Bacon, David

David Bacon is a veteran labor photojournalist. For more articles and images, see David Bacon's website. His most recent book Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants is available at Beacon Press.

Will Public Workers and Immigrants March Together on May Day?

By David Bacon

One sign carried in almost every May Day march of the last few years says it all: "We are Workers, not Criminals!"  Often it was held in the calloused hands of men and women who looked as though they'd just come from work in a factory, cleaning an office building, or picking grapes.  The sign stated an obvious truth.  Millions of people have come to the United States to work, not to break its laws.  Some have come with visas, and others without them.  But they are all contributors to the society they've found here.

This year, those marchers will be joined by the public workers we saw in the state capitol in Madison, whose message was the same - we all work, we all contribute to our communities, and we all have the right to a job, a union, and a decent life.