While thousands gathered to see San Fernando Cathedral's annual Passion Play, on the steps of City Hall, not far away, the May 1 Coalition had a hard time drawing a crowd to hear its call for immigrant rights and comprehensive immigration reform.
Made up of dozens of social justice and civil rights groups, the San Antonio coalition also announced plans for its fourth annual May 1 International Workers Day March & Rally at 6 p.m. May 1 at Milam Park.
About 30 people gathered to hear coalition members speak, a large image of the late union leader César Chávez held above them.
Their signs declared that “No human being is illegal,” and leaflets called for an end to workplace raids and the Iraq war and demanded a living wage and “no bailout for the rich people.”
Coalition members shouted slogans, in English and Spanish, such as “Hey Obama! What do you say? We don't want a wall on the border. No way!”
Che Lopez of the Southwest Workers Union, a coalition member, said cities and towns throughout the United States are planning marches May 1 to bring attention to the need for comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes the estimated 11 million to 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the country.
Lopez stressed ending deportations.
“It's a faith-based message not to divide families,” he said.
“They don't have constitutional rights, but they have human rights,” activist Gabriel Quintero Velasquez said in an emotional prayer ending the news conference. “They are children of God.”
The coalition includes representatives from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the Mexican American Catholic College, Fuerza Unida, the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center and the Texas Indigenous Council.
For more on the march, call (210) 299-2666.