(Photo: Amanda Waldroupe for The Local East Village)

Grab your bandiera rossa, May Day is just around the corner and labor rights groups have called for mass actions and strikes across New York City for the international worker’s holiday. Calls to action have been especially focused on expressing solidarity with immigrant workers.

Mass demonstrations have been called via the website Maydayny.com, and other plans have been shared on social media. There will be marches throughout the city, with affinity groups targeted in different sections of the overall un-permitted march. Most demonstrations will be meeting around Union Square throughout the day, but there are different meet ups across organizations throughout much of lower Manhattan.

Groups participating in May Day strikes include May Day Women’s Strike, Solidarity with Immigrant WorkersMovimiento CosechaFight for $15, The New York Immigration Coalition, Arab American Association of New York, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice [JFREJ] as well a wide variety of other unions and activist groups.  

The Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC) is organizing an anti-fascist marching bloc and a daytime demonstration planned for “the adventurous, the angry, and the arrest-able.” They will be meeting at the Northwest corner of Union Square at 3:30pm before marching to Foley Square.

In  an email to Bedford + Bowery, they said, “Like the other demos that day, we hope to create a safer space for the oppressed, but effecting change and realizing liberation also requires taking risks sometimes.”

Later in the evening, MACC will be organizing a noise demo at Columbus Park in front of the Manhattan Detention Complex to show “solidarity to the people struggling behind the walls.” There will also be an after party at 10pm at Bushwick’s Starr Bar.

Anti-Antifascists will also be demonstrating with a counter-protest called “May Day Slay.” The event is hosted by The Modern Patriots, which is run by a man named Jovi Val. In a Facebook video in which he calls for action against Antifa at May Day celebrations in New York City he says, “The battle of Berkeley meant something and it will mean something in New York,” referencing the violence that erupted between white nationalist groups and anti-fa in Berkeley, California. During the event, one white nationalist protester and war veteran that previously spent five years in prison for a hate crime punched an anti-fa woman so hard she ended up in the hospital. Val says that he is not trying to incite violence, but rather protect free speech.

Immigrant Workers Justice Group and others will be meeting at Washington Square Park at 12:30pm, while International League of Peoples’ Struggle – ILPS US and Cosecha NYC, an immigrant rights group, have called for “A Day Without Immigrants.” They will be meeting at Union Square at 4:30pm.

PEN America Center will be organizing a 7pm “Voices in the arts rally” at the Great Hall at Cooper Union. There will be “performances, readings, and conversations from Patti Smith with her daughter Jesse Smith, Ani DiFranco, Marlon James, Colum McCann, and Salman Rushdie.”

Since 2006, May 1 was chosen as a general strike of undocumented immigrant workers and supporters to protest what they felt was draconian immigration reform legislation. Many workers face heightened challenges and precarity under Trump’s administration, which has promised an aggressive program against undocumented immigrants.