May 1st is commemorated internationally as a day to celebrate workers rights and the labor struggle. Especially within the United States, a large contingent of those who observe the holiday are migrants. There are many ways that labor issues and migrant issues overlap. The Uprooted team attended this year’s May Day demonstration in New York City’s historic Union Square, where labor organizers and migrant activists held a joint demonstration for the first time in several years. Perhaps it was the inspirational outpouring of labor activism in Wisconsin or perhaps a general feeling that it is time for old methods to change, that led organizers to recognize the need to unite their movements.
At the demonstration Uprooted chatted with activist Leilani Montes of the Association of Feminist Filipinas Fighting Imperialism, Re-Feudalization and Marginalization (AF3IRM), a “national organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism”. AF3IRM, like Uprooted looks to tie together social issues which overlap and intersect, such as how modern day imperialism leads to migration and to laws that violate workers rights, much like the upsurge in temporary worker programs.
In the clip featured below, Leilani explained her opinion to us about the ways in which labor and migration issues mix together:
How do you feel labor and migration issues are related? Share your thoughts!