You are here


Exploited Labor: “A triumph of the people” - Salvadorans reclaim the streets on International Workers’ Day

Last week, CISPES wrote to you about El Salvador’s Minister of Labor threatening arrest against popular movement leaders if they moved forward with their plans to march on International Workers’ Day. Here’s a short re-cap of what happened (and thankfully, what didn’t)


In scenes that were chillingly reminiscent of the 1980s, the state put up many now-standard obstacles to those who came out to march: intimidating searches by the military and over 20 police barricades blocking highways and turning away buses across the country.

But the people were determined. With tremendous courage, labor unions and popular organizations held fast to their claim to May 1 as thousands took to the streets.

Preparing for the worst, CISPES brought people together from the Salvadoran diaspora and international solidarity organizations to form an Observatorio Internacional Popular #El1Marchamos, ready to mobilize a world-wide response to any arrests of movement leaders or violence against marchers.

Solidarity stalwarts like Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) also came through on Twitter to denounce the Salvadoran government’s attempts to criminalize of those taking to the streets to defend democracy and workers’ rights.

Thankfully, we did not need to mobilize our emergency response - at least not this time.

As the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Bloc said in their statement late Sunday night after the march: “We thank Salvadorans around the world and international solidarity for mobilizing alongside our people.”

Thank you for being part of this international solidarity network and we hope we can continue to count on your support as the struggle moves forward!


- All of us at CISPES