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Immokalee Community Shows Up To March For Worker's Dignity

Marchers hold a sign that--in English--reads "Immokalee Women Fighting Respect and Dignity"
Quincy J. Walters
Marchers hold a sign that--in English--reads "Immokalee Women Fighting Respect and Dignity"

Monday was International Workers Day. People around the world gathered in solidarity to stand up for worker’s rights. More than 100 people showed up to march in Immokalee. 

The crowd was diverse. There were Latinos and Haitians. Their signs expressed liberty and fairness, written in Spanish, Creole and English. 

"Justicia para todos" and "Justis pout tout moun" were written on a sign. Both translate to Justice for all.

Leonel Perez,  a farm worker with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers--a human rights group, said the purpose was to show people that farm workers aren't just laborers. 

"We're a community made up of families, of mothers and fathers who are struggling to make a better future for their families," he said through translator Julia Perkins. 

Angela Cisneros is the daughter of immigrants. As she marched, she twirled her fabric monarch butterfly wings. She isn’t the only one who sported butterfly wings. It’s a symbol, she said.

"Of immigrants. Of immigration," said Cisneros. "The monarch butterfly migrates from Mexico to Canada and back. Generations and generations.” 

Miguel Estrada, a pastor, wore a shirt that read  JUSTICE FOR FARMWORKERS. He said a lot of farm workers attend his church.

“Justice is the main thing regarding the Bible and our faith," said Estrada. "So being here is doing what I am supposed to do.” 

As the march went on, the crowd grew larger, as people joined after work. Horacio Juarez, who works at a nursery, was still in his dirty work clothes.

"No somos criminales. Somos trabajadores," he said. It means "We're not criminals. We're workers." 

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Quincy Walters is a reporter and backup host for WGCU.
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