Lynners step out for May Day march

LYNN – Urging workers’ rights, immigration reform, foreclosure relief, job opportunities, and more, a group marched from North Shore Community College to Lynn Commons Friday evening in celebration of May Day, a day to honor workers’ rights which is celebrated throughout the world.”It’s a day to call attention to the issues that are affecting us,” said Maria Carrasco, an event organizer and also member of the school committee. “If you don’t call attention to them, you won’t know that they are happening.”About 50 people stepped off from the community college at 5:30 p.m. and headed down Washington Street, picking up others as it progressed. The group included representatives from many local community organizations including Lynn United For Change, the New Lynn Coalition, the Highlands Coalition, Operation Bootstrap, The Worker’s Center for Economic Justice and IUE CWA Local 208, a union representing workers at General Electric (GE), according to organizer Carly McClain. This is the fourth year there has been a march in Lynn on May 1.The participants and the path of the march demonstrated the various causes demonstrators supported.Ashley Busone organized several of the students she works with at Operation Bootstrap to march in support of educational opportunities for students and families.Mohammed Abdel-Karim is a Sudanese refugee studying for his GED degree at Bootstrap, trying to get a white-collar job because he has cardiac issues that prevent him from doing manual labor.”I’m sick and I have a family to support,” Abdel-Karim said. “I apply and don’t find a job that is easy (physically) because I don’t have (a) GED and my English isn’t good.”A fellow Bootstrap student, Sonia Soto, brought her children to march in support of immigration reform.”Everybody together is a voice for immigrants, and we need rights,” Soto, a 17-year resident of the city, said.Tom O’Shea marched as a member of the union at GE, having worked at the facility for 28 years.”I’m here to support union jobs,” O’Shea said.As the group gathered, Carrasco shouted out slogans for marchers to practice. “Jobs not Jails,” was planned for when the group stopped in front of Lynn District Court, and the group had signs advocating an increase in minimum wage that they planned to deploy in front of Eastern Bank, Carrasco said.”Lynn is a city that has a beautiful population of Cambodians, whites, Latinos, blacks and a lot of people who have no jobs,” Carrasco said when asked why it was important to hold a march in Lynn. “We want all people who invest in Lynn to know if they are going to do projects in Lynn, we want the people to benefit.”

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