One of the organizers of yesterday’s May Day March and Rally, Michael Araujo of Rhode Island Jobs With Justice, called it “the first of the beginning of the best May Days Providence, Rhode Island is ever going to have.”
The event was ambitious: A two mile march through Providence, from Burnside Park to Armory Park, with nine stops along the way. At every stop there were speeches and calls to action. Activists, organizers and residents of our state called out the Donald Trump administration on its deportation priorities in front of the US District Court of RI, the military industrial complex and war for profit in front of Textron‘s world headquarters, the Providence City Council for its failure to pass the Community Safety Act (CSA) in front of Providence City Hall, education policy in front of the RI Department of Education and the Providence Public School Department and even called out Bishop Thomas Tobin for his statement that people shouldn’t give money to panhandlers in front of the Diocese of Providence.
I was especially pleased to see women from RAGE (
Over thirty different organizations contributed to the May Day celebration. About 40 people spoke or entertained with poetry and music. In Armory Park food was served, with vegetarian options.
The march started out with around 300 people, but only about half that number completed the entire route. Some left the march early to attend a Providence City Council Ordinance Committee meeting about the CSA. Others headed directly to Armory Park to prepare that location for the march’s arrival.
“For five hours today, we actually did create a new world where food was free,” said Araujo at the end of the day, “We shared each others company equally, safely and beautifully. Children were able to play without any fear. And everyone lifted each other up throughout this entire process.”
Below is all the video of every speaker and performer and some pictures.