State Capitol May Day Rally Goes Online
The coronavirus pandemic meant that for the first time in more than a decade, immigrants’ rights groups did not hold a rally in front of the Oregon capitol on May Day.
Instead, they gathered online.
The state capitol May Day rallies have drawn thousands in the past to champion causes like health care and drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants. Often coming during a legislative session, the events have typically included speeches by politicians and community leaders.
Because of the need to observe social distancing and the ban on large gatherings, organizers decided to hold the annual May Day Rally as a live-stream, with speakers joining from their homes. More than 500 devices were tuned into the event.
According to stats from the Oregon Health Authority, the COVID-19 outbreak is disproportionately affecting the state’s Hispanic community. Some speakers talked about how to keep essential workers healthy during the pandemic.
The rally included a pre-recorded message from Gov. Kate Brown, who has spoken at several of the state capitol May Day rallies in past years.
"To all those on the front lines who are essential workers, whether you are a farm worker or child care provider, grocery store clerk or home care worker, I want to say thank you," she said. "I appreciate you and the sacrifices you and your families are making to care for your fellow Oregonians."