May Day celebrants embrace workers’ rights


City College students and clubs converged with local activists to march for equality in the workplace on this year’s May Day. Photo credit: Celia Jimenez

Diego Lynch

City College students and San Diego area activists gathered at the corner of Park Blvd and A St to participate in the Workers United for Dignity and Justice March, in honor of May 1 or “May Day,” an international worker’s rights holiday.

May Day commemorates the Haymarket Affair of 1886, where a protest in favor of an 8-hour workday in Chicago escalated into a violent clash, leaving seven police officers and four protesters dead.

But this year’s protests were peaceful, and the tone was set by a gamut of speeches including testimonials from low-wage workers sharing their plight. The march started at 3 p.m. and moved through downtown San Diego, ending at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan, where more speakers addressed the assembly.

The day’s themes included action against deportation and border militarization, and an increased minimum wage to $15 per hour, as part of the San Diego “Fight for 15.”

This national movement demands the right to unionize, quality public education, and an end to workplace discrimination against women and the queer community. San Diego area unions, protest groups and student groups organized the event.

Many of the students who participated in the march came from the City College “May Day City Jam,” an event hosted by the student government offering music, poetry and tabling by student clubs and programs.

One of these clubs, Students in Power, has protested at multiple “Fight for 15” events. They wore black t-shirts with a raised fist printed on them, and were the only City College club involved in planning the event.

Although May 1 is not a federal holiday in the US, it is in most European, Latin American and Asian countries.

Find out more about the “Fight for 15” movement here: