May 1 in Charlotte & around NC
by David Dixon • Tuesday May 02, 2006 at 12:57 PM
Around 10,000 rallied in Charlotte on May 1 for immigrant rights. Rallies took place around NC.
Charlotte Some 10,000 Latin@s’ and their supporters crowded into uptown Charlotte’s Marshall Park for a rally as part of the May 1 national day for immigrant rights. Many businesses along the very busy South Blvd & Central Ave areas were closed in observance of the boycott. Students were a major part of the rally.
An organized walk-out of Charlotte schools was canceled but over 800 Latin@ students were absent from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. Amanda Medina, one of the students, said, “It made me feel proud of who I am and where I come from and there are so many people out here to support us." (wcnc.com)
One of the most heartening aspects of the Charlotte gathering was the participation from veterans of the civil rights movement.
Ahmad Daniels, currently active in the local anti-war movement & international struggle for reparations for Africans, addressed the crowd. Daniels, a Vietnam era military resister & civil rights activist, said "I can identify with them. This is reminiscent of the civil rights movement. No one can predict how far this can go." (charlotte.com)
The crowd cheered as Charles Jones, an organizer of the 1960’s sit-ins for civil rights in Charlotte, said, “We changed this country. You're changing this country." (charlotte.com)
Nigel Hood, a local African American high school student in attendance said, ""I just couldn't help thinking back to my ancestors and predecessors who were in the civil rights movement. It made me feel very special." (wcnc.com)
Protesters marched though downtown Lumberton to a rally. They were by joined by workers from Smithfield Foods Inc.'s plant located in Tar Heel. The United Food & Commercial Workers have been fighting for a union for years.
Gene Bruskin, with UFCW, referring to the size of the crowed in such a small rural town said, ``We're in the middle of absolutely nowhere pig farms and you've got 5,000 workers marching.” (wbt.com)
Raleigh, NC Some 3,000 rallied in downtown Raleigh, surrounding the state capitol building. (wbt.com)
Hundreds also demonstrated in the small NC town of Hickory. (charlotte.com)
Other NC Rallies Rallies also took place in Wilmington, Greensboro, Asheville, and Chapel Hill, NC. (wbt.com)
Charlotte May 1st Movement for Workers & Immigrants Rights