May Day – international workers day – Over 18 businesses in the Valley closed today as part of national strikes to show the economic power of immigrant workers. Since we had the day off, hundreds of people (including Smith College students who walked out) went downtown to the Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center, where we listened to speeches, and then filled Main St, marching to City Hall for more speeches and stories, in Spanish and English, about the contributions and struggles of immigrant workers in our community.
Later in the evening, there was a rally in Springfield and a march to City Hall. My housemate, co-worker, and friend Clarissa Lyons talks about her experience sitting through the City Council meeting where they discussed a resolution to make Springfield a Sanctuary City. She noticed that, with one exception, it appeared that all the white councilors voted against it, and all the councilors of color voted for it.