The Minneapolis / St. Paul branch of the Workers International League  helped organize and participated in an Immigrant Rights march through downtown St. Paul to the state capitol building demanding “immediate and unconditional legalization for all” and “stop the raids and deportations”. The weather held up – there was rain in the forecast – and an estimated 800 to 1,000 people came out for the march and rally.
Most marchers were Latino immigrants, but there were also many others from the community.
It was a good turnout given the weather, the fact that it was a week day, and the general ebb in the movement as compared to two years ago. There was decent labor representation (UFCW local 789 had a banner) an also a small anti-war contingent, as well as an energetic contingent of students.
The rally was opened by a member of the Lakota tribe, one of the “original people of this land”, who welcomed everyone to America, which was received with raucous applause. Speakers ranged from an immigrant working mother who explained the history of May Day and the Chicago martyrs, two trade unionists who explained the importance of this day and focused on the need for workers to unite in struggle to improve our quality of life, a Latino war veteran linking this movement with the struggle against the war, and a young U.S. citizen whose undocumented father was recently deported to Mexico, leaving the family devastated and in financial ruin.
The WIL comrades helped with security, carried banners, discussed with the media, provided translation and took on other logistical tasks, as well as selling copies of Socialist Appeal  and El Militante Sin Fronteras . We also handed out leaflets for our upcoming event with Jorge Martin and other local speakers on “Revolutionary Latin America “.
This modest march and dozens of others like it across the U.S. will give confidence to the millions of immigrant workers who are suffering from a wave of state terror in the form of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and deportations – on top of long hours, low wages, racist discrimination and often inhuman working conditions. All in all it was an energetic and well organized event, setting the stage for future similar actions in the Twin Cities, probably in the fall.