, Teamsters Council 25, United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 881 and 1546, United Steel Workers Local 12775, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 21, United Electrical Workers Union, UNITE HERE, and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Tania Unzueta, a student leader of the March 10th coalition, quoted from Martin Luther King’s 1966 letter from the Birmingham jail, that we have the “moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” She announced a special meeting of students to build the May Day march on April 12, at the Hull House on the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois.
Related articles:
Momentum building for May Day
May Day Actions for Immigrant Rights

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