May Day 2010: For workers' rights and the environment, oppose racism, defend revolutions

Havana, May 1, 2010.

May 1, 2010 -- May Day -- saw millions of people mobilising around globe to oppose attacks on workers' rights, reverse the degradation of the environment, defend the rights of oppressed peoples and migrants and -- as in Nepal, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia -- to make, extend or defend unfolding revolutions.

In Nepal, Jed Brandt reports that between 500,000 and 1 million people flooded the streets on Kathmandu to demand the resignation of the government. The massive mobilisation -- called by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Young Communist League -- is the prelude to a general strike that begins May 2.

Hundreds of thousands march in Havana.

Across Cuba, reported Prensa Latina, "millions of men, women and children packed the main squares, marched along central avenues all over the provinces and municipalities of the nation declaring their support to the revolutionary process they have freely chosen". In Havana, hundreds of thousands marched. "Along Paseo Avenue and the Revolution Square ... an almost never-ending march in front of the monument to national hero Jose Marti brought together students, workers, sportspeople, professionals, technicians and even many foreign youngsters studying in Cuba. A huge bloc of more than 10,000 women ... marched with much happiness, enthusiasm, showing an unequivocal message of their support in the historical moment Cuba is living. The common slogan in all demonstrations was unity as the only alternative to overcome hardships and to stand up to the dangers coming from abroad, especially political harassment from Washington and some European capitals with the old illusion of finishing with the Cuban revolutionary process."

Venezuelans marched on May 1 to celebrate International Worker's Day. President Hugo Chavez also implemented a 15% wage increase, and the government broadened social security entitlements. The main national march was in the capital Caracas, where people chanted, danced, waved placards and banners and played music as they marched towards the presidential palace Miraflores. While there were no official or police estimates, observers estimate that 100,000 people turned out, celebrating the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution and its promotion of wage increases, better working conditions and better life conditions for the poor majority.

In Bolivia, the government of socialist president Evo Morales nationalised a number of electricity firms. The Cuban news agency Prensa Latina reported that "a large police contingent took over the plant of Electric Company Corani S.A., located in the town of Colomi, 52 miles from Cochabamba. Another group ... intervened [at] the facilities of the Empresa de Luz y Fuerza Electrica Cochabamba S.A.... other enterprises, Guaracachi, Valle Hermoso and Transportadora de Electricidad, were also taken over by police as part of the nationalisation process decreed by the government... In previous days, the Evo Morales administration advanced its intentions of nationalising three private power enterprises, subsidiaries of French and British firms." Morales was quoted in Al Jazeera as saying, "Basic services cannot be a private business. We are recovering the energy, the light, for all Bolivians."

Photos bt ArtfulActivist

Across the United States, large rallies have been held, with opposition to attacks on immigrants being a major theme in big cities and small towns. According the Los Angeles Times, "As many as 60,000 immigrants and their supporters joined a peaceful but boisterous march through downtown to City Hall, waving flags and holding signs blasting the harsh new immigration law in Arizona." However, LA police estimated the crowd at 95,000 and organisers said it was 250,000.

In Tucson, Arizona, 15,000 protested against the racist law. Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, said that Brewer’s signing of SB1070 had had an unintended effect: “It has brought el pueblo together, not only in Arizona, but across the nation!”

Up to 3000 protested in Washington DC. From New York City, Billy Wharton reported:

May Day is definitely back in New York City. The energy was high as around 30,000 people participated in two separate demonstrations. Many in the crowd were motivated by the recent decision in Arizona to pass harsh anti-immigrant legislation. For one day at least lower Manhattan was taken away from the yuppies and tourists who dominate it on weekends by the sheer size of the crowds.

An early march in Foley Square was organised by trade unions in New York City and more mainstream immigrant rights groups. Fifteen thousand answered this call and carried out a march around City Hall to demand real immigration reform. This demonstration followed up a well-attended rally on Wall Street on April 30 in support of financial regulation. Participants in both the April 30 and May 1 were greeted by a full lineup of official union and community spokespeople.

Things were a bit more raucous at the Union Square May Day demonstration. Speakers from several grassroots immigrants’ rights groups were backed up by hip-hop artists and spoken-word poets. Arizona was everywhere at this rally. People wore buttons urging a boycott of the state, signs demanded the repeal of the anti-immigrant law SB1070 and one handmade poster described Arizona Governor Jan Brewer as “the daughter of Hitler”...

Other marchers called for more systemic changes. “We are marching today to demand amnesty for all the undocumented”, said Kristin Schall of the Socialist Party USA, “If you live here and work here you deserve to have legal status.” Most in the march were sympathetic to this position, viewing it as an end goal for the movement.

In Turkey, Press TV reported, more than 200,000 people "gathered for the first time in 33 years in Istanbul's Taksim Square, where dozens were killed decades ago. The Taksim Square was declared off-limits after gunmen, during the 1977 May Day rally, killed 34 people in cold blood."

In Palestine, more than 4000 Palestinians held May Day demonstrations near the Erez crossing with Israel and the Rafah border with Egypt to protest at the lockdown of Gaza. Two thousand demonstrators waving red and Palestinian flags gathered near the Erez border crossing with Israel in northern Gaza in response to a call from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and other left-wing groups. Two thousand more gathered at Rafah, while hundreds of other demonstrators took part in a sit-in against the blockade -- which causes high unemployment in the impoverished territory -- at Rafah on the border with Egypt. "We call on the world to stop the siege of Gaza and to come to the defence of Palestinian workers in all Palestinian territories", said Ramzi Rabah, a protest organiser with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In Auckland, New Zealand, a huge march of 50,000 turned out to march against the government's plans to allow mining in the country's national parks. While not a formal May Day march, it highlighted the fact that environmental issues, particularly climate change, are a key issue for the left and progressive movement. Greenpeace ambassador Robyn Malcolm said: "For nearly 50,000 Kiwis to turn out and be prepared to speak with one voice, must tell the government something. And that something is this: we, the people of NZ get it; we get the argument, we see what you’re up to and we won’t have it. Our land will always be more important to our identity than some extra dollars in the pockets of mining companies."

According to the first capitalist press reports, in Europe hundreds of thousands took part in May 1 protests, including 300,000 in France.

Made with Slideshow Embed Tool. Photos by PRP Indonesia.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, 30,000 mobilised.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, more than 1000 people took part in a May Day march organised by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress and the May Day Committee. The committee includes the Oppressed People's Network (JERIT); Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram); Malaysian Youth & Student Democratic Movement; Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia and the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM). May Day marches began in 1994 and have since become an annual gathering. The themes, made crisply and vividly obvious through the chants from the protesters -- "GST: Makes Poor Poorer", "Bantah GST" (oppose GST), "Hidup rakyat" (long live the people), "Hidup pekerja (long live the workers), "Hari Pekerja, hari kami" (Labour Day is our day) and "Gaji minima" (minimum wages) could be heard as far as a mile away, reverberating along the bustling streets as the protesters headed towards the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall for a rally, reported Police tried to stop the march and arrested six people, including four PSM members.

Made with Slideshow Embed Tool. Photos by Peter Boyle.

In Sydney, 2000 marched with contingents from trade unions, left groups and supporters of liberation struggles from many countries. Supporters of Thailand's pro-democracy Red Shirts enlivened proceedings.

Two thousand took part in London on May Day 2010. Photo by HarpyMarx.

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 02:29


Sunday, May 02, 2010

This is what democracy looked like, Mayday 2010, Auckland, Aotearoa.

"Aotearoa is under attack -- STAND UP- FIGHT BACK!" echoed through Queen Street yesterday as over 50,000 people joined one of the biggest protests in New Zealand's recent history.

The National-Act-Maori Party Government wants to move the bulldozers into Schedule 4 Parks and reserves- beautiful parts of Aotearoa they want to ruin to dig up gold, silver and coal. Until now, this Government has got away with attack after attack, but the Mayday protest marks a turning point in the popular mood.

As well as the mining industry, many protesters targeted the National party's greed, and capitalism's willingness to destroy nature in pursuit of short term, shiny profits. A colourful and energetic Red Bloc led hundreds of people in explicitly anti-government, anti-capitalist chants, celebrating People Power and Democracy on the streets, and that only revolution could end this rotten system.

Without anti-capitalist, direct action politics, this huge movement of anger will be led into the dead ends of letter writing and submissions to parliamentarians. This is what happened with the movement against GE, and we should not repeat the same mistakes twice.

Strikes, mass blockades, green bans and sabotage of the bulldozers and mining equipment must be the weapons used to defend Aotearoa. The argument for where this movement goes now has begun- but it has given a huge shot of energy to people who have been fighting in the trenches of other campaigns against this rotten government.

Power to the People!

Video from Stuff HERE

Video from TV3 News HERE

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 13:23


May 2, 2010

By Enzo Rhyner, Pix by J.B. Connors

A friend and I met up and took the city bus to the rally, not really knowing what to expect. At each stop along the way more people, clearly immigrant families going to the demo, got on. Young men, women, whole extended families including grandparents and kids in strollers packed the bus.

We were 30 minutes early, but already several thousands had gathered in Union Park on Chicago’s near west side. The rally was scheduled for two hours, then a two mile march into the Loop. Thousands more flowed in during the speeches. It was a very diverse crowd– mainly Latino immigrants, especially from Mexico, but also immigrants from other countries as well. I saw contingents of immigrants from Ireland, Poland (and other eastern-European countries) and an organized group of African immigrants carrying banners proclaiming solidarity with all immigrants.

There many non-immigrant marchers as well–though they were in the minority compared to the immigrants. A sizable group of gay activists carried large rainbow flags and signs proclaiming that “No human is illegal”. There were large contingents of union members (mainly from the SEIU), catholic-organized groups from churches and local colleges, and even a contingent of mainly older sanctuary-movement activists. Many of the leftist political organizations were out in force. By the time the march departed, the crowd had swelled. It stretched for over a mile from what I could tell. An official police spokesperson said it was 8,000 people, though I thought more. In any case, it’s the largest Immigrants Rights rally since 2006 in Chicago.

I passed out hundreds of the Kasama May Day leaflet “Revolution is Happening in Nepal“. Most people clearly had never heard of the revolution there, but I noticed many standing around reading it, especially the side in Spanish.

Obviously there was lots of anger at the new Arizona law. That was clearly the reason the the larger turnout.

There were many spirited chants demanding “Justice Now” and denouncing Arizona Law and discrimination. Lots of signs and chants were demanding that Obama keep his promise to reform immigration law, and demanded an end to the deportations. Unfortunately, I don’t understand Spanish, so I missed the meaning of many of the speeches. In the crowd there was anger at being dehumanized (i.e. “we are WORKERS, Not ILLEGALS”). But there also was a festival spirit–a liberated area–where there was no fear and with people of different backgrounds and ethnicities pulling together in common support against these outrages, chanting and singing, eating snacks from the multitude of vendors.

As in earlier immigrant rights marches, there were many American flags. A number of the immigrant organizations are very “mainstream” and believers in the American dream–and emphasize what “good people” immigrants are, how much they contribute to the economy, etc. (all of which is true, of course).

I didn’t notice a lot of anger directed at the local cops. There were mounted police (as usual, for most large crowd scenes), and I noticed one small contingent of riot-equipped State troopers that seemed to be guarding the expressway, but in general there wasn’t a hug obvious clampdown-style police presence. Part is undoubtedly because in Chicago, the march is promoted by the city–it’s listed on the official website, and the Mayor (Daley) endorses it and has spoken there in past years.

More pictures from Chicago May First (from JB):

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 16:08


By Manuel Alderete

Saturday, May. 01, 2010

Over 100,000 march to protest racist Arizona "immigration" law; diverse crowd shows broad support against law.

Los Angeles Marches ...

LOS ANGELES - May 1, 2010

The air was electrified by a presence not felt since the Gran Marcha of 2006. At least 100,000 people marched through Downtown in solidarity with Arizona's victims of a new law that legalizes racial profiling. It is a law that has been denounced by President Obama, DHS Head Janet Nopalitano, the Mayor of Phoenix, the Sheriff of Pima County (Arizona), and even some Republicans who see it as draconian legislation.

Many of the protest signs carried bold statements calling the Arizona law "racist" and "Nazi"-like. There was a sense of urgency in their voices, demanding to "Boycott Arizona" and overturn Arizona's SB 1070 law on the grounds that it was racially discriminatory and unconstitutional.

Unlike other marches where several other "niche issues" are brought into the march, this May Day march was focused like a laser: Arizona's new state law is a modern-day version of legalized White Supremacy, smacking of the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany and Apartheid "Pass Laws" in South Africa.

As usual, the march began at Olympic and Broadway and continued north about a dozen blocks, ending near City Hall. The crowd surged with optimism as music played and ralliers chanted to Boycott Arizona and pressure President Obama to take swift action against Arizona's legalized Apartheid.

It should also be mentioned that Los Angeles Police Department had a very light footprint at the march, with only a few officers monitoring from the sidelines. And just as well: the march was peaceful, upbeat, and a proud statement of civic resistance to "legal" fascism.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I was pleasantly surprised to see the diversity of protesters in the crowd. There was a noticeable amount of White, Chinese, and African-American protesters who all felt that they also had a reason to stand up against what SNL's Seth Myers labeled as "dry fascism" on national TV.

This is a reminder to us all that there are non-racist Whites out there who are willing to speak out against White Supremacy. They see that this is a Human Rights issue (the humanity of Mexican and "Central American" people is being totally violated) and the human part of them also feels violated by Arizona's law.

Walking to the march, I happened to get flagged down by a European-descent couple vacationing from Australia. They asked me to explain the march and the issues. We had an excellent conversation about the ongoing legacy of European colonialism and how that applied to "wild west" Arizona.

Again, I was reminded that truth and logic will prevail in this struggle. But we also have to summon the courage to demand that our rights be recognized. Those of us Mexicans and "Central Americans" are NOT immigrants to this continent. We are Indigenous (mixed and full-blood) people of this land. Our blood is native to this soil, and has been spilled over and over on it, paying for this land many times over. We absolutely cannot remain dehumanized as we have been during the last 500 years since Europeans invaded and colonized our continent. This is OUR time for CHANGE (to borrow a phrase).

More photos at

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Tue, 05/04/2010 - 17:24

Elizabeth Schulte reports on May Day protests around the country, which took aim at Arizona's racist anti-immigrant law that enshrines racial profiling.

WHEN TENS of thousands of immigrants and their supporters took to the streets on May 1--150,000 in Los Angeles, 65,000 in Milwaukee, 20,000 in Chicago and many more in other cities across the country--there was a common sentiment: "Todos somos Arizona."

We are all Arizona.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's signing of radically anti-immigrant legislation last week sparked defiant demonstrations for May Day, as people of all ages, races and immigration statuses came together to opposed a law that would encourage racial profiling and the harassment of anyone "suspected" of being undocumented.

Countering the divide-and-conquer mentality of Arizona legislators who pushed through SB 1070--and the right-wing immigrant bashers whose politics they mimic--solidarity was the theme of the day on May 1.

As another popular slogan went, "Nos somos ilegales." We are all illegal.

In 2006, a federal anti-immigrant proposal sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) sparked outrage and activism. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants took to the streets in March and April, leading up to the mega-marches of May 1. Immigrant workers and their families breathed new life into the international workers holiday that until then was hardly ever celebrated in the U.S., even though it was born here.

Though they weren't as large as 2006, this year's protests were bigger than the last few years, as many people heard about what happened in Arizona and said: Enough is enough.

In addition to the outrages in Arizona, many protesters had something else on their minds: foot-dragging on immigration reform in Washington. The massive march in Chicago was peppered with signs directed at President Barack Obama and Congress, such as "Obama: We Need Immigration Reform Now" or simply "Los Amigos Mantienen Las Promesas" (Friends Keep Their Promises).

Other protesters came with demands going beyond the kind of reform bills that Congress is considering, which attempt to strike a bargain by including provisions that would increase the criminalization and exploitation of immigrants through border militarization and guest-worker programs.

These protesters demanded "Deport ICE!" referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency--as well as "No human being is illegal" and "For a world without borders."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

-- Los Angeles had the largest turnout on May Day, with more 150,000 people gathering for the mile-long march to rally for immigration reform and workers' rights.

Families, unionists and other activists came out in solidarity with Arizona, carrying banners stating "We are all Arizona" and chanting "Aquí estamos y no nos vamos!" (We're here and we're not leaving.)

Contingents included the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which brought hundreds of their members on buses; the Southern California Immigration Coalition, which marched holding flags from various nations; and members of Filipinos for Genuine Legalization.

American Apparel workers from the nearby downtown factory marched in a contingent of over 500 and gave away shirts that read "Legalize LA Immigration Reform Now."

A lesbian, gay, bisexual and trangender (LGBT) contingent marched to demand that the federal government to grant same-sex families the same immigration rights as heterosexual couples when one member of the couple is a U.S. citizen. One marcher said that they were fighting for immigrant rights because the LGBT community "knows what it is like to be discriminated against."

At the end of the march, a speaker from the Teamsters called on union members "to stand with our brothers and sisters to fight for immigrant rights because we are the backbone of this country...we built this country."

An SEIU representative informed the crowd that Meg Whitman, who is running for governor of California, is against amnesty and immigration reform: "Racism does not stop in Arizona, it flows into our streets and schools. We have a fight in Arizona and in California, and must win immigration reform now."

Singer Gloria Estefan kicked off the march, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Cardinal Roger Mahony were also among the speakers.

Overall, the sentiment of the day was solidarity among many different communities in a united fight for equal rights and against the racist Arizona law and lack of immigration reform promised by Obama.

-- In Milwaukee, Wis., home of anti-immigrant Rep. James Sensenbrenner, 65,000 people marched, according to organizers. Speakers warned that seven other states are considering enacting laws like the one passed in Arizona and called on everyone to stand up.

"We want to send a message of solidarity and humanity against hatred and intolerance," Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, told the crowd. "This has opened a new chapter in the struggle for civil rights. We will not have the forces of hate and bigotry use immigrants as scapegoats for the economy and loss of jobs."

She said that a local alderman is planning to introduce a resolution May 3 that will ask the Common Council to consider a boycott by not doing business with Arizona-based companies or attending meetings or conferences in that state in protest of the new law.

A dumpster fire, suspected to have been started by anti-immigrant bigots, interrupted the speakers, almost starting a building on fire and forcing the march to start early.

-- In Chicago, immigrants and their families were so eager to march that hundreds turned out an hour before the rally was scheduled to begin. They passed around a bullhorn and shared their stories with one another, sometimes breaking into tears--about friends and family members who have faced deportation.

After listening to speakers at Union Park, some 20,000 protesters, according to organizers, crowded into the streets and marched downtown to Daley Plaza, which was filled to capacity long before the last marcher arrived. Members of the Immigrant Youth Justice League (IYJL), who are undocumented, spoke out from the stage, as did march organizers from the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Rev. Jesse Jackson asked protesters to boycott Arizona by not vacationing or attending conventions, and called for the state to lose the 2011 Major League All-Star game.

During the march downtown, protesters chanted, cheered, blew horns and smiled at one another as they took over the downtown streets, chanting "Sí se puede!" and waving American and Mexican flags, banners and homemade signs.

The Comité 10 de Marzo made up signs that left space at the bottom for marchers to put their own message. Some people wrote "Shame on Arizona"; others demanded "Stop breaking up our families."

Smaller contingents made up of other immigrant groups, including Poles and Africans, marched, as did trade unions such as UNITE HERE, SEIU and the Teamsters Local 743. There were contingents from LGBT organizations, like Join the Impact, underlining the importance of coming together to fight as one. IYJL marched behind a huge banner that read "Undocumented. Unafraid."

But for the most part, the march was made up of people--students, workers and families--who heard about the march word of mouth, and wanted to stand up and be counted. "I was so worried and so sad about what happened in Arizona," one man said. "Could it happen anywhere?"

-- In Seattle, chants of "Boycott Arizona!" and "Sí se puede!" carried through the crowd of almost 10,000. Everyone--from student anti-budget cuts groups to immigrant rights activists to labor unions--came together in support of immigrants rights and against the recent passage of Arizona SB 1070.

Galvanized by the legalization of racial profiling in Arizona, one group of marchers wore T-shirts that asked "Do I look illegal?" Cars honked in support as the crowd snaked through downtown.

In Yakima, in rural eastern Washington, several thousand rallied. Other small vigils and rallies were held throughout the state.

-- In Houston, Texas, police estimated that 8,000 people turned out for the May Day march for dignity and respect for all. Organizations from all over the metropolitan area united to show support for immigrants' rights.

Amid chants of "El pueblo unido jamás sera vencido" and "Pueblo Unete," people in the community dropped what they were doing and joined in the march. Workers at a McDonalds came out into the street to show solidarity by providing free water to protesters.

"It's encouraging to see so many people out for immigration after an increase in oppression," said protester Brendan Laws. "This shows the strength of our community."

Professor Lorenzo Cano said, "This march is necessary to fix the immigration laws and provide an opportunity to those who are undocumented in this country, who in fact are contributing to our country as they represent a solution, not a problem."

-- In San Francisco, some 6,000 people turned out for a May Day march and rally--nearly double the number many organizers had expected and far larger than last year's march.

The main demands of the march were full legalization and amnesty, money for jobs and education, not for war, taxing the rich, and no more budget cuts. Anger at Arizona's SB 1070 was high, and played a significant role in putting people back into the streets for this May Day.

The march stretched for over four city blocks, and there were many contingents representing labor, immigrant rights groups, LGBT rights coalitions, political organizations, community organizers and budget cuts activists.

A group of 12-15 racist Minuteman came to hurl insults at the marchers, but they were dwarfed by the size of the pro-immigrant rights march.

-- In New York City, more than 5,000 people rallied in Union Square and marched down Broadway to Foley Square to demand immigrant rights and stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Arizona.

"We believe hate and racism should be outlawed," said one speaker. "We believe immigration reform should not be about criminalization. We believe immigration reform should not be about militarization. We believe immigration reforms should be about human rights."

The rally adopted the slogans "Boycott Arizona" and "Beat back the Arizona attack" in addition to its original demands of full legalization for all immigrants and equal rights for all workers.

Organized by the grassroots May 1st Coalition, the crowd was made up of unions, community organizations and individuals. "I was looking around online after hearing about Arizona, and I found this," said Marisol, a student at City College, "so I called up a friend, and we came out."

Emma, who heard about the rally through leaflets distributed in her neighborhood, said, "It's terrible that this happened in America. It's obvious the law is racist, how could they do this?"

Angry slogans carried the day as the crowd grew in size. Chanters alternated with speakers and radical music groups for several hours. At three, the crowd stepped off to march down Broadway and rally at Foley Square, near City Hall, where speeches and chanting continued.

"Rallies are fine, but to stop laws like Arizona, we're going to have to shut it down!" said Clarence Thomas of San Francisco's International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 from the stage.

Felipe, a union restaurant worker and veteran of the massive 2006 protests that defeated the Sensenbrenner bill, said of the May Day strikes that year: "We don't run the country, but without us,. the country wouldn't run."

-- In Washington, D.C., a couple thousand people came out to Lafayette Park in front of the White House to rally on May 1. Standing in solidarity with people of color who will be most affected by Arizona's new law, protesters held signs that read, "Shame on Arizona."

Speakers throughout the day called on the president to fulfill his promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Some pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, deportations have actually increased under the Obama administration. Speakers made it clear that this is only the beginning of the fight for immigration reform.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), who has introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act (CIR ASAP) in the House of Representatives, was one of the final speakers. Throughout his speech, he alluded to the importance of civil disobedience in the fight for civil rights, mentioning the history of women's rights, African American rights, worker's rights and all the movements in the U.S. that have fought for justice.

The rally then moved from the park to directly in front of the White House, where more than 35 people, including Gutierrez, were involved in civil disobedience by sitting in front of the fence of the White House and holding printed-out letters that spelled "Obama Stop Deporting Families." After about 30 minutes, they were arrested.

-- In Austin, Texas, thousands of protesters rallied in the sweltering heat. Republican state legislator Debbie Riddle has announced plans to propose identical legislation to Arizona's SB 1070 for Texas in 2011.

Marchers also called out the Obama administration, with chants like "Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha!" The crowd was also heavily made up of young Latinos, and passage of the DREAM Act was a major demand. As a speaker from the front put it, "We need education, not deportation!"

-- In Rochester, N.Y., more than 100 turned out for a rally and march downtown for May Day. Planned over a month ahead of time, the march's slogans were "Bail Out Workers, Not the Banks" and "Equal Rights for All Workers." However, the events in Arizona made immigrant rights the real focus of the march's chants, signs and energy. The march was very young, with a number of Hispanic college fraternities bringing out their chapters.

Alejandro Cubria, Ben Daniels, Roger Dyer, Elizabeth Fawthrop, Brian Lenzo, Michael Schwartz, Rebecca Sun, Alex Tronolone and Brian Ward contributed to this article.