REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK | Immigrant march on May Day?


Updated 10:45 a.m., Friday, April 24 | Here’s a story we are working on. We invite you to add to the story – facts, leads, opinions, suggestions of people we should talk to.

The story We were ready to go to press with a short article about the annual immigrant rights march on May Day (full text below) — when a new press release landed in the email box, saying that this year the police have denied a permit for the march.

MIRAc wrote: The permit requests include a march starting at 4:00pm at Lake and 13th and a rally from 5:30-8:00pm at Nicollet and 29th. Despite the fact that organizers have gotten permits for marches and rallies the past three years in similar areas and at similar times, this year police have denied both permits.

What’s at stake Brian Payne of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition (MIRAc) says, “This is a clear violation of our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.”

Police will probably cite public safety concerns — we’re waiting for a call back from the police spokesperson. Friday, April 24, 10:45 a.m. – still no police comment

What we know Here’s the latest: 10:45 a.m., April 25 — Per a call from Brian Payne and Kathryn Sharp, a resolution in support of the march has been signed by all 13 Minneapolis City Council members and is on the agenda for a vote later this morning. The resolution reads:

A Resolution Supporting Immigrant and Workers’ Rights Day on May 1, 2009

WHEREAS immigrants workers and their families are an essential and valued component of our Minneapolis community; and

WHEREAS immigrants have been instrumental in the revitalization of Lake Street, Central Avenue, and all of Minneapolis; and

WHEREAS we support the constitutional right of all Minneapolis residents to peacefully assemble and petition the government for a redress of grievances; and

WHEREAS May 1 celebrations have historically commemorated the contributions of workers and immigrant workers in particular in our nation’s struggle to establish a just society; and

WHEREAS it is necessary to establish a secure and welcoming environment, free of undue stress and discrimination in the City of Minneapolis;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Minneapolis:

That the Minneapolis City Council supports the third annual immigrant/workers’ rights May Day march and celebration on Tuesday, May 1, 2009.

[Ed. note: This is actually the fourth annual march, and the resolution was evidently copied from two years ago, when May 1 fell on a Tuesday.]

The article we planned to run appears below. MIRAc organizers are planning a rally at City Hall at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 24 and a plea to the City Council for support.

How can citizens respond/participate? Tell the mayor, city council, police and MIRAc what you think should happen.

Do you have any information? Do you have an opinion? Let us know by sending an e-mail to (with your phone number for possible interview) or by clicking on “Comment” below.

Immigrant march on May Day

by Sadie Lundquist, TC Daily Planet
May Day celebrations are held in many parts of the country to commemorate the struggles of labor and immigrants in the United States.

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For more information visit the MIRAc website

This May 1, the Minnesota Immigration Rights Action Coalition (MIRAc) is organizing the fourth Minnesota May Day march and celebration for immigrant rights.

The march begins at 4 pm on Lake Street and 13th Avenue in Minneapolis. Participants will walk down to Nicollet Avenue and 29th Street where a community celebration will be held with speakers and representatives from community organizations. Organizers are hoping to have a street festival, but are still waiting for city permission to close the streets.

Eduardo Cardenas, one of the organizers from MIRAc, said they are trying to focus more on the community festival this year instead of the march. “We want to provide more of an opportunity for people to learn about the different things going on right now [in the community],” he said.

Unconditional legalization for immigrants, stopping deportations, and getting drivers licenses for all immigrants are just some of the issues that Cardenas said will be discussed at the event. Participants can also learn about preventing foreclosures and bringing in green jobs.

But the May Day celebration isn’t just about immigrant rights. “We are celebrating what the middle class has done for this county and for the world,” said Cardenas. “[Labor rights] are the reason immigrants come to the U.S.”

Sadie Lundquist is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota and an intern at the TC Daily Planet.