By Calvin Priest for Counter Punch – On Monday, March 13, the Seattle Educators Association (SEA) took a big step toward May 1 strike action in voting by an overwhelming majority in favor of a one-day strike at their Representative Assembly. The resolution will now require approval by the union’s full membership. The vote was a response to more than a decade of unconstitutional underfunding of public education in Washington State. But it was also a part of a series of recent moves by Seattle unions preparing to take action on May Day against the vicious right-wing agenda of Donald Trump. In February, WFSE Local 304, representing workers at Seattle community colleges, passed a resolution supporting strike and protest action on May 1.
By Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams – Workers on Sunday marked May Day across the globe with rallies in cities from Paris, to Istanbul, to Manila. Some of the protesters faced violence from police. According to reporting by Reuters,”Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon and detained more than 200 people after scuffles broke out at May Day celebrations in Istanbul and some anti-government protesters tried to breach a ban on access to the main Taksim square.” As France’s parliament is weighing a bill that would erode worker protections, “hundreds of angry youths on the sidelines of a May Day labor rally hurled stones and wood at police in Paris…
By Laura Flanders for Commondreams. Workers shouldn’t strike and go out and starve, but strike and remain in, and take possession, said Lucy parsons. Lifelong partner of Albert parsons, one of the American Labor Leaders, most associated with the founding of the American May Day tradition. lucy_parsonsLucy Parsons was of Mexican American, African American, and Native American Descent. She was born into slavery and she was an intersectional thinker and activist a century before the term was coined. Her work after emancipation led her directly into conflict with the Ku Klux Clan and into a lifelong partnership with radical typographer and organizer Albert Parsons.
By Peter Linebaugh of Roar Magazine. The Soviet government paraded missiles and marched soldiers on May Day. The American government has called May 1 “Loyalty Day” and associates it with militarism. The real meaning of this day has been obscured by the designing propaganda of both governments. The truth of May Day is totally different. To the history of May Day there is a Green side and there is a Red side. Under the rainbow, our methodology must be colorful. Green is a relationship to the earth and what grows there-from. Red is a relationship to other people and the blood spilt there among. Green designates life with only necessary labor; Red designates death with surplus labor. Green is natural appropriation; Red is social expropriation. Green is husbandry and nurturance; Red is proletarianization and prostitution. Green is useful activity; Red is useless toil. Green is creation of desire; Red is class struggle. May Day is both.
By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy – This week, regulation is the name of the game if you want to hold corporations accountable and keep them in line with the interests of people and planet. Sadly, there’s one serious hurdle standing between us and regulation, and it has to do with how much your life is worth. Next up, find a May Day action near you – and while you’re at it, paint and spray your message of change in supervillain coup de art. But first, here’s my 2 cents – on 20 dollars.
Hundreds of people, including union members, students, socialists, immigrants and others, gathered in New York City’s Union Square on May 1, International Workers Day, calling for a higher minimum wage of $15 an hour, justice for unarmed people killed by police and an end to deportation and detention of undocumented immigrants. This year, May Day protesters in New York brought calls for an end to systemic racism and support for police accountability for the killing of unarmed civilians, especially people of color, to the forefront of the annual labor march and rally, with “Black Lives Matter” and the names of people killed by police written on signs, and chants calling for justice for the victims of police brutality or promises to “shut it down,” a mantra of the Black Lives Matter movement.