Photo Essay: Activists, Unions and Social Justice Organizations Converge on May Day in Vermont

The Vermont Workers’ Center hosted a march and rally at the statehouse in Montpelier, VT on May 1st in recognition of May Day, a day celebrated internationally by workers of the world. Hundreds showed up to demonstrate their need for universal healthcare, affordable education, immigrant rights, and a livable planet.

Marie Cordis with the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals told Toward Freedom that she had come as a union member but also because she believes that “when we support everyone in our community, everyone benefits and communities become stronger.”

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Vermont Home Care United also spoke about representing their union and community as well as speaking out about a home care bill that would give home care workers the support and rights they deserve. Food Not Bombs came to feed the entire rally because “food is important, without it, we all die,” said FaRied Munarsyah, who frequently cooks for Workers’ Center events.

Other participating organizations included Rising Tide VT, 350 Vermont, Mountain Occupiers, Migrant Justice, Vermont Early Educators United, Vermont State Employees Association, and many more. Each organization and person who came had something unique to say about why they were there, but they all agreed to build, as the Workers’ Center says, “one movement for the people and the planet.”

“Put the WE back in WE THE PEOPLE”

Students representing their right to an affordable education.

Migrant workers are currently pushing legislation that would give undocumented workers the right to receive driver’s licenses in Vermont.

The People’s Media Project: the Vermont Workers’ Center media team documented the entire day.

Face painting, T-shirt making, and fun in the youth tent.

People for a healthy environment and a livable planet demonstrated the use of tripods (a tactic often used for blockading) by stringing up banners.

Rally participants gather in front of the state house.

Jenn March is an activist photographer from Burlington, Vermont. She has been organizing in both state and national issues for over a year. Jenn is presently working towards a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography at Burlington College.