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Arizona organizations plan May Day marches to support immigrants, workers

Supporters of immigrants' rights march in downtown Washington during an immigration protest Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s unions, immigration groups and others will take to the state capitol on Monday, May 1, also known as May Day, to speak up for workers and human rights.

Groups including One Arizona, Fight for 15 and Puente will be marching to the state capitol starting at 4 p.m. and concluding with a demonstration.

Gilbert Romero with Fight for 15 said Arizona workers must stand up for their rights now more than ever due to attacks from President Donald Trump and his administration.

“[Part-time workers] deserve at least $15 an hour and the right to form a union,” Romero said. “We’ve seen over the past 100 days of the Trump administration, his attacks on labor unions, the attacks on workers.”

Puente will also be there to stand up for immigrant rights, said event organizer Maria Castro.

Castro said the group will march to Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix to tell Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone that the “(former Sheriff Joe) Arpaio shadow still lingers as long as immigration is in the Fourth Avenue Jail.”

While the various Arizona organizations might be supporting different causes, Pita Juarez with One Arizona said May Day demonstrations are a “great tradition to keep going — to keep telling workers, ‘Hey, we value you. We value what you do.'”

Another strike that will involve boycotting businesses on May Day will take place in downtown Phoenix starting at 3:30 p.m.

Over the years, May Day has evolved from a day of spring celebration to a day to demonstrate worker solidarity and protest.

A bombing at the Haymarket affair in Chicago marked the first moment that May 1 was chosen as International Workers’ Day.

The bombing came after demonstrators gathered to support an 8-hour workday. As police tried to get them to disperse, a bomb was thrown and police shot into the crowd, killing four.

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