Hundreds gathered for a rally outside San Francisco City Hall on May 1, capping off a march that drew activists into the streets to commemorate International Workers Day. The events were organized by a broad coalition of immigrant rights advocates to call for improvements to the recently unveiled proposal for federal immigration reform, which will go before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week. [More photos after the jump]
Olga Miranda of SEIU Local 87, the San Francisco Janitors Union, addressed the crowd. “I want to be able to recognize sheet metal workers, carpenters, laborers, hospital workers, housekeepers, domestic workers,” she said. “We are a proud economy. … All we want is for workers to be able to come out of the dark. We want to make sure that we are not exploited for the color of our skin, that we are not pushed into the darkness. We are Chinese, we are Arabic, we are Filipino, we are gay, we are transgender. We are workers! And comprehensive immigration reform needs to be inclusive.”
Activists from Causa Justa / Just Cause led the crowd in a unity chant in five different languages.
Putri Siti, an undocumented student from Indonesia, shared the story of when she and her family thought they might face deportation. “I am more than just an illegal. I am more than just undocumented. I’m a student. I’m a dancer. It doesn’t matter what paper I have. And now, I am proud to say, that I am undocumented, unafraid, unashamed,” she said.