The Red Nation Endorses May Day 2020 General Strike

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The Red Nation joins the call by Cooperation Jackson for a national and international convergence toward a May 1st 2020 General Strike to End the COVID-19 Crisis and Create a New World. We unite with workers and social justice organizations from across occupied Turtle Island in this call for a general strike to support frontline and unemployed workers, Indigenous peoples, oppressed peoples, and women to free the planet from the current colonial, racial, imperial, patriarchal, and capitalist order. The COVID-19 pandemic is a symptom of this capitalist order in its death throes.

The reality is that essential workers on the frontlines, confronting and providing critical health care services and sustaining and feeding entire communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, are already leading the struggle at great risk to their health and families. Workers are going on strike, protesting, and walking out. This has included protests and actions by nurses, health care workers, janitors, farm workers, food packing workers, grocery workers, postal workers, transportation and delivery workers, fusion center workers, and school workers, who have already withheld their labor and demanded safety equipment, higher wages, and expanded health care. All the while Amazon, Walmart, and 3M are expanding their empires out of the surplus value created by their frontline workers, and the rest of Wall Street and other major corporations receive over a trillion dollars that has been siphoned from U.S. taxpayers to, once again, bail out the rich. The rulers of this country are saying they want to save the economy, yet workers are being endangered at the workplace or thrown out to fend for themselves. We urge all to join the call for a general work strike.

Over a third of renters could not pay their rent on April 1st. The precariousness of our times, produced by the last 50 years of neoliberal, imperialist, and counter-revolutionary order against the anti-colonial struggles of those in the Global South, Indigenous peoples in the U.S., Palestinians, Black, Red, and Women’s movements, is in full display. The millions of workers dismissed from their jobs will join the permanently urban and rural unemployed reserves, and millions more will join the ever-expanding number of uninsured peoples. Many before COVID-19 have been living paycheck to paycheck with inadequate housing, food insecurity, and now many will be pushed to make the unimaginable decision between food, medicine, or the roof over their heads. They will join the hundreds of thousands of houseless relatives. They will join the over two million Black, Indigenous, Brown and poor incarcerated peoples in this country. They will fuel the premature death zones of U.S. bordertowns, urban ghettos, and private migrant detention centers. We urge all houseless, unemployed, families and communities to demand health care, housing, and guaranteed income for all – this May Day No Rent, No Work, and No Shopping!  End all new arrests, detentions, and caging!  We demand an end to the racist and violent policing of Native peoples on and off-reservation and federal trust lands. We demand an end to the racist state institutions that unjustly target and imprison Native peoples and all oppressed peoples.

We join this call for a General Strike as an Indigenous revolutionary socialist organization that wants to bring into focus the question of U.S. Imperialism and colonialism, as we move toward greater movement coordination and coalition building. We fully support the May Day General Strike demands and fully endorse its focus on Closing all of the Overseas Military Bases, Cutting the Military (Defense) and Spy (Surveillance) Budgets and Redirecting these funds to Health Care, Social Services, Universal Basic Income and Greening Public Infrastructure and the Economy. This directly speaks to the spirit and direction of the Red Deal – Divest: End the Occupation, Reinvest: Heal Our Bodies, and Create Jobs: Heal Our Planet.  

Those of us who live in the occupied territories of Turtle Island, and those of us who reside in the so-called United States, have to fully come to grips with the impact of militarism, violence, and ecological destruction by U.S. imperialism, its military apparatus, and the multinational corporations it harbors and protects. While many communities and workers in the United States are facing ever increasing levels of precariousness during this pandemic, we can’t lose sight of the impacts of this pandemic upon the Third World and Global South where workers, farmers, women, and ecology are left at the margin of austerity and profit making. The U.S. continues its military occupation around the world and belligerently continues to hold and expand inhumane sanctions on Venezuela, Iran, and Cuba, and now threatens to withhold resources to the World Health Organization. The United States’ colonial apparatus is a disease upon the peoples of the world.

U.S. imperialism is not just an abstract foreign policy or politic, it is an internal logic of the United States’ formation and continuum. The United States is not “one nation under god,” but “one nation under the gun.” North America is our home and the ongoing settler-colonial extractionism and occupation-capitalism of Native nations and lands is not a historical phase, but an ongoing colonial function that undermines Indigenous sovereignty, land rights, and environmental rights that destabilizes our people’s humanity and wellbeing. Today, Indian Country is one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 infection and death rates – the genocidal logic of settler-colonialism is on full display and we demand international support and solidarity for our peoples and nations.

Any basis of building a peoples, worker, and ecological revolutionary movement in the United States has to fully acknowledge and do everything to undermine the U.S.’s imperial reach and exploitation.

For the May Day General Strike, The Red Nation Demands:

  • An end to all US sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba and all countries!
  • An end to all U.S. funding for the state of Israel and other settler colonial countries, and support for the right of return for all Palestinians. We demand that safety equipment be prioritized to support Palestinian people across Palestine.
  • The implementation of the Red Deal. Instead of taking funds from social security to boost the private sector, we should reallocate resources from the military, police, and prisons into a mass public health campaign to combat COVID-19.
  • The reinstatement of treaty rights and the acknowledgement of Native independence. We demand Native Nations assume their rightful place as independent Nations guaranteed the fundamental right to self-determination for their people, communities, land bases, and political and economic systems.
  • The universal enforcement and application of services to improve the standard of living for Native peoples pursuant to provisions in treaties and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), whether such peoples reside on or off reservation and trust lands. We demand more than mere survival. We demand conditions to thrive.
  • Legalization, the right to unionize, and full citizenship for all essential and nonessential undocumented and/or mixed status relatives who are considered “illegal” during the COVID-19 pandemic. We demand that they are all given safety gear, equal and fair pay, just working conditions, access to health care, sick pay, and pandemic recovery services and funds. No Bans, No Borders, No Deportations On Stolen Land!
  • An end to all corporate and U.S. control of Native land and resources. We demand an end to tribal collusion with such practices.