Early May was marching time all over Texas. The traditional Mexican holiday, cinco de mayo, celebrates an important victory in the battle for independence from European domination. The strong hope for immigration reform boosted the turnout for 2013. An unusual addition in this week's activities was a celebration of International Workers Day at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
The biggest university in the Metroplex, which brought mobs of rightwingers to the opening of the George W Bush Institute on April 25, is not known for hosting progressive events, but the students and community activists gathered for the first-ever MayDay celebration this year. A special tribute was given to Lucy Parsons, who is most famous for helping lead the 8-hour day movement in Chicago, but was born in Johnson County near Dallas.
Glenn Johnson, a graduate student in theology, organized the event. He brought together the Workers Defense Project, Jobs with Justice, the campus' Human Rights Department, Our Walmart, and one of his professors for an invigorating and educational evening in a room at the student center. A short video is at http://youtu.be/7dLQr8ofwc0.
The Texas AFL-CIO helped build crowds for May 5th celebrations and demands for immigration reform. They publicized these:
In North Texas, more than a thousand people participated in parades in Grand Prairie and the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas on the morning of May 4th. The biggest march, with a crowd estimated between 3,000 and 5,000, took the traditional march path from Guadalupe Cathedral on Ross Avenue, through the center of Dallas, and ended on the City Hall Plaza. This one was not a parade, but a people's march complete with homemade signs demanding immigration reform and militant chants in Spanish.
by Jim Lane