Here Are 11 Reasons Why People Took To The Streets For The May Day Protests In Downtown L.A.

May Day, or International Workers’ Day, has a long history of being the day that workers worldwide joined together in protests for worker’s rights. This year, thousands of people across the country gathered in cities in 41 different states to demand rights for immigrants in the American workforce. From Seattle to Los Angeles to Miami, people marched for family, friends, and their own rights as immigrant workers in the U.S. Here are some of the people who marched in downtown Los Angeles for May Day and the reason why they took the day to take to the streets.

Diana Medel, 21

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“I’m here because I’m a deferred action student. I came here when I was 8. I’m an immigrant worker. I am a field representative for Assemblymember Mike Gibson of the 64th district,” Medel told mitú. “I think it’s very important to be here because we want to show everyone that we are resisting. We’re resisting against the new administration and we’re supporting a new immigration reform.”

Nicholas Maldonado, 23

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“I’m just here marching for the gay community and giving everybody a voice and giving my family a voice. They’re just in fear of being deported and so I am just here for them,” Maldonado told mitú. “I think it’s important [to march] because even though we might have taken a few steps backwards, we need to continue to show our voice because change won’t come about if we don’t get up and share a voice and make our voices heard.”

Teisha Rivera (left), 16

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“I came here to support my mom. I’m a first-generation Mexican-American and my mom (pictured center), my dad and my auntie too (pictured left), they crossed the border. I came here to support them,” Rivera told mitú. “For me, it’s important for people to come and support their beliefs. The U.S. has a freedom of speech and that’s what we love. Not like in other countries where they don’t. Right here, we have the opportunity that in other countries they might not have. That’s why I think it’s important.”

Cesar Gonzalez, 40

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“I’m here to unite with everyone else and to stand up for the history of May Day and the fights and struggles that many in the working class have had to go through. I stand with everyone now who feels like they are getting treated unfairly in the workplace and the administration that we have now has been a failure so that has urged me to get out with everyone,” Gonzalez told mitú. “[I march for] some of the legendary figures like Cesar Chavez. I think about what he did for people in history and many of the people that have come to this country, immigrants that have come to work here and perhaps do not get acknowledged as hardworking.”

Lea Gonzalez, 26

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“I am participating as a daughter of immigrants that migrated here during the civil war of El Salvador. I feel like I have a need and a responsibility to be out here for the immigrant community,” Gonzalez told mitú. “I definitely march or my family that recently arrived from El Salvador do to the current violence that they are suffering. It is important to be here because if you don’t do it, who is going to march for us. I feel like I need to do it for them because they have that fear to be out in the streets and so I have the right to do it and express myself so I have to do it for them.”

Jairo Loaeza (center), 14

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“We come representing Clinica Romero because we support and believe that everybody should have justice because we have human rights,” Loaeza told mitú. “I think about my parents because both of them are immigrants and every morning I wake up fearing that they may not return home and it’s scary to think that and I think we should all have justice. It’s important because this will give us a chance to say what we think and give them a chance to hear us.”

Maii Ware, 29

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“I think about the undocumented families that are being separated,” Ware told mitú about why she marched. “I am not of Hispanic descent but my daughter is undocumented so that’s an issues that hits close to home to me. People are losing momentum and it’s important to have rest periods to rebuild strength again but I think that May Day is a international holiday for us to show up and do that.”

Edwin Peraza, 31

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“I’m here to fight because my parents came here as immigrants,” Peraza told mitú. “I feel like this country is very anti-immigrant, especially with this current administration, so I think we just got to voice that we are here. I march because there are people who feel more passionate and they organize these types of events and they ask for support and I am here giving support. Especially since I have been part of the immigrant community for such a long time.”

Jorge Cortez, 36

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“I was an undocumented immigrant to this country. I came from El Salvador back in the early 80s. My family really fought hard to give me an opportunity that we didn’t have back in El Salvador,” Cortez told mitú. “I became the first person in my family to graduate from college and the first person to get my masters as well. I am here to represent all these individuals that represent that through hard work we are citizens of this country and we definitely contribute in ways that people like Donald Trump are really not talking about.”

Martha Friedman, 25

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“I’m marching here today because I feel like we are regressing instead of progressing and [I’m here] to represent my family who immigrated here,” Friedman told mitú. “I am an immigrant myself. I went to school, worked hard and I have two children who are in school right now. I didn’t allow them to miss school because education is important. We have a goal to reach and I’m here to support my community and my parents who left everything behind.”

Nizgui Gomez, 15

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“I think what Trump is doing is not right. We’re all a part of this and all the immigrants contribute to this country. It’s not fair that he is supporting and saying bad stuff about us,” Gomez told mitú. “I am here to march for the immigrants and my family members who are immigrants. A lot of families could be separated. My parents are immigrants and one of these days I could be separated from them and I don’t think it’s fair that I, a 15-year-old, should be scared of that. It’s important to take a stand because what else can we do besides take a stand and fight for what’s right for us.”

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READ: 11 People Told Us Why They Went To The Day Without A Woman Rally In Los Angeles

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