Around 150 people marched from the Central District to downtown on Saturday, May 1, as part of El Comité’s annual May Day or International Workers’ Day march. It was one of the smallest turnouts in two decades, but the spirit of the protesters was undeterred as they walked on behalf of immigrant and workers rights. On their way, attendees passed through Chinatown-International District where JM Wong, co-founder of Massage Parlor Outreach Project, spoke out against the recent rise in hate and violence against Asian Americans. Other speakers included Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Washington State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos.
This year’s Trabaiadorxs Esenciales y Excluidxs (Essential and Excluded Workers) march highlighted the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on vulnerable and essential workers. “2020 became a major challenge for workers,” reads the event listing on El Comité’s website. “As a result of the virus, thousands of businesses closed, some forever. Millions of workers were furloughed or lost their jobs. Many lives were thrown into a world of unemployment, poverty, compounding rental debt, and homelessness.” Protesters also marched for immigration reform, equitable vaccine access, cancelling rent debt and evictions, and solidarity against police brutality, white supremacy, and systemic racism.
Maile Andersonhas had the immense privilege to travel to amazing places with a camera beside her. She believes documenting the changing world, whether in the form of protests or other cultures, is important work that heightens awareness in this time of social justice. Follow her on IG: @tinypicturetaker.
Ronnie Estoqueis a South Seattle-based freelance photographer and videographer. You can keep up with his work by checking out his website.
Featured Image: May Day protesters started their march at St. Mary’s Church and made their way down Jackson Street towards the Chinatown-International District. (Photo: Ronnie Estoque)
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