Migrant Justice celebrated May Day, or International Workers’ Day, with a caravan to the new Hannaford Supermarket on Shelburne Road in South Burlington.
More than 100 vehicles gathered at the Staples Plaza on Williston Road around 12:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1. After hearing a handful of speakers, the caravan headed west towards Burlington.
“May 1 is celebrated around the world as International Workers Day,” Migrant Justice said in a press release.
A coalition of community organizations and labor unions commemorated the holiday with two other car caravan rallies – in Brattleboro and the Upper Valley – traveling to “symbolic sites to show solidarity with essential workers,” the release said.
“Every year there’s some sort of commemoration of May Day. Sometimes there’s a march to the Vermont State House,” said Will Lambek, organizer for Migrant Justice.
As the motorcade of protesters progressed down Main Street, the numbers of honking cars swelled with more joining the line of vehicles. The protest, designed this year to incorporate social distancing, made its way past the University of Vermont Medical Center, Edmunds Middle School, City Market, Handy’s Property, Vermont Department of Labor and Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility before reaching Hannaford, Lambek said.
These entities were chosen for the tour to visit to bring attention to issues advocated for by community organizations and unions around the state.
Issues speakers in the parking lot at Hannaford addressed included immigrant rights and support for farmers.
Hundreds of people came together to show solidarity with essential workers and those impacted by the coronavirus crisis “and lift up demands for safety, rights and a government response that puts people over profit,” said Lambek, “From farmworkers to nurses, from tenants to the incarcerated, we showed there is strength in solidarity.”