Every year when we get to the first day of May I can’t help but feel sad.
My maternal grandmother was born in Italy on May first 1912.
Her father, Orlando, was a horse-cart maker and a community leader.
With the advent of Mussolini and his fascist “black shirt” punitive squads, they would go to Orlando’s home and, in front of the little girl’s eyes, arrest him, often beat him up, “purge” him-shoving cod liver oil down his throat (with a funnel)- and throw him in jail for a few days.
This would usually happen on the last week of April every year so that he would not be able to throw a party to celebrate his daughter’s birthday on May first, which could enable him, in the fascists’ eyes, to actually celebrate Workers Day, a strongly forbidden festivity in those years.
Yesterday, May 1, 2010, a large workers march was being planned in New York City and although I had received no assignment by any news organization whatsoever, I just decided to go along and cover it for my own sake.
The marchers were mostly legal and illegal immigrants, chanting at the top of their voices a desire to be recognized and integrated by a society they joined by the necessity to earn a living, to raise and educate their kids, as well as to provide for extended families left in their sub developed countries of origin.
Of course yesterday the recently passed Arizona law sb1070 on immigration was a hot and sad topic on everyone’s mouth.
I don’t feel this is the time nor perhaps the place to expand a lot about what I think of this issue, however I can say that, being an immigrant myself, having experienced poverty myself, having dreamed the “American Dream “ and to an extent having been able to live it, my heart is with these people.
Politics and politicking aside, I just present here some views I was able to capture of the immigrants march in New York City, May first 2010.
© Giovanni Savino Photography