Cabrini students take part in march for immigrant and workers’ rights

By Katherine Briante
May 16, 2017

Photo by Ray Ward

On May 1st, The Wolfington Center took a van of student to Washington, D.C. for a march and protest for immigrant and workers rights. This protest was on May Day, a day commonly used to celebrate workers and workers’ rights, and was centered around the rights of a migrant worker. This protest was sparked by President Donald Trump’s attitude towards migrants and recently his policies concerning migrants and refugees coming to the United States.

The protest began in Dupont Circle where hundred of people gathered with posters, signs and t-shirts showing their support of migrant workers and their condemnation of this country’s treatment of them.

Photo by Michelle Guerin

They all gathered, crowded together, too many people for the small space but still not enough match the magnitude of the problem. They began with speakers, chants and cheers, telling the world that they stand with immigrants.

Then promptly at 3 p.m. the crowd, already spilling over into the street, began to make its way up Connecticut Avenue to its ultimate destination. The crowd seemed to part like the Red Sea, allowing the speakers and sound system to lead the way, the people behind them walking between walls of cheers and support until everyone was on their way.

Photo by Michelle Guerin

Connecticut Avenue is lined with businesses and office buildings and as the march made its way, people stopped what they were doing to watch. They walked out of the stores and stared out of their window, waving, cheering and taking pictures of this massive movement moving through their city.

The cheers and chants seemed to echo on the buildings making it feel like the entire city could hear their message.

video by Michelle Guerin

“No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!”

“No justice? No peace”

“Si se puede! Yes we can!”

After standing for a while in the beginning, being in a huge crowd of people in hot, weather, it would make sense for people to get tired and after a little while of walking begin to lose energy but they didn’t. They seemed to feed on one another, drawing energy from each other, knowing the the fight was too important to rest.

Finally the crowd reached its destination, Lafayette Square, maybe even more energized than before. As they entered the park, still chanting and cheering people began gathering around a stage set up there, waiting for the rest of the march to catch up, and the next part to begin.

Once they began in Lafayette Square, at least a dozen people walked across that stage, workers, politicians, migrants and activists, some speaking in English, some speaking in Spanish but all speaking the same message, that immigrants are welcome in this country.

The backdrop for them was the White House. A symbol of the Presidency and power in this country but for them, a symbol of the man and the administration that wants to take away their rights and keep them from living in peacefully in this country.

Mother Cabrini is the patron saint of immigrants and she dedicated her life to helping those in need and those who lived on the margins. Therefore it is only fitting that students from a school named in her honor, that continues to carry out her mission, are so openly supporting and fighting for the people she spent her life helping.

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Katherine Briante

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