Labor Day March focus on immigrant rights
Photo(s) by Stephen Dorian
By Lara Moscrip, Bay City News Service
September 4, 2006
Marchers gathered on San Francisco's Embarcadero this morning
to start a half-day series of Labor Day speeches and rallies that
ended near City Hall.
They met at Justin Herman Plaza around 10 a.m. to pass out leaflets,
wave banners and signs, and articulate their viewpoints on issues
relating to immigration and workers' rights.
One organizer, Evelyn Sanchez of the Immigrant Workers Freedom
Ride Coalition, said the group's mission is half-labor, half-immigrant
"For today's Labor Day, it's about unions finding that many
of their workers are immigrants. There's a link between labor
and immigrant rights," she said.
Speakers in front of City Hall marked the end of the march, which
had filled Market Street some three or four blocks at a time with
people chanting slogans and making music. Speakers switched from
English to Spanish and back with the help of translators.
Sanchez said leaders from the Service Employees International
Union Locals 87 and 790, as well as Mayor Ruben Abrica of East
Palo Alto, were slated to speak.
Dozens of groups waved signs while walking along Market Street,
including the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Gray Panthers
of San Francisco and Out4immigration.
Kathy Drasky of San Francisco marched as part of the Out4immigration
group. She supports its cause of equal rights for gays and lesbians
trying to sponsor their non-U.S.-citizen partners for green cards
and on the path to citizenship.
"I can't sponsor my Australian partner for a green card
because we can't get married here. We are 'legal strangers,'"
Labor Day marches and rallies also took place in Oakland and
Jose. A San Jose rally against illegal immigration was scheduled
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