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Hundreds march for anti-racism, solidarity on Labor Day

An enormous inflatable pig sat in front of the Rhode Island State House Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, as about 200 people marched through Providence for the Labor Day Anti-Racist March and Rally. (WJAR)

An enormous inflatable pig representing corporate greed sat on the steps of the Rhode Island State House Monday, as about 200 people marched through Providence for the Labor Day Anti-Racist March and Rally.

Rhode Island labor unions and organizations said they emphasized the importance of solidarity “in light of recent events in Charlottesville, Boston, and throughout the country.”

“In addition to highlighting the role of the labor movement in developing a freer and more equitable society, this event will focus specifically on the important role that organized labor, workers, and concerned citizens have to play in the ongoing struggle against racism in our society,” a press release noted ahead of the event.

The march started at 12:30 p.m. at Burnside Park and continued to the steps of the State House, where participants gathered for a picnic.

Several people held signs that read, “Black Lives Matter.”

The event was planned by the following organizations:

Rhode Island Jobs with Justice, the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, Teamsters Local 251, 1199 SEIU Rhode Island, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 618, and the URI Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, as well as by local organizations like Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), Rhode Island Working Families Party, Fuerza Laboral, and Providence Democratic Socialists of America.

"Unions have long stood against racism, discrimination, and bigotry in and out of the workplace,” according to Maureen Martin, who is the Secretary Treasurer of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO. “We have, we will, and we continue to stand opposed to those who promote hate, intolerance, and division within our society.”

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