Story in the DailyBulletin.com
CLAREMONT – Pitzer College students braved the chilly weather Tuesday to join in the May Day events that popped up across the country.From noon to midnight students, professors and faculty members filtered in and out of the grassy hills that made up the designated rally area to talk about the struggles of labor and hear what passionate protestors had to say.
“We wanted a local event regarding May Day,” said Marc Lichterman, a 19-year-old freshman who helped organize the event. “My first instinct was to go to LA, but I wanted to focus on where I live.”
Speakers included Jose Calderon, emeritus professor of sociology and chicano and latino studies, and Dana Ward, a political studies professor, who talked about the struggles connected to the working class, gave the history of May Day and related it to present issues.May Day in the United States is a celebration of the labor movement, officials said. This year, a number of demonstrations, rallies and strikes were formed nationally to spotlight fair wages, the need for jobs and equality.
Those involved in the college rally called for students to skip classes as part of the May Day general strike. To allow students to participate, some professors canceled Tuesday classes.
“We want to raise awareness,” said Camille Matonis, another 19-year-old freshman organizer. “We want (students) to recognize there’s a problem with the system.”
While the rally at Pitzer paled in comparison to the national events, Lichterman said he was happy with their efforts.
“During the day we had a lot of really good conversations and discussions about the issue,” he said. “And that’s what I wanted.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Lori via email or call her at 909-483-9378.