( Ed: Mary Millman operates the San Francisco Antique and Artisans Market in United Nations Plaza)

On May 1, 2006, the San Francisco Antique and Artisan Market in United Plaza was closed the entire day. The decision to take this action was not made lightly. Many of our citizen merchants take a financial hit by our closing of the market. Yet, by this action we, in a very visible way, demonstrate our support for all Americans and immigrants demanding justice, basic civic rights and civil liberties for immigrant workers and their families. For our market to be closed on this historic day is totally appropriate. "A Day Without Immigrants" underscores how this movement shares many of the highest principles upon which the United Nations was founded 60 years ago in our Civic Center.

Monday afternoon, thousands will march down Market Street to City Hall. When they march through United Nations Plaza, they will see our support, not our market.

By our absence they will know we support and join millions across America who call on Congress to reject HR4437 and begin a complete reform of our immigration policies which are both inhumane and unrealistic.

On any other Monday, and certainly this Thursday and Friday, nearly 100 citizen merchants gather in United Nations Plaza. They represent many cultures and countries including Africa, America, China, Japan, Thailand, England, Israel, Turkey, Afghanistan, Peru, Mexico and Tibet.

When we return on Thursday we invite everyone to join us and see our many new displays as we begin ninth season in United Nations Plaza. Our market is open from 8 am to 6 pm every Monday, Thursday and Friday With the Farmer's Market on Wednesday and Sunday, United Nations Plaza has become a vital community experience five days of each week during every month of the year.