Thousands of people have marched through US streets in May Day rallies, many backing immigrant and workers’ rights and criticising what they see as anti-immigrant rhetoric from presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
May Day marches around the world have traditionally been for workers’ rights but in the US, many of the marches have become a focus for immigrants and pro-immigration Americans, a tradition started with massive demonstrations in 2006 against a proposed immigration enforcement bill.
In Los Angeles, a massive inflatable version of the front runner for the Republican nomination hovered over the marchers as they waved flags and held signs calling out Mr Trump for his remarks about immigrants, workers and women.
Among the policies they have criticised is Mr Trump’s promise to build a wall along the US border with Mexico.
Mr Trump denies he is racist or anti-immigrant but says he is simply seeking to stop illegal immigration.
Many of those marching were also calling for an end to deportations and voicing support for an Obama administration plan to give work permits to illegal immigrants whose children are US citizens.
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, a spokesman for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said: “In addition to fighting for workers’ rights, we are fighting for our dignity this time around, our self-respect.
“We can certainly encourage folks to look at what they’re watching, what they’re hearing and have them represent themselves and their families – whether they can vote or not – and say: ‘We are not the rapists. We are not the criminals you are talking about. And we are quite good for this country’.”
Many other cities in the US were planning May Day marches to criticise racism, xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment.
Tomas Kennedy, an organiser of the planned Miami march, said in a statement: “The Trump effect has taken over the media and silenced our voices.
“It’s time to stand up against the current threat to democracy, freedom, human rights, equality, and the welfare of our country and all our people.” – SKY NEWS