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100 rally for May Day on steps of Salt Lake City and County Building

By Theresa Nielson |
May 3, 2016
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May Day in Salt Lake City. (FightBack!News/Staff)

Salt Lake City, UT - On May 1, 100 people gathered at the Salt Lake City and County Building to celebrate, table and rally for International Workers Day. The Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) hosted the event, joined by Students for a Democratic Society, Utah Against Police Brutality, Utah Anti-war Committee, Workers World Party, and Socialist Alternative.

Speeches by local activists and shop floor union leaders focused on labor and immigration rights. Joey Brandin performed songs such as There is Power in a Union and Solidarity Forever.

“As a Mexican immigrant, I can tell you that it is almost impossible to find a job in the state of Utah if you're undocumented. It means that many of these people will find themselves homeless, exploited under the table, or resorting to unconventional means of survival. In Utah, laws like SB 81 are denying undocumented queer people a chance at an affordable post-secondary education and a better future,” said Adrian Romero from Stand for Queer Lives.

Connor Richards from Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), spoke about student solidarity with workers around the world. Then Richards shifted to immigrant rights at home saying, “We need you to support the SDS campaign Education for All, and the cutting of lines 36 through 42 of Senate Bill 81 that prevents state-funded scholarships from being granted to undocumented people.”

Erica Cole, union steward of the American Postal Workers Union, spoke about racist discrimination in employment, “It is ridiculous that if one of my daughters says she is white on a job application the outcome will be vastly different than if she says she is Black.”

Samantha Stott from Utah Against Police Brutality and Cop Watch explained to the crowd, “Speaking not only of the working class, but also those who are not working, those who are dealing with addiction and mental illness who are on the streets. They don’t have the help that they need.”

Carly Haldeman of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization was the final speaker, “I’m calling out to the working class to stand against the fraudulent system we call capitalism. We have to do the hard work! We have to organize!”

Ian Decker, also a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and emcee for the rally, thanked the people who attended the event, and invited them to a Marxism-Leninism Day School on Saturday, July 9.

Joey Brandin then sang the Internationale in solidarity with the workers and oppressed peoples of the world.

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