About 200 protesters marched through downtown Santa Ana Tuesday afternoon in support of the international workers’ holiday, calling for driver licenses for undocumented immigrants and an end to education cuts.
The march drew a variety of activist groups affiliated with the May Day Coalition, including El Centro Cultural de Mexico and Occupy Santa Ana. The group works for a “world without borders” and to promote human rights, according to its website.
Carolyn Torres, a 29-year-old member of Chicanos Unidos, told the protesters gathered at Sasscer Park that state legislators were expanding funding for prisons while making cuts to education, a backward approach to cultivating society.
“What we’re trying to do is shake everyone out of their complacency, out of their apathy,” Torres said. The state’s lawmakers are counting on citizen apathy to avoid being held accountable, she asserted.
Protesters marched as far as West 17th Street and Broadway, passing out leaflets containing advice on how to handle police officers. Two onlookers said that police officers unfairly target anyone who isn’t white and they were thankful for the leaflets.
Protesters are “helping people understand why the police are stopping them, and it gives us the right to understand ‘Why me?’ ” said 18-year-old resident Katherine Macias of Santa Ana.
Unlike other May Day protests around the world that were marked by violent encounters with police, Santa Ana’s May Day protest was peaceful, with only a few nonviolent confrontations.