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Thousands Expected To March In May Day Event

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Several thousand union members and activists were set Monday to put the Las Vegas Strip on the map of places around the nation hosting May Day marches to highlight immigration issues and push back against Trump administration policies.

The evening demonstration on Las Vegas Boulevard was dubbed the Unity March for Immigrants, said Bethany Khan, an official with the powerful Culinary Union.

Organizers hoped to assemble hotel workers ending their shifts for a walk across an Interstate 15 overpass for a rally at a vacant lot near the Palms hotel-casino, Khan said.

The union says more than half of its 57,000 hotel and restaurant workers are women and Hispanic, and many are fearful of Trump administration policies including the arrests of people who are in the country illegally.

Labor and Latinos proved to be a powerful combination in November, when Nevada voted Democratic in a presidential contest that saw much of the rest of the nation vote Republican. Hispanics account for about 28 percent of Nevada’s population.

The May Day event in Las Vegas had backing from nearly 20 unions and organizations including advocates for a $15 minimum wage, Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada, Battle Born Progress, members of the UndocuNetwork at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the Black Democratic Empowerment Project.

“It’s a convergence of people — construction workers, immigrant rights advocates and labor unions,” said Laura Martin, associate director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

State transportation officials projected there could be as many as 7,000 marchers, and they planned the closure of part of Flamingo Road above Interstate 15 during the march. Demonstrators were set to pass in front of the Venetian, Palazzo, Treasure Island and Caesars Palace resorts on the Strip.

A rally was also planned in Reno. Martin said the event had support from Women and Children of the Sierra, Reno-Sparks NAACP, Tu Casa Latina and Chispa Nevada.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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