Best Political Protest (2013)

The Orange County May Day Coalition

Every May 1, the streets of downtown SanTana are seized by demonstrations, and this year was no different, with immigration being the battleground it has been since 2006. The Orange County May Day Coalition (OCMDC) saw to it that the city was flooded with the marching voices of tens of thousands. Beyond empty sloganeering, this past International Worker's Day protest was one with a concrete agenda, as activists targeted the contract between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Santa Ana over the use of its city jail to house immigrant detainees. Whereas in years past, the OCMDC has utilized aesthetics reminiscent of anti-corporate globalization protests, it opted for a more militant look this time. With signs reading, "Santa City Jail, Immigrants for Sale," activists shamed those in local government who would exploit the detention of the undocumented as a source of revenue. Red-and-black flags waved in the sky along a march route that, for a day, resembled the streets of Barcelona, Spain, during the revolutionary 1930s.


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