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Madison May Day caravan supports community safety and workers’ rights

By Alicia Spietz |
May 7, 2020
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Madison May Day caravan supports community safety and workers’ rights

Madison, WI - On a sunny May 1 afternoon which marked both May Day and A Day Without Immigrants, a caravan comprised of about 20 different vehicles made its way to the Capitol Square in a careful procession in support of a timely cause.

Organizers gathered at noon in the parking lot of the Madison Labor Temple to begin the drive along Park Street to the Square. Participants remained in their vehicles, or on bicycles at a distance from others, to respect rules of social distancing and provide a safe rally for all who wished to participate. Safe participation was ensured as well through use of hazard lights and a slow pace along the route. Event organizers even provided a playlist and a list of chants that could be utilized by anyone who wished to participate.

The caravan proudly toured the Capitol Square over the course of an hour, with participating vehicles, bicyclists and onlookers displaying signs reading “Justice For all,” “PPE over flyover” and “People over profits.” This event was an innovative and safe opportunity for participants to support increased rights and safe working conditions for essential workers, including hazard pay, as well as a moratorium on rent, mortgage and utility bill payments for all and emergency relief funds for those in need.

This rally took place in stark contrast to the opposing rally that took place on the corner of Mifflin Street, which involved several religious groups and business representatives, none of who wore any protective equipment, and who were demanding the state to remove restrictions and open up once again.

In all, the May Day caravan provided an inclusive space for participants that respected the current situation to support the expansion of rights and protections for all. This event is sure to be a positive learning experience to allow for organizing in such a challenging time. Despite the circumstances, the working class and our allies find new and creative ways to continue to fight back.

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