May Day Celebrates the 99%

Information & updates on the permitted, family-friendly May Day March & Rally organized by the Portland May Day Coalition.

Mar 29, 2009

May Day Support Request

Portland May Day Coalition

6025 E Burnside Portland, OR 97215

(503) 236-5573

Dear Coalition Members and Supporters,

Today is a critical moment in the struggle for immigrant and workers’ rights. Today - more than ever - we need your help.

The Portland May Day Coalition is made up of grassroots community organizations, labor unions, faith communities, and individuals. We formed earlier this year in conjunction with the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition (PIRC) and Jobs with Justice (JwJ) in order to organize our communities in solidarity against the grave injustices we’ve experienced this year as a city and nation - particularly in regards to workers’ rights. The PIRC formed in 2006 in order to organize against the Sensenbrenner bill (HR 4437) - one of the most anti-immigrant proposals in the history of the United States – and succeeded in rallying a historic 40,000 participants in that year’s May Day march. The Coalition has since worked to protect the rights of immigrants through ongoing campaigns that focus on implementing a citywide raid response program, engaging faith communities in providing sanctuary to immigrants facing deportation, and educating the broader community on virulent policies unfairly targeting immigrants. Established nationally in 1987, JwJ works locally to protect the rights of working people to organize and to support community struggles in order to build a more just society.

May Day, also known as International Workers Day, is a celebration of the economic and social achievements of working people. Since 2001, Portland’s labor communities have revived the tradition locally and, together in 2006, witnessed tens of thousands of immigrants and activists taking to the streets in solidarity to demand fair treatment and equality. This year, the Portland May Day Coalition hopes to take advantage of the historic significance of this celebratory day, and build upon the energy, momentum and collective memory of past mobilizations to raise awareness and express public outrage at the most current attacks on our nation’s immigrant and working communities. Our efforts this year are aimed at mobilizing affected communities to participate in a day of joyous demonstrations giving voice to a symbolic, pre-emptive celebration of achieving our specific and overarching political demands.

Over the next month the May Day coalition will be organizing a March and rally that will take on new significance and will stand as a day of solidarity in Portland. We recognize the impact that US economic and foreign policy have on workers at home and abroad. Joining forces with the various Peace and Labor organizations, such as ILWU and PDX Peace, mobilizations on May Day will bridge the work of all movements working to build a more equitable society for all people. This march comes at a crucial time, when lawmakers are making critical decisions about our communities’ future. We will stand in solidarity with brothers and sisters in other parts of the state and the nation to demand liberty and justice for all.

But we need your help to make this march happen. Our coalition relies solely on the financial support of our member organizations and allies. We are asking all organizations for a donation of $200 in order to cover the costs of this march: printing flyers, running ads on the radios and television, obtaining march permits, sound system, door-to-door campaigns, etc. Anything that you can give is much appreciated. Your contribution at this crucial stage will make a real difference! Please make checks out to Jobs With justice (with “May Day Coalition” in the memo section) and mail to: 6025 E Burnside Portland, OR 97215

Thank you for your support and solidarity,

Portland May Day Coalition

Mar 27, 2009

March and Rally for Immigrant and Workers' Rights! Economic Justice for All!

We invite you to join with us to organize the May Day Rally and March.

As the Economic Crisis deepens, and immigrants and union workers--not greedy CEOs and bankers--are blamed, it's time for our movements to come together. May Day has a rich history going back more than a century as workers fought for the eight hour day. May 1st is now celebrated around the world as International Workers' Day, and has been celebrated for years in Portland. In 2000, a May Day march that brought together four campaigns (low-income housing, immigrants' rights, environmental justice and workers' rights) was violently broken up by the police. In following years, activists fought for the right to protest and won. In 2006, the May Day march focusing primarily on immigrants' rights was one of the largest marches Portland has ever seen, with estimates up to 40,000.

This year, we see an opportunity to make the connection between the economic crisis and the rights of workers and immigrants, and demand not just an economic recovery, but a whole new economy that works for all people. In the last election we raised our collective voices to call for real change, but the recent ICE raid in Bellingham shows that there is still much work to be done.

Organizing meetings are Tuesdays, 6:30pm at Voz, 1131 SE Oak St. from now until May 1st.

In solidarity,

The May Day Coalition