Around 100 march for May Day

Photos by Max Cooper

Around 100 people showed up for a May Day rally this afternoon in Pack Square. Protesters focused better rights for workers, free education and opposed deportation of undocumented immigrants, among other issues. Police presence was light and the event remained peaceful.

The events were organized by a collection of local labor and activists groups, including Asheville Mutual Aid and Veterans for Peace, along with the local chapters of Industrial Workers of the World and the International Socialist Organization. While some of the fliers around town mentioned a focus on conditions in the service industry (and one protester’s sign read “Asheville deserves better than small business owners”) most of the major speeches were readings of historical speeches given by leftist and labor figures like Elizabeth Flynn Gurley or Emma Goldman. Some speakers did focus their remarks on more immediate topics, including last year’s immigration raid on the Shogun Buffet, resulting in the detention of 12 people (“their only crime was to show up for a day of work,” one speaker said).

Protesters marched through downtown, chanting and singing, before winding their way back to Pack Square and dispersing. Asheville Police Department presence remained light throughout the marches, mostly consisting of bicycle police who rode around the marchers and sometimes stopped traffic to let them by. The overall mood was cheerful on both sides, with protesters playing “Eye of the Tiger” and bantering with the APD officers.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

8 thoughts on “Around 100 march for May Day

  1. Ben

    Thanks for the great coverage. Minor edit. It was the “International Socialist Organization” and the “Industrial Workers of the World” who helped organize the event, not the “International Workers of the World”. There must of be just some minor confusion

  2. bill smith

    MayDay is an evil Pagan celebration of devil worshiping disguised as a political rally. Marxists and Satanists!

  3. Thad

    BTW, I was at this rally the whole time, and I never noticed a sign that said “Asheville deserves better than small business owners.” However, whoever you were, thank you. And please get in touch with me! We probably have much in common!

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.