Oakland labor, immigration groups plan shutdown, strikes and marches for May Day

Oakland dockworkers are threatening to shut down the waterfront during May Day rallies on Monday.
(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Organized labor and immigration groups are aiming traditional May Day demonstrations in the Bay Area at the Trump administration.

Dockworkers Monday plan to shut down Oakland’s waterfront, while demonstrations and marches are set outside federal immigration offices, in front of the Oakland jail and along Bay Area Rapid Transit routes. In conjunction, immigration groups have called on undocumented workers to boycott work, school and shopping, under a social media campaign branded #shutitdown.

Similar demonstrations are planned in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other major cities.


In the Bay Area, nearly 70 organizations representing immigration, inmates rights and labor, socialist and environmental causes are supporting a march through Oakland. By Sunday, more than 1,000 individuals had pledged attendance on the Facebook event page hosted by Oakland Sin Fronteras.

The Service Employees International Union’s California-based United Service Workers West chapter also called for a general strike. Its members represent some 40,000 service workers, including airport crews, security officers and janitors.

“Opposing Trump is not enough. We must stop him,” states the Web page created for the strike.

May Day long has been a day of action for the labor movement. This year, Bay Area organizers also seek to protest local cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, expansion of the county jail and police adoption of military weapons and tactics.

The “call to action” posted by Oakland Sin Fronteras echoed that of demonstrators who massed in adjacent Berkeley to oppose a series of provocative conservative speakers: “In the Bay Area our communities face increased state and economic violence. Only by building a mass movement in the street that united all of our struggles can we win our fight for justice and dignity.”

Similar large demonstrations were held in 2015 but focused on police violence.

Those were largely peaceful until evening, when some demonstrators smashed windows and vandalized vehicles in an Oakland car dealership district.