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Pandemic doesn't stop May Day immigration rally in Grand Rapids

Dozens attended the rally, which started around noon at Lincoln Park.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A rally was organized Friday by Movimiento Cosecha GR, a Grand Rapids organization focused on justice for immigrants. 

May 1 is International Workers Day and organizers said the rally was held to highlight the unfair treatment of immigrants in the workforce here in West Michigan. 

Dozens attended the rally, which started around noon at Lincoln Park.

The Grand Rapids protest was just one of many protests held today throughout the country for the annual cause. This year organizers had to adhere to social distancing rules because of COVID-19. Many protesters wore masks and stayed in their cars for the driving-style rally. 

RELATED: Coronavirus updates, May 1: Whitmer gives update; Cases reach 42,356

"This was not a protest against COVID-19 executive orders by the governor, " Sergio Cira-Reyes a community organizer for Cosecha GR said. He added though the virus is showcasing problems in America with the immigrant community. 

Movimiento Cosecha GR created a group on Facebook for the protest, that said many in the immigrant community "are experiencing difficult circumstances at this time. Many of us lost our jobs. We do not know how we are going to pay rent or our tickets. And many of us are still working. They call us essential workers but our work does not give us masks or protections, exposing our health to the virus."

Movimiento Cosecha GR is part of a nationwide movement,that is taking steps for immigrant rights and the undocumented, including the right for everyone to have drivers license in Michigan.

"Drivers licenses for all would allow our community to drive to work, to take our kids to school, to buy groceries. All these things that are essential for us to live our lives," Cira-Reyes said. 

May 1 protest first were brought to light in 2006 when they were nicknamed "A day without Immigrants."



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