Wednesday, April 28, 2010

May Day Events in San Francisco and Beyond

[Note: If you are not in San Francisco, please scroll down to the middle of this post for more info on how you can take part in May Day activities in your city – and what we need O4I members to do.]

As in years past, Out4Immigration will be marching at May Day 2010 in San Francisco, with added strength in numbers!

At the end of the recent Building Bridges Conference (which was hosted by One Struggle One Fight), participants from the conference voted to form an LGBT contingent and to march with O4I in solidarity for passage of the UAFA! We will be assembling outside of the Mission Cultural Center at 2868 Mission Street before noon on Saturday, May 1 to join the march to Civic Center, where a rally will take place from 2-4PM.

Our contingent will be distinguished by the presence of an immense rainbow flag which once flew at Castro and Market. Bring signs, banners, friends, and family so we can march in solidarity to demand immigration equality for LGBT citizens, and comprehensive immigration reform which honors all families—and make sure to wear your O4I T-shirts!

Contact Chris Barnett at for additional details. Let Chris and/or Kathy at know if you plan to attend. We need volunteers to help carry our banner and to pass out our stickers. If you don’t have an O4I t-shirt, let us know what size you need so we can bring you one. We ask for a $10 donation for the shirt, if possible.

The wisdom of forming coalitions and supporting other communities emerged frequently over the course of the Building Bridges weekend, and the march and rally will present us with opportunities to do so. This strategy is all the more important as we have just witnessed events in Arizona. O4I’s presence in the march and rally has been welcomed and encouraged by many of the organizations which have worked to plan for May Day 2010 events, including the May Day 2010 Coalition, SFILEN, and RIFA, and we have been given a slot among the many speakers who will take to the stage at Civic Center to express the need for CIR, social justice, and workers’ rights. This is our chance to demonstrate our commitment to equality for all.

Some of the points being pushed for CIR by the planning effort include:
1) No on the Biometric Social Security Card
2) Shortening the proposed waiting period for legalization in the bill
3) No to the idea of provisional work visas till legalization happens.
4) All families are included in CIR, including UAFA and resolution of problems many Asian immigrant families are facing with the family reunification routes.
In addition to the march and rally, there will be pre-march activities happening the morning of May 1 at Dolores Street Community Services (DSCS) at 938 Valencia (@20th and 21st St). They are going to be constructing an altar for immigrants, will have an Interfaith Prayer Service, and a Press Conference. The prayer service includes various Christian leaders, including Bishop Mark Andrus of Episcopal Church. They are expecting that as many as 16 news agencies may show up as well. The news conference is at 10am at DSCS, Prayer Service at 10:30am. They will leave DSCS at 11:30am and march to 24 Street and Mission BART station to join all groups who are assembling.

For those of you not in San Francisco, we have an even bigger ask of you. We NEED you to join up with your local May Day marches and rallies to show support of your immigrant community.

Click here to see where an immigration reform rally/march will take place near you - and show up! Wear your O4I t-shirt and talk to people about the need for comprehensive immigration reform to include ALL families. We know this is a big ask, but from those of us who have begun interacting with our communities, either through coalition building or getting our city and state resolutions passed in support of UAFA, we can tell you that our issue is very well received. People just don’t know about it. When you tell them that the federal government ignores our families, treats LGBT couples like “legal strangers” and many American citizens have had to leave the U.S. and live in exile to stay with the person they love, guess what? People listen!

If you’re not sure what to say, watch this video of Amos Lim’s speech at a recent immigrant rights’ rally in San Francisco. He talks about how there are simply no rights for same-sex binational couples. It’s a moving speech – and you can use his talking points to tell your own story.

Don’t have an O4I t-shirt? You can get one online at CafĂ© Press:

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