HILTON HEAD, Sc. (WSAV) – Lowcountry Immigration Coalition along with Lowcountry Indivisible hosted a May Day Rally on Monday morning in observance of International Workers Day, but instead of striking or protesting, they chose to support immigrant workers on their way to work.
“May Day is traditionally International Workers Day. May Day was also the day that the Latino community was being asked to strike nationally, and we chose in the Lowcountry to celebrate immigrants and not ask them to strike,” said Mitch Siegel with Lowcountry Immigration Coalition.
A small group of people gathered on the busiest road leading into Hilton Head Island in front of the Crazy Crab on Highway 278 with signs and waves.
“The huge number of cars and trucks, vans, coming on, and it just reminds me that Hilton Head Island is a economic heartbeat of this state, and immigrants play play a large part in that, from the hotels, to the restaurants, landscaping… in so many ways,” said George Westerfield, a Hilton Head resident.
This May Day Rally follows recent deportations in the area.
“They say they are only taking the bad people but it’s not happening that way,’ said Ernesto Garcia, an immigrant from Mexico.
“Our Latino and Asian and African immigrant communities are important to the Lowcountry without them — our economy in Beaufort County would collapse,” said Siegel.
“I’m from Mexico… I have at least 20 years living in this country,” said Galdino Larrea, “I do construction, we do framing, and we work here, in surrounding areas like Hilton Head, Sun City, Beaufort.”