WATSONVILLE — A small contingent of workers gathered in Watsonville Plaza Monday at noon to celebrate May Day.

The estimated 50 attendees, who were largely from Service Employees International Union Local 2015, held signs, chanted union slogans and cheered as passing vehicles honked in support.

They joined workers across the country who held similar rallies and pro-labor actions.

The rally took on a new level of significance for several of the workers, as they brace themselves for President Donald Trump’s continual attempts to enact stringent new immigration policies.

“I’m here to support immigrant rights, and fight for a better life for all our workers,” said Anita Garcia. “I want a better life for my family, for the elderly and for all humanity. We’re workers and we are asking for respect.”

May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, has been observed in the U.S. since 1889. It began in commemoration of the Haymarket Affair, an 1886 pro-labor rally that ended when a bomb exploded killing seven police officers and wounding 67. Police responded by opening fire on the protesters, killing several and wounding 200.

“It’s just important for us to be out here to remind people that we’re here, we’re not going away and we are needed,” said Jorge Velasquez.

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