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May Day in Houston demands worker and immigrant rights

By Fabian Van Onzin |
May 3, 2015
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May Day march in Houston demands worker and immigrant rights
May Day march in Houston demands worker and immigrant rights (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Houston, TX - There were a number of events here to celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1. First, the Houston Socialist Movement held a May Day speak-out with many groups. Leaders spoke about the need to end capitalism, build a socialist movement and make a revolution. They denounced the anti-worker, anti-immigrant and racist Republican Party in Texas, led by Governor Greg Abott. Speaker after speaker expressed a great sense of unity and hope for a socialist future. Later in the evening, there was a May Day dinner to build a spirit of solidarity amongst revolutionaries.

Then on May 2, over 300 people marched in the annual May Day march. The march was led by immigrant rights organizations and trade unions, including SEIU and the AFL-CIO. Low-wage workers, part of the Fight For 15 campaign, marched despite many being undocumented. They chanted, "Sí se puede," and "This is what democracy looks like." They marched through a working class Chicano/Mexicano neighborhood as the community cheered them on.

In addition, the Higher-Education Workers Association participated, an organization for adjunct professors at community colleges in Houston. Their sign read, "Health benefits for all adjuncts," and "Professors for immigration reform." To show their solidarity, they chanted, " "Down, down with deportation! Up, up with education."

Rudolfo Palmo of the Higher-Education Workers Association said, "We are marching today because adjunct instructors are low-wage workers. We teach seven to ten courses per semester, which requires over 60 hours per week of work, yet we receive less than $2000 per course. We have no job security. We want health benefits, pensions and a higher wage. We also support immigration reform, as many of our students are effected by harsh immigration policies in Texas.”

In one of the most conservative states in the country, there is fortunately still a platform for progressive, as well as revolutionary politics.