A Coronavirus May Day: Zoom Calls And A Car Caravan

A 2019 May Day march in L.A. This year the pandemic prevented large gatherings. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.

For nearly two decades, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A. has led a May Day rally downtown.

But on Friday, the group took to Zoom and Facebook.

"Immigrants and workers in transportation, warehouses, grocery workers and education keep the county going even as Congress wrongly leaves them out of crucial stimulus relief funding," CHIRLA Executive Director Angelica Salas said in a Zoom call.

It was one of a number of virtual and actual May Day calls to support essential workers across California, including a car caravan outside Amazon's distribution hub in Hawthorne.

"There is no economy without our service workers out there every day risking their lives," David Huerta, president of SEIU-United Service Workers West, said on the CHIRLA call.


icon
DON'T MISS ANY L.A. CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Get our daily newsletters for the latest on COVID-19 and other top local headlines.


Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


SEIU-USWW represents janitors and security workers, among others. Huerta said people are continuing to go to work every day without the proper protective equipment or training.

State Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-LA) joined the CHIRLA call to demand more health and safety protections for domestic workers. "Even if we're going through this unprecedented health care crisis and this massive financial disruption, this is all the more reason why we have to lift our voices," she said.

Also on the call was DACA recipient Teissy Angel Martinez, a caregiver for people with intellectual disabilities and a full-time college student.

Commenting on how she often sees people not heeding social distancing measures, Martinez said, "that's frustrating, because if I could stay home, I would. But I'm an essential worker, so I have to go to work."

Martinez said it's difficult being an essential worker during the pandemic, especially since she's waiting for the Supreme Court's ruling on the future of the DACA program.