El Salvador Celebrates international Workers' Day
On May 1st, 2015, hundreds of thousands filled the streets of San Salvador to celebrate the victories of the working class and voice their demands for justice, equality and self-determination.
As usual, May Day was a festive affair, full of music, banners, chanting and theatrics. Street theater and graffiti artists condemned US imperialism and recent interventions by US Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte in national affairs; colorful signs denounced Supreme Court destabilization, while others honored the legacy of martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero.
The Salvadoran Social and Union Front headed the march as part of the United Social Movement and Union Coordinating Committee (CUSS) block, followed by several more diverse mass social movement coalitions, radical student organizations from the National University of El Salvador and base committees of the governing leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party. Marchers set out in front of the Metrocentro mall and amassed at the landmark Salvador del Mundo monument, where President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, Vice President Oscar Ortiz, Labor Minister Sandra Guevara and FMLN Secretary General Medardo González joined social movement leaders onstage before the crowd.
Union leader Roberto Gutierrez delivered the collective platform put forward by the march organizers to the President, and read the demands to the thousands gathered. These included the respect for labor rights and dignified working conditions, expanding popular government social programs, guaranteeing the human rights to food and water and enacting a progressive fiscal reform. He also spoke out against the Attorney General’s complicity in acts of corruption by ex-officials, the interventionist actions of the “Fantastic Four” Supreme Court magistrates and warned against regional militarization threats in the US-backed Alliance for Prosperity.
“I want to commit myself to the working class; this proposal will be the foundation for discussions to reach agreements with the labor sector,” said Sánchez Cerén upon receiving the demands.