By John Furman
Photos By Sylvia DeSwaan
Central New York Citizen Action and other labor and community groups held the Third Annual May Day rally at the DeSales Center to commemorate past human and labor rights victories and continue the struggle for social justice for workers, the elderly and disabled, immigrants, and people of color. Over 50 people attended the event.
The May Day Rally featured food, music, dancing, speakers, films, and opportunities for activism. There was a Maypole for dancing. Soul food was provided by Theresa Weston. Among the speakers were local journalist/ magazine founder/editor Jeanette Lenoir and labor activist Bill Perrotta. Performers will include Ritmo Caribeno Youth Dancers, Jeasy, J. Schnitt, Kevin Keating, and Steven Zacaroli.
“May Day is the day to bring together all the important struggles going on and show our support for labor and human rights,” said John Furman of Citizen Action. “We will stand up for workers, immigrants, disabled, LGBTQ, and people of color and oppose budget cuts, attacks against unions, and threats to our democracy, the arts, and the environment It has never been more important to stand with immigrants and demand our government respect the rights of all people.”
Jeanette Lenoir, editor, and founder of the publication “ePluribus: America” was the major speaker for the event. She discussed that fighting racism must be foundation for social justice struggles. She said: “Be the change you want to see in the world. Your platform is you and what you do in the world matters. We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and say that it’s somebody else’s problem.”
A special focus of the rally was to protest President Trump’s proposed draconian budget cuts. He unveiled draft legislation on April 25 to cut housing benefits that help America’s poorest seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and other people afford to keep roofs over their heads. President Trump will soon ask Congress to cut (or “rescind”) funding that policymakers have previously enacted for appropriated programs, undermining the recent bipartisan deal to fund the federal government for 2018 and 2019. Persons impacted were videotaped as part of an online protest.