Bay Area May Day rallies show support for workers, Palestinians (

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Bay Area May Day rallies show support for workers, Palestinians

Fox local


May 1, 2024 at 3:10 PM

SAN FRANCISCO – People around the Bay Area held demonstrations on May 1, a traditional protest day, where workers rallied for immigrant rights, and also to stand in solidarity with Palestinians overseas.

Hundreds were expected throughout Tuesday to march and chant from the Mission in San Francisco to City Hall, and then to the Ferry Building. There was a crowd with hundreds of people on the move in Oakland in the afternoon.

The workers say they’re speaking out for immigrant workers’ and undocumented workers’ rights, as well as the right to organize labor.

But this year, workers also say they are rallying and marching in solidarity and in sympathy with Palestinians they say are targeted by the war in Gaza.

“It’s a day for us to really emphasize that this country, the Bay Area, runs only through the efforts and all the work of the workers,” said Benny Zank, of the Bay Area Labor for Palestine. “That includes immigrant workers, undocumented workers. That includes all of us as city workers.”

Workers say they are essential to the functioning of society and too often their contributions are overlooked. They say “May Day” is a globally recognized day for them to speak out, speak up and make their voices heard.

In San Jose, labor unions and immigrant rights groups say they came together to bring attention to what working-class people are going through.


“I have to work two jobs to get the necessities for my family and to pay bills,” Dolores Dominguez, Double Tree Banquet Server and member of Unite Here.

<div>A crowd of several hundred demonstrators marched in Oakland on May 1, 2024.</div>
A crowd of several hundred demonstrators marched in Oakland on May 1, 2024.

“There are still workers around the whole state, the whole nation, getting their meal breaks stolen from them, they get hours stolen from them. They get overtime and not get paid,” said Misrayn Mendoza, with Amigos de Guadalupe Center for Justice and Nonprofits.

‘I work in San Jose’ was this year’s May Day theme and the day is internationally recognized as a day to recognize the struggles of workers. Multiple groups set up tables in the park, including the Wage Theft Coalition, South Bay Youth Change Makers, and the Communist Party, USA.

“We think it’s important for the working class to be pushed to the front of this pro-democracy movement to best fight fascism in this country,” said Alex Mao, a member of the Communist Party, USA.

Anti-war protesters and those who are against the war in Gaza also joined the rally, calling for peace around the world and for the U.S. government to stop financially supporting Israel.

“We see here that our tax dollars and everything should be prioritizing the American people because we have homelessness on the street, we have roads that aren’t being built, schools that are being closed. So why are our tax dollars being prioritized on a war or even violence that we don’t want,” said Michael Paradela, with the San Jose Peace and Justice Center.

Some of the workers also told me that despite the higher minimum wage, making ends meet is still difficult, and they’re concerned about being able to retire comfortably after working all of their lives.

A rally had been planned to block the Port of Oakland. But the plan was foiled because the port was shut today due to a monthly meeting of union workers, officials said.

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