Last May Day, we were graced with a history lesson from URI professor Erik Loomis on the origins of International Workers Day. This May Day, Rhode Island is graced with actual workers fighting in real time for better working and living conditions.
And so fast food workers, hotel workers, those unfairly swept up in the foreclosure crisis, immigrants and many more will march together in solidarity to City Hall and the State House.
Jo-Ann Gesterling, a Warwick Wendy’s worker who has been leading the fast food fight for a $15 minimum wage in Rhode Island, is speaking at the first stop on a Jobs With Justice-led march to the State House.
From a Burger King on Broad St., the activists will march to the Providence Hilton, where a hotel worker will speak about their recent efforts to form a union and more recently to ask the Providence City Council to pass a $15 minimum wage ordinance for the hotel industry.
And when group reaches the State House, Lilia Abbatematteo, who has been fighting an unjust foreclosure and simultaneously lobbying for the Just Cause bill which would stop tenant evictions, will speak about her plight and ensuing cause.
Speakers from Fuerza Laboral, the Olneyville Neighborhood Association, and Committee of Immigrants in Action, will be speaking on how the immigrants’ rights movement brought May Day to the US, and on campaigns to win driver’s licenses for undocumented people, stop deportations, and accomplish immigration reform at the national level.
Suzette Cook, whose son Joshua Robinson was brutally beaten last year by the Providence Police in a high profile case, will speak on racial profiling, and the criminalization of people of color and working class people.
The march starts at 4:30pm at 280 Broad St., Providence.
It was organized by RI Jobs with Justice, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, Fuerza Laboral, Olneyville Neighborhood Association, American Friends Service Committee, RI People’s Assembly, Committee of Immigrants in Action, UNITE HERE Local 217.
Here’s the full itinerary:
Thursday, May 1st
Rally begins at 4:30pm at 280 Broad St., Providence (Burger King), where Jo-Ann Gesterling, Worker at the Warwick Ave. Wendy’s, will speak on the Campaign for $15/hr and a union for Fast Food Workers
March Stops at:
The Hilton Hotel, where workers from the Renaissance and Hilton join together to demand respect, better working conditions, and a $15 minimum wage for hotel workers across the city.
Providence City Hall, where Mil Herndon, member of Direct Action for Rights and Equality, will speak on the need for the city of Providence to fully enforce its “First Source” ordinance and provide jobs for Providence residents when companies receive huge tax breaks
RI State House, to hear speakers on:
– Immigrant’s Rights: Campaigns for Driver’s Licenses for All, to Stop Deportations, and for Comprehensive Reform at the National Level
– Just Cause Legislation: Allow Tenants to Stay in their Homes after their Landlords are Foreclosed on
– An End to Racial Profiling: Hear Suzzette Cook, whose son was brutally beaten by the Providence Police, share her story