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06/2/2017 | Building an Immigrant Justice Initiative, Civic Engagement, Strengthening Voting Rights and Democracy

May Day Protests Target Corporate Backers of Hate

This year on May 1, CPD affiliates and partners from Washington, DC to Salem, OR, filled the streets with actions and demonstrations in honor of May Day. Immigrants, workers, and allies mobilized in large numbers to support CPD’s latest campaign against the Corporate Backers of Hate - a campaign that targets nine of the country’s largest corporations that stand to profit from Trump’s hateful agenda and most egregiously prioritize profits over people. Almost all of our partner organizations took part in May Day with ten actions targeting specific corporations in various cities and states, with a particular focus on Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase - because of their financial ties to immigrant detention centers and private prison companies. Read press from the day's events in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and U.S. News. You can see highlights from the actions on our blog!

May Day Actions and Events

Washington, DC – CPD partner, CASA in Action, together with local allies, led a May Day march and rally in the nation’s capital, with thousands of protesters marching from Dupont Circle to end up rallying in front of the White House.

Press clips:
May Day protest: 'I support immigrants. But closing businesses is really tough.'
The Washington Post, May 1, 2017

Minnesota – CPD partners, CTUL, NOC and TAMN were part of a broad coalition that organized several days of May Day events, including “A Day Without Immigrants” action and protests at Home Depot, and the Franklin Street Bakery in support of the Fight for $15 (minimum wage).

Press clips:
On May Day, Protestors Take to the Streets Nationwide
The New York Times, May 1, 2017

Pennsylvania – CPD partners, Make the Road PA (MRPA), One PA, and CASA worked together with other allies to organize community and student protests all over the state, converging for a rally in the state capital, Harrisburg. In Reading, PA, at a march organized by MRPA, several hundred people protested against ‘287g’, a federal program which would let the sheriff's office partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). MRPA also helped organize more than 120 businesses to close their doors on May Day in support of immigrants and workers’ rights.

Press clips:
Immigrants and advocates join nationwide rallies to protest Trump immigration policies
PennLive, May 1, 2017

Hundreds in Reading take to streets for May Day protest
WFMZ, May 1, 2017

Phoenix, AZ – CPD partner, LUCHA, together with local allies, organized a march from the Arizona State Capitol to the Fourth Avenue Jail in support of immigrants and workers’ rights, and to demand an end to the collaboration between federal ICE agents and the county jail.

Press clips:
Hundreds Take to the Streets in Phoenix May Day March

U.S.News, May 2, 2017

Detroit, MI – CPD partner, Good Jobs Now (GJN) organized student walk-outs in five high schools and one middle school in primarily black neighborhoods of Detroit that have been devastated by the lack of resources for public education. Organizers of the walk-outs reported that as many as a thousand students walked out of school and participated in rallies to protest against school closures.

Corporate Backers of Hate Actions and Events

New York City, NY – CPD partners, Make the Road New York (MRNY), New York Communities for Change (NYCC), and other local allies kicked off May Day with an early morning action targeting corporate backers of hate Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase. Thousands of protesters carried a banner which read, “Their profits, our pain,” as well as large photos of immigrant family members. They marched to Wells Fargo and then to JP Morgan’s Park Ave headquarters, where a dozen people participated in civil disobedience and were consequently arrested.

Press clips:
Dozens of protesters arrested during May Day rallies in Manhattan
New York Daily News, May 2, 2016

May Day March in NYC to Call Out Trump Agenda
New York 1, May 1, 2017

Charlotte, NC – CPD partner, Action NC held a rally outside of Bank of America to protest Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and other corporations that are complicit with Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. Bank of America locked its doors before the protesters could get inside, to deliver a letter demanding that Bank of America distance itself from elected officials who support Trump’s immigration policies.

Press clips:
Protesters backing undocumented immigrants locked out of Bank of America HQ
Charlotte Observer, May 1, 2017

Aurora, CO – CPD partner, UNE/FRESC along with Good Jobs, Strong Communities, and otherl allies, organized a vigil to honor immigrants currently detained at the Aurora Detention Center. Felicia Griffin, Director of FRESC, spoke at the event to denounce Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase’s financial ties to the GEO Group and other companies that run private immigration detention centers (including the Aurora Detention Center). This May Day event also included a rally to demand that Colorado companies remove their bid for the US-Mexico border wall project. Due to this public pressure, PCL, a major CO construction company, announced that it would not bid for Trump’s proposed border wall project.

Press clips:
May Day Actions Target For-Profit Detention Center
Public News Service, May 1, 2017​

Suffolk County, NY – members of MRNY in Long Island kicked off their May Day march by delivering a letter to JP Morgan Chase, demanding that it distance itself from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. Rosalba, a member of MRNY, spoke at the rally about her 53-year-old son who has a diagnosed mental health condition, was recently detained, and is now facing deportation.

Elizabeth, NJ – Make the Road New Jersey (MRNJ) organized a banner walk from Wells Fargo to JP Morgan Chase. MRNJ members carried hand-painted banners and passed out flyers in front of both locations.

San Jose, CA – Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), together with a broad local coalition, organized a day-long demonstration followed by a march. The theme of the day was Breaking Walls, Building Bridges, and symbolic walls visually highlighted the role of corporate backers of hate in creating walls of bigotry and economic inequality.

Phoenix, AZ – The May Day march in Phoenix (described above) included a rally in front of Wells Fargo.

Washington, DC – the May Day march in Washington (described above) included a stop at a local Wells Fargo bank and JP Morgan Private Bank’s global office, where activists delivered a demand letter.

Reading, PA – the May Day march in Reading (described above) included a stop at a local Wells Fargo bank.

Salem, OR – PCUN, together with Oregon’s statewide immigrant rights coalition, organized a May Day march and rally, which denounced Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase.