Press Release – Thousands Return to Rally at Capitol Against HB 87 on May Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Adelina Nicholls, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights – 770.457.5232

Kathrin Ivanovic, Somos Georgia – 215.776.1162

Thousands Return to Rally at Capitol Against HB 87 on May Day

Protests, National Boycott, and Call for Statewide Work Stoppage turn the Pressure up on Governor Deal

[Atlanta, GA] Thousands gathered today at the Georgia Capitol in solidarity against HB87, to ratchet up the pressure on Governor Nathan Deal to veto Arizona copycat legislation that many believe would bankrupt the state and return Georgia to “show me your papers” territor

The day before the Governor’s inauguration, thousands of immigrants, workers and concerned Georgians gathered to send a message that the passage of anti-immigrant legislation has galvanized immigrant communities and thousands of allies across the state.

Observers have noted that the effect of the legislation will be the exact opposite of what the legislators intended. Instead of driving people away, it is driving people to stay and build in solidarity with other communities of color and workers throughout the state. Ben Speight, Organizer Director of the Teamsters Local 728, reminded protesters that, “[i]n the labor movement we have a saying “Don’t Mourn – Organize!”. We may want to mourn HB87, but let us instead organize like never before.”

Georgia agriculture, tourism and other business communities have warned Governor Deal that this legislation would have a detrimental economic impact on the State. In addition to the mounting threats of national boycotts of Georgia, Adelina Nicholls, Executive Director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, called for a statewide work stoppage on July 1, if Governor Deal signs HB87 into law. “Stay home! We will not work. We will send a clear message across the state, through the halls of the Georgia Assembly and to the Governor’s Office, that Georgia’s economy depends on hour hard work.”

Protesters gathered on the Washington Street side of the Georgia Capitol with banners calling for an end to racial profiling and hate within a state with a deep legacy of civil rights. Police estimated the crowd at more than 2,000. Other speakers included Pastor Lydia Villanueva of Iglesia Luterana, Charlie Flemming, President of the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council AFL-CIO, Nicolas Stanojevich, a union representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1996, as well as more than a dozen other community members and student organizers.

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