Saturday, April 30, 2011

What Kind of May Day Do We Need this Year?

The combination of existential challenges and historic opportunities facing workers indicates only one appropriate response on May 1, 2011: everyone together in the streets against the attacks on immigrants, public and private sector unions, and all working people.

By Daniel Gross, ZNet
April 19, 2011

Who would have thought?

The self-sacrifice of a street vendor in Tunisia sparked the rage of a nation including general strikes from independent unions which successfully ousted the Ben-Ali dictatorship. The garment workers of Mahalla and their national day of action catalyzed the seeds of revolt in Egypt. Then with millions in the street and Hosni Mubarak obstinately ensconced in his compound, mass industrial action from workers across sectors and across Egypt broke the stalemate and ended a 30-year reign of oppression. Popular revolts have spread throughout the region. [...]

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May Day Rallies Reveal America’s True Self—Its Promise and Its Fear

By Rinku Sen, ColorLines
April 28 2011

I have two abiding memories from third grade. The first is of reciting the pledge of allegiance: rows of white, black and Latino kids (and me, the lone South Asian) taking a deep breath before the climactic words “with liberty and justice for all.” My other memory is of us kids diving under our desks when the air raid alarm went off, a practice induced by Cold War paranoia. Each year as May 1 rolls around, these two memories stand side by side as I watch corporate media’s response to the day’s vibrant marches for immigrant and labor rights. The inspiring scene of several hundred thousand very diverse people asserting their Americanness is followed by the paranoid fantasies of people who see foreign invasions coming to their home towns. [...]

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Will Public Workers and Immigrants March Together on May Day?

By David Bacon, In These Times
April 28, 2011

One sign carried in almost every May Day march of the last few years says it all: "We are Workers, not Criminals!" Often it was held in the calloused hands of men and women who looked as though they'd just come from work in a factory, cleaning an office building, or picking grapes.

The sign stated an obvious truth. Millions of people have come to the United States to work, not to break its laws. Some have come with visas, and others without them. But they are all contributors to the society they've found here.

This year, those marchers will be joined by the public workers we saw in the state capitol in Madison, whose message was the same: we all work, we all contribute to our communities and we all have the right to a job, a union and a decent life. [...]

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Videos: May 1 Warmup Queens March April 24th

By Daniel Vila, Independent Workers Movement
April 26, 2011

Channel NY1 covered in both English and Spanish the march organized by the Independent Workers Movement in Queens, NY, Sunday, April 24.

The march began in front of the Philippine Forum at 69th Street, Queens and went up Roosevelt Avenue for a rally on 83rd Street and Roosevelt.

Hundreds of pieces of literature inviting people to Union Square for May Day were distributed. More than 400 copies of the Independent Workers Movement newspaper were distributed as well as flyers explaining the purpose of the march. Other organizations also distributed their literature.

Thanks to Jonna Baldres, Marina Diaz and Paola Martinez for the links.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Future of Internationalism: Immigration and the Left

A Public Interview
with Jane Guskin and David Wilson,
authors of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers

Tuesday, April 19, 7:30 pm
At New York University, Silver, room 621
(the corner of Washington Place and Washington Square Park East)

Sponsor: NYU Platypus Affiliated Society