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Labor groups paint street in unpermitted protest at California State Capitol on May Day

By Tori Apodaca

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    SACRAMENTO, California (KOVR) — Labor groups united at the California State Capitol Wednesday for May Day in an unpermitted protest.

The workers were making their point with paint, creating a mural across the ground of 10th Street between L and N streets in front of the Capitol building.

“We have a voice to speak up for all the people who cannot speak for themselves,” said one state worker at the rally. “All the workers in the United States. That is why we are here.”

Sacramento police said impromptu protests happen around the State Capitol often and this one is no different. The special events lieutenant was in contact with the event organizer to make sure everything ran smoothly.

Police placed barricades around the area the workers were painting in to protect them from traffic. Organized rallies and protests need a permit, but Sacramento police said this group was allowed to assemble because they were exercising their First Amendment rights.

Each different labor group was responsible for a different piece of the mural that spelled out the workers’ slogan: “Educate, agitate and organize.”

“You have to get to that root cause of what’s going to agitate you enough to do something about the problem that you are facing,” said the vice president of SEIU 1000, Anica Walls.

It was a busy day around the Capitol with unrelated groups holding their own permitted rally nearby. They saw no problem with the union workers not having a permit.

“I think California and Cali gov is all about supporting and being able to facilitate two things at once,” said founder of Kala Wellness Nisha Devi Rodrigo, who was taking part in the CA Moves Day.

State workers said the latest battle they have been fighting back against is the governor’s mandate for them to return to office two days a week.

“There’s no need for me to be putting all that carbon in the air,” said Son Antonowich, who works for the state and will need to travel over 85 miles from Willows to return to the office.

Free speech was on display in Sacramento Wednesday with different voices for different causes all safely sharing a space.

“We are going to continue to agitate and organize until we get it done,” said Walls. “There is no stopping.”

CBS13 also reached out to the city to see what the plan is to clean up the paint before more events next week. It said it is currently looking into the matter and will share more information when it becomes available.

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