May Day in Oregon

SALEM, Ore.—About 2000 people attended “The Light of Hope March And Rally:  A Celebration Of Working Families, Regardless Of Immigration Status.” The event was sponsored by Causa Oregon, PCUN (Pineros y Campesinos Unidos Del Noroeste) Oregon’s Farm Worker Union, Vos Hispana Causa Chavista, Mujeres Luchadores Progresista, Willamette University Causa Chapter, Oregon AFL-CIO.  The only visible union representation was from OSEA (AFT) and SEIU. The rally began at 6 p.m. at the State Capitol.

The numbers appeared to be the same as last year, and the main issue remains the same, “Restore Driver’s Licenses For All!” In 2008 a state law was passed which requires proof of legal residency.  Last year there was a lot of anger that the Democrats had dropped legislation that would have granted a special driver’s license to allow driving privileges to those who could not produce a birth certificate. Most of the signs, banners and buttons reflected this issue.
Governor Kitzhaber was scheduled to speak, but instead a statement was read that he promises to convene a work group of “civic leaders” to address this issue. He admitted that thousands of people with current driver’s licenses could not renew their licenses. He said he would like the law to change but did not give any specifics.
The marchers left the Capitol chanting, “What do we want? Driver’s Licenses!  When do we want them? Now!”
> The article above was written by Ann Montague and first appeared in the May 2012 print edition of Socialist Action.