May Day rallies took place all over the country Monday. In Connecticut, four cities -- including New Haven -- planned strikes and marches in what organizers called a National “Day Without Immigrants."
May Day, also known as International Workers' day, highlights workers’ rights. This year, Connecticut supporters, workers, and business owners wanted to demonstrate the importance of immigrant workers.
Jesus Morales, a volunteer for Unidad Latina en Acción, said he saw an added dimension to the May Day rallies in 2017.
“We’re also facing a new challenge with the new administration," Morales said. "So, we’re here kind of showing the true power of immigrant workers and how our labor, how everything we do helps this economy flourish and keep going.”
Tiago Pavuna is owner of The Taste of Brazil. He closed his restaurant for the day in solidarity and to protest against stepped up deportations under the Trump administration.
“I came to this country 15 years ago looking for a better opportunity," Pavuna said. "I fell in love with this country. I used to say to everybody, ‘I’m Brazilian by birth and American by heart.’ And I’m just fighting for justice, for what is right. This whole thing, you know, tearing families apart -- this is, you know, it’s not right.”
Pavuna said closing for the day could end up costing him $4,000 to $6,000 in lost business.
Protests were also planned in Stamford, Danbury, and Bridgeport.