‘There is no going back to normal’ — Annual workers rights march returns for Seattle May Day 2021

Seattle May Day marchers in 2018. The city has had a run of mostly peaceful May Days focused on workers rights and immigration

Officially, the City of Seattle isn’t issuing permits for marches and rallies due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions but organizers of the annual May Day march here say they will again take to the streets Saturday.

“Join us on May 1st as we take the message to the streets that ‘there is no going back to normal!,'” organizers from El Comité write.

The city says “unrestricted events” like marches can’t adequately be controlled for the number of participants and social distancing so it isn’t issuing permits and officially closing streets or providing planned Seattle Police “First Amendment support” but a spokesperson says City Hall is aware of “multiple events” planned to take place over the weekend including Saturday’s march.

The 2021 May 1st march is being planned to begin at noon outside Iglesia de Santa María at 20th Ave S and Weller. The traditional step off point at St. Mary’s Church this year will begin a march through the city that organizers say will remind people of the need to organize for civil rights even through the struggles of unrest and pandemic in the past year:

As workers, we have entered 2021 with eyes wide open after having witnessed the murder of George Floyd, the caging of children in our southern border and the most massive racist outpouring since the civil war. Asian communities along with Native, Black, Latinx, and Immigrants have suffered brutal and cowardly attacks. 2020 has exposed that the nature of the present system needs to change. Health Care, Inclusive Immigration Reform, Public Safety Reform, Homelessness, Housing and Jobs must be a priority. Yet, for us to make considerable gains we must ensure the right to organize!

May Day and its place in pro labor and workers rights marches and protest has remained a major annual event in the city with El Comite’s efforts at the center of the day. Continue reading

Masks, plywood, and a workers’ rights caravan: May Day 2020 in Seattle

Seattle’s tradition of a May Day celebration of worker and indigenous rights will continue despite COVID-19 restrictions — but there will be no marching.

Immigrant rights activists will gather at the annual rally and march start point Friday outside 20th Ave S’s St. Mary’s Church for a “Caravan to Olympia” hoped to “bring the plight of the undocumented to light,” organizers at El Comité and the May 1st Action Coalition announced: Continue reading