May Day 2017: UUs Grow Solidarity
Love Resists is guided by three powerful principles: expand sanctuary, grow solidarity, and raise our voices. On May 1st, Unitarian Universalists demonstrated their solidarity by joining immigrant, refugee, Muslim, Black and Brown, indigenous, LGBTQ communities, workers, women, environmental justice activists, and all who support a vibrant and diverse future for our country to rise up and show our unity.
In communities across the country and around the globe, people shared a message of resistance to policies of fear and hatred that criminalize our neighbors and communities. For Unitarian Universalists, this was an opportunity to center immigrant voices and serve in immigrant communities. Some marched in rallies, participated in teach-ins, engaged in advocacy meetings with elected officials, sent postcards to Congress, and some took part in direct actions and civil disobedience. We share some highlights from the day below.
Support immigrant rights in your community:
- Find resources for expanding sanctuary, growing solidarity, and raising your voice at LoveResists.org.
- Send a postcard to a congressional leader that needs to stand with immigrants.
- Read about key issues shaping the future of the immigrants rights movement after May 1.
Rev. Lee Bluemel of North Parish of North Andover Unitarian Universalist Church (pictured at left carrying a basket of bread and roses), Rev. Frank Clarkson of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Haverhill, Rev. Ellen Spero of First Parish of Chelmsford, Rev. Lara Hoke of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Andover, and dozens of congregation members joined with the immigrant rights group Cosecha for a Day Without Immigrants Rally in Lawrence, MA on May 1st. The congregations are all part of the recently-formed Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network, working to protect undocumented immigrants in their communities. On Sunday, April 30th, North Parish also organized a rally for immigrant justice on the town common to bring attention to following days' planned events and bring immigration issues to light in town.
Unitarian Universalists from Washington Ethical Society (WES) joined the immigrant justice march in Washington, DC on May Day. WES minister, Rev. Amanda Poppei said of the event, "Trump calls May 1st 'Loyalty Day.' We showed our loyalty to immigrant friends and neighbors. Loyalty to the immigrants in my own family. Loyalty to the dream of America as a place where all are welcome. Loyalty to the beauty possible if we look beyond borders and see one human family."
In California, Rev. Beth Johnson of Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship reports that Unitarian Universalists joined a beautiful May Day rally and march in Vista, followed by a community gathering at a newly-acquired great space. The next day we hosted a town hall to talk about why the county of San Diego must invest in San Diego families.
Dozens of Unitarian Universalists from Oakland and Berkley, CA joined the May Day march down International Boulevard and rally in San Antonio Park in Oakland organized by immigrant and people of color-led groups. The march was spirited, with lots of music. Many of the businesses along the route were closed to show their solidarity with the one-day strike. Helen Duffy reflected, "I am grateful to be part of a spiritual community that lives its values. This was a moment for allies to step up, and we did."