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Your Guide To May Day Rallies And Actions Citywide

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 28, 2017 6:40PM

Haymarket Statue, 2014 (Photo: Aaron Cynic)

Thousands of demonstrators are expected to hit the streets for multiple rallies and marches on Monday in honor of May Day, International Worker’s Day.

This year’s demonstrations could be some of the largest the city has seen in more than a decade, when some 400,000 people took to the streets in 2006 to protest Bush-administration immigration policies as well as call for comprehensive immigration reform. Traditionally, marches and other May Day actions in Chicago are centered around immigrants and other marginalized peoples; and considering the policies and rhetoric the current administration has directed toward undocumented immigrants, Monday’s main demonstration could see many thousands.

“The march will be focused on protecting communities that are under attack by the Trump regime and highlight the need to rebuild community and define what community safety means to us,” said the Chicago May Day Coalition in a statement.

The coalition—which is made up of more than 100 community, labor, political and other activist groups—is calling for the legalization of undocumented workers, an end to raids on the homes and workplaces of undocumented immigrants, and a stop to the “criminalization, mass incarceration and deportation of Black, Latinx, migrant, Arab, Muslim, and communities of color.” Additionally, the coalition says the marches are to defend worker’s rights, the rights of women, people with disabilities, transgender, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people, and a call to action on both climate change and fully funding public services.

“Just as Chicago workers struggled for the 8-hour day in 1886, today we are marching for freedom from criminalization and fear at home and at work," said Lucia Wrooman, a domestic worker and member of the Latino Union of Chicago. "As an immigrant, I brought my values and abilities to the U.S. in hopes of contributing to a healthy society. My life has been a struggle to adapt to many things - a new language, a new culture, and a new type of work. But we should never adapt to fear."

May Day March, 2016 (Photo: Aaron Cynic)

While the main rally and march will begin at 1 p.m. in Union Park, concluding around with another rally at 4 p.m. in Daley Plaza, actions throughout the city will begin as early as 6:30 a.m., with the Chicago Teachers Union holding five different rallies at neighborhood public schools.

“Together on International Worker's Day we will resist the rise of racist attacks, defend our immigrant communities against deportation, demand funding for public services including education, and fight to rebuild our communities,” said the union in a statement.

At 11 a.m., tthe R3 Coalition will rally at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and local FBI field office to “underscore connections between racial justice and economic justice.” That march will feed into the rally at Union Park.

"Chicago is still a segregated but a new generation of activists are building unity across community lines, inspired by the election of Donald Trump, the persistent budget crisis in Illinois, the continued lack of police accountability, and the crisis of public education in Chicago, disproportionately impacting Black and Latinx youth," wrote the R3 coalition in a statement to Chicagoist.

Whether you’re a seasoned activist or a first time demonstrator, it’s important to remember to properly prepare for protests, particularly those that go long in both time and distance. Remember to dress for multiple types of weather, bring extra batteries for your mobile phones and cameras, keep people you trust informed of your whereabouts, and know your rights. It's also a good idea to write the number of the National Lawyer’s Guild (312-913-0039) on your body should you or your companions be arrested. For a full guide with tips and other helpful information, head over here.

Full schedule of events and actions

CTU School Rallies

7:15 a.m. - Seward Elementary
4600 S. Hermitage

7:25 a.m. - Hubbard High School
6200 S. Hamlin

7:30 a.m. - Roosevelt High School
3436 W. Wilson

8:15 a.m. - Mollison Elementary
4415 S. King

8:30 a.m. - Hanson Park Elementary
5411 W. Fullerton

10:00 a.m. - All out for May Day - Pilsen March to Union Park
Plaza Tenochtitlan - 1519 W. Cullerton

10:30 a.m. - Lucia Gonzalez Parsons Way Sign Unveiling
Kedzie and George St - 3200 W. George St.

11 a.m. - Resist.Reimagine.Rebuild Coalition May Day Morning March to Union Park
Roosevelt and Ogden - March to Union Park for Citywide march

11:30 a.m. - SEIU Local 73 rally outside UI Hospital
1740 W. Taylor

11:30 a.m. - SEIU Local 73 rally on the UIC quad
750 S. Halsted

11:30 a.m. - Loyola Speak Out! Morning Rally
Meet at the Loyola Red Line Stop. Leave to Union Park afterwards

12 p.m. - Illinois Labor History Society May Day Celebration
Union Park - Haymarket Martyrs’ Memorial
With guest speaker Pinar Ozcan, representing the Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions

1 p.m. - Rally for Immigration Justice
Union Park, 1501 W Randolph St

2 p.m. - March from Union Park to Daley Plaza (route map)

4 p.m. - Rally at Daley Plaza