Video Oral History
May 1st Action Coalition
Oscar Rosales was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. At an early age, his parents immigrated to the United States and later settled in the Yakima Valley. At A.C. Davis High School, in Yakima, WA, Rosales became involved in MEChA and started to develop a passion for social justice. After graduating, Rosales moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington.
At the University of Washington, Rosales continued to be involved in MEChA but also joined and collaborated with other organizations such as WashPrig, Amnesty International, United Students Against Sweatshops, and La Raza Commission. Additionally, Rosales became active in advocating for worker rights, particularly of undocumented workers; an issue that in late 2005 became prominent with proposed legislation referred to as H.R. 4437. This policy would have penalized both undocumented immigrants and anyone who aided these individuals as felons.
To call attention and protest against H.R. 4437, in 2006, demonstration rallies throughout the county emerged. In Seattle, Rosales worked with El Comite Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social which organized a march on April 10, 2006, as part of the National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice. Furthermore, Rosales along with fellow UW MEChistA’s organized a rally on campus that included student and faculty speakers. Rosales was also part of the May 1st Action Coalition that organized Seattle's May 1 rally, an event that drew an approximately 65,000 people.
Oscar Rosales was interviewed by Josue Q. Estrada at the University of Washington on July 15, 2014.
Scroll for more interview segments. To view the full unedited interview, scroll to the last video clip(s).