Things That Matter

Thousands Of People Marched For A $15 Minimum Wage Today

May 1st has been celebrated as International Worker’s Day, or “May Day”, since the Roman Empire era. Today, thousands of people gathered in Los Angeles for a May Day that rallied against Trump’s immigration policies and a urged for a $15 minimum living wage.

Here’s how LA does it:

1. Yesterday, CHIRLA dropped a banner over a freeway.

CREDIT: @CHIRLA / Twitter

Caption: “Happening NOW: Banner Drop over the 101 freeway overpass. If you see us HONK!

Join us tomorrow for the “Together We #FightBack” May 1st March

#DefendCA #FightBackLA”

2. Today, we marched.

CREDIT: @LALabor / Twitter

Thousands of people and 50 unions and organizations came together today to march from Pershing Square to raise protections for some of the lowest paid workers in America: immigrants.

3. And voted for churros every single time.

CREDIT: @lizfromsela / Twitter

Caption: “How you know #MayDay is going to be ?. #FightBackLA”

Plus, Trump tweeted yesterday, “During Small Business Week, we celebrate the great, hard-working entrepreneurs across our country who have started and operate a small business!” That’s this guy!

4. We used our Facebook filters.

CREDIT: @cid__5 / Twitter

Y’know, if you still trust Facebook.

Caption: “One of my favorite days of the year! #FightBackLA for our families, for our workers, for our immigrant communities!”

5. We ramped up our annual poster-making parties.

CREDIT: @CitlalliChavez4 / Twitter

The butterfly is a symbol for immigration reform, since butterflies have vast migration patterns and are still a revered insect. So, too, should all humans be acknowledged and treated with dignity and equal rights.

6. And then we marched.

CREDIT: @UCLALabor / Twitter

Thankfully, there were no MAGA counter protesters this year, unlike the 2017 LA May Day. Although, there were spottings in Seattle of counter-protesters dressed in MAGA uniforms. The Handmaid’s Tale in me is shaking.

7. Look at all these butterflies!

CREDIT: @PublicCounsel / Twitter

Caption: “We’re ready to go for #MayDay! We’re marching to stand in solidarity with the immigrant community and our clients. #FightBackLA #HereToStay #DefendDACA”

Here’s who else showed up…

8. CARECEN offers legal services to Central American immigrants.

CREDIT: @Carecen_LA / Twitter

Caption: “We’re ready to march for our rights! #DefendCA#FightBackLA#HearToStay#MayDay”

9. The organization created a giant Refugio el Torogoz bird to march.

CREDIT: @Carecen_LA / Twitter

Caption: “For weeks and weeks our staff has put in endless hours to bring this beauty to life, meet “Refugio el Torogoz” the national bird of El Salvador & Nicaragua. #MayDay #FightBackLA ”

10. This woman brought bottled water for the marchers!

CREDIT: @haleyp / Twitter

Caption: “Take care of each other. #fightbackLA”

My heart is bursting. Turns out, there are lots of ways to give back to your community and I hope a Costco is in yours.

11. Then, she marched with CHIRLA.

CREDIT: @haleyp / Twitter

CHIRLA is the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles. ✊

Caption: “when immigrant rights are under attack, what do we do? STAND UP”

12. The Sanitation Workers’ Union marched proud…

CREDIT: @DontWasteLA / Twitter

Caption: “Sanitation workers rights are all workers rights!#greenjobs #zerowaste #fightbackLA #mayday2018″

13. Alongside Nurses United…

CREDIT: @LALabor / Twitter

Because healthcare is a significant issue for undocumented immigrants, many of whom can’t access basic health care like going to the dentist, or the emergency room for a broken bone. This is NOT OK.

14. The Teamsters…

CREDIT: @LALabor / Twitter

…which include pretty much every occupation imaginable, both in public and private sectors to fight for a higher standard of living for all.

15. And McStrikers.

CREDIT: @Fightfor15LA / Twitter

A few workers in the U.K. participated in a McDonald’s walk out after receiving zero hours contracts, unequal pay for younger workers and no union recognition.

Caption: “Solidarity to U.K. McDonald’s workers ON STRIKE!

#McStrike #FightBackLA #DefendCA #FightFor15”

16. Technology has spread the message wider than ever.

CREDIT: @LALabor / Twitter

The May Day Coalition projected this image onto the Metropolitan Detention Center, whose prisoners can see people marching not just on May Day, but for every other movement.

17. Plus, it was raining. In L.A.

CREDIT: @LALabor / Twitter

Did I mention that it was raining in LA today? These Angelinos will not back down from what’s right.

18. “I do it for my daughter’s daughter’s daughter.”

CREDIT: @LAANE / Twitter

There are many reasons to march today. For immigrants, for labor rights, but ultimately, this is for humanity and dignity.

Caption: “Rain or shine, LAANErs stand up for workers! #FightBackLA #DefendCA”

19. Los Angeles marched while smiling.

CREDIT: @aqui_versoza / Twitter

Because, no matter what the trolls say, marching gets shit done. You’re with your people, who bolster your own activism in your personal life, and it makes people pay attention to the issues. I mean, look at you, caring about workers’ rights.

Caption: “We March! We Vote! We Organize! @pwcscorg @domesticworkers #FightBackLA”

20. Rep. Barragan came to march in solidarity with immigrants.

CREDIT: @RepBarragan / Twitter

Caption: “Standing with thousands of workers and immigrants on this #MayDay to fight for better working conditions and livable wages. #FightBackLA #HereToStay #DefendCA”

21. Even though it was gloomy, the turnout was a huge success.

CREDIT: @CAIRLA / Twitter

Caption: “An estimated 2,000 people are in L.A. for the May Day Coalition of L.A.’s March & Rally seeking protection for workers, taking a stand against the anti-immigration agenda & encouraging civic engagement through voting. @CAIRLA is a partner in the event.

#FightBackLA”

22. Some businesses even had signs ready outside their establishment.

CREDIT: @SCOPE_LA / Twitter

Don’t ask me which business that is though. Nobody can tell.

23. At the end of the day, LA’s march was a bilingual march of solidarity.

CREDIT: @UCLALabor / Twitter

Try going to any LA march and not chant, “El pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido”. #NoBordersNoWall

Caption: “activities are now underway! Poster-making session to kick off the day. #fightbackla”

24. Here’s how to help on May 2nd and onward.

CREDIT: @vidcrane / Twitter

Keep supporting street vendors, fair trade labels, and legislators who care about immigration reform. Yes, we just told you to go forth and buy churros (and tip generously).

Caption: “More #StreetVendors rally @Mayday2018 in #LosAngelesCA  #fightbackla”

Cardi B Has An Important Message About The Deaths Of George Floyd And Breonna Taylor

Things That Matter

Cardi B Has An Important Message About The Deaths Of George Floyd And Breonna Taylor

@TheAmirVera, @danicapaige08 / Twitter

Thank heavens for Cardi B because boy does the Dominican rapper know how to use her voice.

Since her rise to fame, the hitmaker has made a point to use her platform to raise awareness of the issues she finds important. From politics to our world leaders, the rapper has done her due diligence to break down current events to her followers.

Fortunately, she’s up to it again.

Last week, the rapper took to Twitter to open up about the protests breaking out across the country in an effort to demand justice for the wrongful deaths of Black people killed by police.

You might have already heard about the protests that broke out over the weekend which outcried the wrongful deaths of two Black people: George Floyd a Black man from Minnesota who was killed while being restrained by the police on May 25. The other, Breonna Taylor a 26-year-old woman, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers on March 13, 2020.

In regards to their recent deaths, Cardi B  shared her thoughts and a call to action.

“Seeing people looting and going extremely outraged, you know, it makes me feel like, ‘Yes, finally! Finally motherf****** is gonna hear us now. Yeah!’” the rapper said in her Instagram post. “And as much as people is so against it, at this point, I feel like I’m not against it, even though it do scare me and I don’t want anybody to get hurt, but it’s really frustrating. You want to know why? Because police brutality been going on even way before I was born, but it has been more visual ever since social media started getting poppin.’ And ever since, let’s say Instagram started–just one app–let’s say since Instagram started, how many peaceful protests have we seen? How many trending hashtags have we seen? These hashtags keep freakin’ repeating themselves. I feel like I’ve done videos against police brutality… I feel like this is my seventh time. I’ve been doing f*ckin’ police brutality videos ever since my teeth been f*cked up, and the only shit that changed has been my f****** teeth. You know what I’m saying? People are tired, so now their tired is showing that it’s, “Oh motherf*ckers are educated. Motherf*ckers can take the grown and adult way and act peaceful people are tired of that, so now this is what people have to resort to.”

Cardi B continued her post telling her fans to vote in the upcoming general elections.

“And another thing, I also want to say this: Another way for people to take power–I don’t want to make everything political, but it is what it is–it’s by voting. And when I say voting, I’m not only talking about the President. We could vote for mayors. We could vote for judges, and we could also vote for DA’s–district attorneys. Yes, we could vote for these people, for our county. We sure can. The people that are voting for these people are most likely cops, most likely rednecks; that’s why every single time some fuck shit like this happens, it goes to their favor, because these people have the power–DA’s, these judges, these attorneys–they have the power to prosecute these cops when they do f***s***,” she said

It didn’t take long for users to respond to Cardi’s post with support and words of heartbreak.

We will win this!

Puerto Rico Is Planning To Vote On U.S. Statehood Once Again And Here’s Why So Many Are Against The Idea

Things That Matter

Puerto Rico Is Planning To Vote On U.S. Statehood Once Again And Here’s Why So Many Are Against The Idea

VisitPR / Instagram

Puerto Rican’s are no stranger to referendums. Since 1967, they’ve had five chances to make their opinions known on U.S. statehood and each and every time, their voice hasn’t been listened to. Congress has failed to take up the issue after each referendum and local leaders are often guilty of using the referendum simply to drudge up support for their candidates.

But this upcoming referendum is different in that it comes at a crossroads for Puerto Rican politics. The island has been plagued by natural disasters, political scandals, and unprecedented hate crimes. Even Bad Bunny is letting his thoughts out on the referendum and many others have lots to say on the issue.

For the first time in the island’s history, the referendum will ask a single question: Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted as a U.S. state?

On Saturday, Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood Republican governor, Wanda Vázquez, announced yet another vote on the question (the sixth since 1967 and the third since 2012). It’s a move that comes amid growing frustration with the island’s territorial government and its relationship with the mainland.

However, it’s a question that also outraged the island’s independence supporters and members of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party – which supports the status quo.

But it’s a gamble that members of the governor’s pro-statehood party are confident will pay off given that Puerto Rico has struggled to obtain federal funds for hurricanes Irma and Maria, a string of recent strong earthquakes and the coronavirus pandemic amid growing complaints that the island does not receive fair and equal treatment.

“Our people will have the opportunity once and for all to define our future,” Vázquez said. “It’s never too late to be treated as equals.”

The upcoming referendum is just the recent in a long line of previously failed ones.

In the past, voters have been asked more than one question and presented with various options, including independence or continuing with the current territorial status – but none of them have ever been as direct as the upcoming one scheduled for the November 3 general election.

However, many on the island see the referendum as little more than a political move by the governor’s New Progressive Party to get voters out on Nov 3 – to boost her party’s candidates.

The New Progressive Party has been rattled with scandal after scandal and many are ready for change.

The past few years have not been good for the party – or the island for that matter. A string of devastating hurricanes, a severe debt crisis, ongoing corruption scandals that even forced a pro-statehood governor to resign, earthquakes, and now a global pandemic – have all led to challenging times in Puerto Rico. To some observers, the idea seems to be: Let’s dangle the illusion of a yes or no statehood referendum (nonbinding) that is already dead on arrival?

Many also feel that Gov. Vasquez is not truly authorized to make such a decision since she was never actually elected to the office. Instead, she became governor after Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign following massive protests.

Meanwhile, the Republican government on the island doesn’t even have the support of the Republican-led federal government. The Trump administration’s blunt response was basically, “The first priority for all Puerto Rico leaders should be getting their financial house in order.”

This coming November, there will be plenty of incentive to vote “no” and punish the Vázquez administration. Even prominent figures such as Bad Bunny are jumping into the fray against her leadership.

What would statehood mean for Puerto Rico?

Statehood would award Puerto Rico two senators and five representatives, but it’s unlikely a Republican-controlled Congress would acknowledge the referendum because Puerto Rico tends to favor Democrats.

Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections. And while the island is exempt from the U.S. federal income tax, it still pays Social Security and Medicare and local taxes and receives less federal funding than U.S. states. Many believe the island’s territorial status has contributed to its struggle to recover from the hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as worsened its economic crisis, largely caused by decades of heavy borrowing and the elimination of federal tax incentives.