Arrests, impassioned protests kick off historic May Day in the Bay Area
Four protesters have been arrested in Oakland while shutting down an Alameda County administration building in an act of civil disobedience. Several hundred people gathered outside the San Francisco ICE office with about 40 blocking the driveway and thousands later marched through the city’s downtown in the name of immigrants and laborers.
And in San Jose, demonstrators at the Mexican Heritage Plaza are preparing to march toward City Hall and the Arena Greens for an event expected to draw “tens of thousands” of people.
These are the scenes playing out across the Bay Area during what’s expected to become a historic May Day from massive rallies, road shutdowns and business closures to walkouts at dozens of schools and workplaces. With demonstrations heating up in San Francisco, Oakland, Mountain View, San Jose, Morgan Hill, and Concord and beyond, police and transportation officials are bracing themselves for a day of turbulence and unrest. About 10,000 are expected in San Jose for the city’s 1 p.m. rally and march beginning at Mexican Heritage Plaza.
Protests will likely rival the magnitude of the historic May Day rallies of 2006, when millions of people across the U.S. took to the streets demanding federal immigration reform. In San Jose, 100,000 people turned out that year.
More than 100 protesters were on the scene in Oakland demanding an end to the county’s law enforcement corroboration with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the planned expansion of Santa Rita Jail and an end to the county’s participation.
Many had chained themselves to the front door at 1221 Oak St. while other protesters were lying on the pavement with chalk lines around their bodies, pretending they were dead. Arrests were reportedly made after some protesters took to the roof of the building.
Across the bay at the San Francisco ICE office today, protesters clad in red and white painted big slogans on the street that read “resist,” “no ban” and “no wall.”
Protesters conduct a May Day rally in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, Monday, May 1, 2017, in San Francisco, Calif. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
“My parents were put in concentration camps during World War II and no one stood up for us. What’s happening now, with Trump’s immigration policies, is the same situation,” said Joyce Nakamura, who lives in San Francisco. “I feel obligated to be here. I feel obligated to stand up for people.”
At 11 a.m., on a sunny day with a perfectly blue sky, several thousands of people gathered at Justin Herman Plaza and began marching up Market Street toward Civic Center Plaza. Cheers and chants echoed over the embarcadero.
The immense crowd of at least 3,000 walked slowly up Market Street, bringing downtown to a standstill. An Aztec dance group led the way, and smoke from their fragrant incense hovered over the parade.
Juan Antonio Garza of Costa Rica held aloft a big banner saying “con o sin papeles, yo soy 100% Americano,” meaning, “with or without documentation, I’m 100 percent American.”
“America is a continent, not a country” said the 42-year-old in Spanish. “I’m more American than the white Europeans who moved here.”
A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department said there were no arrests tied to May Day protests as of Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile in the South Bay, at least 300 people have gathered at the Mexican Heritage Plaza on Alum Rock Avenue in San Jose, holding signs, chanting, singing and reciting poetry to celebrate Silicon Valley workers — and fight against policies that threaten their rights.
But the rally was about more than protecting workers, many of whom find themselves priced out of the Bay Area. It was about fighting against federal policies that threaten immigrant rights, basic healthcare, environmental justice and affordable housing.
Without workers, one protester said, America couldn’t be built — and neither could President Donald Trump’s lavish hotel towers.
“Workers make everything happen,” said Tom Linebarger, a 74-year-old retired painter who drove from Redwood City to take part in San Jose’s rally and march. “Donald Trump never built anything. He never build a birdhouse — he got workers to do it.”
Maria Trujillo, a janitor who is now a U.S. citizen, said she knows “what it’s like to be afraid in her own community.”
Immigrants, especially women, are afraid to report domestic violence and sexual abuse, fearing it could lead to deportation, Trujillo said at a May Day rally in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, which drew a few thousand.
“The same police that should be protecting us will turn us over to (ICE),” she said through a translator.
The origins of May Day, a traditional marker of spring, as a day of protest in the United States are rooted in the bloody history of the labor movement. In the late 1880’s, there were many nationwide strikes pushing for better working conditions, including things now taken for granted, such as an eight-hour work day.
Since 2006 the focus of May Day in the U.S. has shifted to immigration. Given the widespread antipathy toward Trump anti-immigration policies, many predicted that this year’s turnout may be bigger than ever around the world.
A protester uses a megaphone during a MayDay protest in front of ICE near Sansome and Washington streets in San Francisco, Calif., on May Day, May 1, 2017, to encourage keeping schools safe for immigrant students statewide. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
“With so many different groups of people rankled and upset with the slew of executive orders issued in the last 100 days, it does seem like labor protests against Trump administration goals will have an uptick this year,” said Scot Guenter, professor of American studies at San Jose State University.
“Because of the tradition of May Day protests or labor celebrations in many other parts of the world, I would also expect to see anti-Trump protest signs and banners being carried on May 1 not only in many American cities and communities, but also in many other parts of the world that believe his actions will hurt worker rights in their lands, too.”
Restaurants, businesses and organizations throughout the region also are expected to shut down for the day and most will allow employees to participate in local rallies.
Students rally outside New Highland Academy in East Oakland, Calif., on May Day, May 1, 2017 to encourage keeping schools safe for immigrant students statewide. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)
In Concord, people gathered at Meadow Homes Park to urge city leaders to adopt a sanctuary policy and a rent stabilization ordinance.
“We’re really looking for a sense of safety for the community because the fear is at an all-time high, said Debra Ballinger Bernstein, executive director of Monument Impact.
The park where the “Roof and Refuge” rally and march began is in the heart of the Monument Boulevard neighborhood, home to a large immigrant Latino community.
“We’re focused on the two things that are really deeply impacting the community today.”
Protesters in San Jose. #MayDay2017 #ShutItDownSV
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swfProtesters in San Jose are now making their way through downtown. #MayDay2017 #ShutItDownSV http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-x2COHVoAA7tjv.jpg#SanJose ‘s #MayDay2017 march passed City Hall, will end up at Arena Green on N. Autumn St. Hundreds are holding signs & flags. #ShutItDownSV
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swfChoice words for Trump and Christopher Columbus. #MayDay2017 #Oakland #MayDay march in #Fruitvale district of #Oakland . #WorkersDay #immigration t.co @eastbaytimes @OakTribNews @OaklandMayDay
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swf#Oakland #MayDay2017 crowd marching down International Blvd. about 3 blocks deep. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-x0AS9WAAEYpBP.jpgSpeaker calls attention to Filipino immigrants who could face deportation. #MayDay2017 #Oakland
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swf#MayDay march #Fruitvale #Oakland #WorkersDay #immigration More: bayareane.ws/2pQle8L @eastbaytimes @OakTribNews http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xymHbV0AAlzYK.jpgProtestors getting honks from passing cars. Chanting “si se puede” & “we will not be divided” as they march toward SJ City Hall. #MayDay2017
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swfHere comes the #MayDaySV17 march. Heading down Santa Clara Street toward #SanJose City Hall. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xxL9aXoAA3JmC.jpg#MayDay2017 marchers making their way along Santa Clara Street in San Jose toward City Hall. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xujbfWsAAUtMQ.jpg”About 10,000 are expected in San Jose for the city’s 1 p.m. rally and march beginning at Mexican Heritage Plaza.”… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…#MayDay2017 marchers making their way along Santa Clara Street in San Jose toward City Hall. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xujbfWsAAUtMQ.jpg#MayDay2017 rally underway in the heart of Fruitvale #Oakland
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swfMay Day March in San Jose, Calif. has begun at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xcRaaXkAAM5pl.jpgFollow @RamonaGiwargis for live updates of the #MayDay2017 rally in San Jose. twitter.com/RamonaGiwargis…The inimitable Michael Moore @MMFlint thumbs nose at Trump from Broadway mercurynews.com/2017/05/01/mic… @mercnews @sf_curran Female janitor who got her citizenship: “I know what it is to be afraid in my own community.” #MayDay2017 #Oakland The succeeding NY Times! Well-said. Real news about the underrated @MMFlint . Happy. twitter.com/MMFlint/status…#MayDay rally in #Fruitvale #Oakland . #WorkersDay #immigration bayareane.ws/2pQle8L @eastbaytimes @OakTribNews http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xiwnyVwAEU4_V.jpgHere’s where May Day traffic will snarl in the Bay Area today mercurynews.com/2017/05/01/her… via @mercnews ###MayDay2017 crowd favors @SFBART to Fruitvale rally/march #Oakland http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xe_c_XkAASkCq.jpgMay Day March in San Jose, Calif. has begun at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xcRaaXkAAM5pl.jpgLol. Important question raised at #SF ‘s #MayDay protest #WheresKendall ? http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xNFyqXcAEWRSM.jpgFollow @RamonaGiwargis for live updates of the #MayDay2017 rally in San Jose. twitter.com/RamonaGiwargis…Maria Guerrero, 28, a barista at @intel ‘s cafeteria, lives in a home with 9 others. She’s marching today to fight for workers. #ShutItDownSV http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xUI9ZWAAAJQG-.jpgFor some, #MayDay a radical day of protest. t.co #MayDay2017
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swfTom Linebarger, 74, a retired painter, says workers make everything happen. “Donald Trump never built anything in his life.” #MayDaySV17 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xRlaJXkAEyZ-6.jpg#TrafficAlert : It’s a mess on westbound I-580 right now. Big rig caught fire. bayareane.ws/2qqLQuk @EastBayTimes Interesting read: Silicon Valley hires the most alumni from 10 universities, and none of them are in the Ivy League qz.com/967985/silicon…Lady Liberty marching in SF #MayDay March. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w6qtOXUAARiRm.jpg#MayDay march time lapse.
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swfTrump’s EPA cuts would end programs protecting kids like 18-month-old Alex from lead paint in their homes:… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…Dozens of marchers from the sidewalk join the #MayDay2017 rally. “Get up, get down. There’s a migrant movement in this town.”
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swf#UPDATE : Second youth suspect in April 22 mass robbery of BART train has been arrested. bayareane.ws/2oZfqoz @EastBayTimes @mercnews There seems to be no end in sight to the crowd at #SF #MayDay demonstration. Crowd coming up on Civic Center Plaza,… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…At least 200 gathered at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. After performances, they’ll march to #SanJose City Hall and Arena Greens. #ShutItDownSV
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swf#MayDaySV17 begins in SJ. “The overall theme today is building bridges. We’re seeking to build bridges instead of walls,” said @WorkerVoice http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xHC_PXsAIas1V.jpg”>http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xHDAvWsAA7rx4.jpg#MayDaySV17 begins in SJ. “The overall theme today is building bridges. We’re seeking to build bridges instead of walls,” said @WorkerVoice http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xHC_PXsAIas1V.jpg”>http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-xHDAvWsAA7rx4.jpgTrump shouldn’t deport immigrants “unless he wants to be scrubbing toilets himself or picking his own strawberries” says Mayra Medel #mayday #MayDay march time lapse.
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swf#MayDay march time lapse.
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swf#MayDay March passes up Market Street
//embed.scribblelive.com/js/jwflvplayer/player-licensed.swf.@mayoredlee and several SF supervisors march with a big banner saying “resist” in several languages #MayDay2017 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w9aEVXoAEfxN2.jpg”We can be angry and celebrate at the same time!” says MC at #MayDay2017 march, as the group moves slowly through downtown http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w88JJXYAIHxN4.jpgLady Liberty marching in SF #MayDay March. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w6qtOXUAARiRm.jpgLady Liberty marching in SF #MayDay March. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w6qtOXUAARiRm.jpg#MayDay in San Francisco http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w09IcXcAEqY6y.jpgTrump is “the number one terrorist in the world,” says Juan Antonio Garza, who’s from Costa Rica #MayDay2017 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w3aZkXsAE9jT0.jpgThe march has started moving up Market Street #MayDay2017 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w1GnZWsAEbmS6.jpgHere’s where May Day traffic will snarl in the Bay Area today bayareane.ws/2oQkPmQ http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wvqczXsAA7ObO.jpgThe march has started moving up Market Street #MayDay2017 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w1GnZWsAEbmS6.jpg#MayDay in San Francisco http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-w09IcXcAEqY6y.jpgCalifornia ban on gay conversion therapy allowed by Supreme Court bayareane.ws/2pPbUlx http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wJYcsXsAAjR82.jpg.@valleywater Board Prez John Varela in Washington DC, meeting with regulators to get federal funding for Coyote Cr… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…Half Moon Bay restaurant owner “devastated” after worker arrested on suspicion of hiding camera in women’s restroom wp.me/p7ShJJ-j5A9Four protesters were arrested in Oakland this morning during #MayDay2017 action mercurynews.com/2017/05/01/mas…SJ’s #MayDaySV17 march begins 1p at Mexican Heritge Plaza. Follow me, @TatianaYSanchez @caseytolan @malaikafraley for updates. #ShutitDownSV Colorful outfit at San Francisco #MayDay2017 march http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wyI5RXgAA7HJY.jpgSJ’s #MayDaySV17 march begins 1p at Mexican Heritge Plaza. Follow me, @TatianaYSanchez @caseytolan @malaikafraley for updates. #ShutitDownSV #MayDay2017 protest at SF ICE office one of many in Bay Area. @mercnews bayareane.ws/2qq0QbC http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wpLrUWsAAjKOe.jpgSJ’s #MayDaySV17 march begins 1p at Mexican Heritge Plaza. Follow me, @TatianaYSanchez @caseytolan @malaikafraley for updates. #ShutitDownSV The latest on arrests, protests and traffic throughout the Bay Area as demonstrators kick off #MayDay2017 mercurynews.com/2017/05/01/may…”We are here in dark days,” says @DavidChiu at #MayDay2017 rally. Vows to fight for sanctuary schools bill in state legislatureHere’s the scene at San Francisco #MayDay2017 rally. Starting with a reading of a prayer written by Cesar Chavez http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wpcGVWAAETb1T.jpg#MayDay2017 demonstrators chant “We’ll be back” after door blockers unchain themselves after 3+ hours. http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wojKuXUAEdQf2.jpgThe latest on arrests, protests and traffic snafus throughout the Bay Area as demonstrators kick off #MayDay2017 :
mercurynews.com/2017/05/01/may…The latest on arrests, protests and traffic snafus throughout the Bay Area as demonstrators kick off #MayDay2017 :
mercurynews.com/2017/05/01/may…Alameda County admin building #MayDay2017 demonstration http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wgU_pWsAEUClf.jpgArrests, skirmishes rock Bay Area during today’s May Day demonstrations bayareane.ws/2pART1m http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-whWh7WsAA_T5k.jpgHundreds of people gathering at SF’s Justin Herman Plaza for #MayDay2017 march http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wm5pZXUAEMK1F.jpgAlameda County admin building #MayDay2017 demonstration http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wgU_pWsAEUClf.jpgThe latest on arrests, protests and traffic snafus throughout the Bay Area as demonstrators kick off #MayDay2017 :
mercurynews.com/2017/05/01/may…Alameda County admin building #MayDay2017 demonstration http://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-wgU_pWsAEUClf.jpgFour activists were arrested this morning when they got in top of this first floor roof landing (below GSW banner).… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…
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