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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Education & Student Activism | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Labor & Workers
May Day in Santa Cruz: Creating an Ongoing Network of Solidarity
May Day in downtown Santa Cruz this year saw a wide variety of community members coming together and rallying to honor the global struggles of the worker. The morning of May 1 saw students at UC Santa Cruz support AFSCME local 3299 union members at the university, and then later march downtown where a group of community members, populated largely with people active in Occupy Santa Cruz, met them on Mission Street after themselves marching up Pacific Avenue.
An officer with the Santa Cruz Police Department, with video camera in hand, was waiting for the student marchers when they arrived at Pacific Avenue. The downtown rally itself was held across from the Santa Cruz Post Office in front of friendship garden, and people in attendance spilled out onto Front Street. Speeches were made and songs were sung honoring workers. Community members "danced" around a may pole, and members of the Occupy Santa Cruz Food Justice Working Group served food.
Event organizer's for the day distributed the following information to media members:
"Millions of people throughout the world - workers, students, immigrants and migrants, the unemployed and underemployed - will take to the streets on this day to unify our diverse struggles. Historically, May Day has been a day of recognizing the struggles of workers. In a time of tuition increases while student debt topples 1 trillion dollars, millions of families suffering from an illegal foreclosure process, deportation for non-violent crimes in the tri-county area averages 46% while California at 20%, and unemployment in California at 11%, this is our opportunity to come together in solidarity and demand a system that provides a sustainable living for the working class. This year's May Day event is not only to call attention to these austerity measures we continue to face, but also to create an ongoing network of solidarity between Santa Cruz students, workers, and community members."
For more coverage from earlier in the day at UC Santa Cruz, see:
Workers and Students Unite for May Day at UC Santa Cruz
An officer with the Santa Cruz Police Department videotapes May Day marchers from Pacific Avenue.
Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane.
Occupy Santa Cruz Food Justice Working Group.