An audio file featuring about 50 minutes of the powerful and engaging speakers from the May Day '06 Rally in the South Park Blocks in front of Smith Memorial Hall at Portland State University on May 1, 2006.
The remarks delivered to the crowd, prior to their March through downtown Portland and back to PSU, are in both Spanish and English. Speakers include Ed Edmo, Native American Poet and Spoken Word artist; Carrie Dann, Shoshone elder and activist; a student speaking for students; a union member; a day laborer, and an African American speaker. Other spoke during this time and after returning from the March, but this is all I recorded.
All spoke passionately for their Latino people and for America, their country. The Rally was flush with American flags and signs, some declaring that "no human is illegal" that "immigrant rights are basic rights," many reminding Americans that they too come from immigrant roots and that these Latino immigrants, despite being undocumented, have arrived with a strong work ethic and family values. [ read more and listen ]
Any Portland May Day Reportback?
worker bee: When I was riding downtown to the rally I saw a group of high school age people marching over the Hawthorne bridge behind a banner or flag (couldn't see what kind). As soon as they hit the west end they began chanting slogans about workers' rights-they had definitely made the connection. And these were, it appeared, white kids. Maybe they'd walked out of school to come down.
As for the event itself I have not seen that many people march and stay strong and together ever before. And why have all forms of media diminished the number of people? There were so many that when I ducked out to have some food it was still going past when I got done so I hopped back in. Many people were young (under 35?) and they stayed strong and spirited the whole way which was very long and wound around up through the Pearl district and back to PSU.
pchy: I thought the march was awe inspiring to say the least. I was near the front of the march... within the first block or so that is. It was a good spot b/c we really got to see the "whoa, this is still going?" reactions of on lookers. I had expected there to be a big turn out, but nothing like I had witnessed. On some of the small hills throughout the route, I had an excellent vantage point to see the thounsands of people in front of me filling the street from sidewalk to sidewalk. Turning around, I saw at least twice as many people behind. The energy was incredible too... even as we approached the last turn, we were still chanting, clapping, shouting, and whistling. Flags were still being waved while we marched up Broadway towards PSU. [ read more ]
"Illegal Immigrants" Take to the Streets
Bringing up the rear is harder than I expected. Block on block I wonder how far back this mass of people extends. All the way up to 8th, and then left, and then a few more blocks, I finally make it to where the contiguous mass of participants thins into a milling crowd of spectators. I turn and step into the mille, empty my paper cup and throw it into a garbage can, and then start slowly back down the path from whence I came.
I've walked about a mile, down and twisting around the streets of downtown Portland. The only thing of note to strike me came as I walked under the glass bridge that spans the two building of the World Trade Center. There, a business man in a suit stood leaning up against the glass, staring down onto the mass of people in the street. It struck me that this could very well be the one single thing that this man feared the most - the masses joined as one, rising up like a great wave, high enough to wash him out of his glass tower. [ read more ]
photos: Portland May Day 2006 Images || More photos from May Day || Portland May Day Photos || photos of todays gathering at south park blocks || Photogs Of Portland Mayday Celebration
elsewhere: May Day Footage from New York City || Hundreds Mark Historic May Day in Olympia || Seattle May Day Photos || Olympia May Day Celebration || May Day in Madison, WI || Photos of MayDay Marches || Philly's March A Diverse One