Happy May Day!
Today all over the world people are coming together to demonstrate the power of political and economic solidarity; to challenge anti-immigrant racism; to celebrate spring and rebirth; and to affirm our capacity to build a society founded on interdependence.
We know that in the United States, this "other labor day" isn't officially recognized or celebrated in every community. Reclaiming May Day is an important tactic for building alliances with communities worldwide.
Acute crises like the passage of SB 1070 in Arizona, and long-term crises like the de-unionization of the US work force demand both political and cultural responses.
In that spirit of change, we'd like to share 4 perspectives on May Day from CR members for this month's update. We hope they inspire new visions and offer insights into how our lives and struggles are connected.
Wherever you are today, we hope you join loved ones and larger communities as we celebrate May Day, the struggle to abolish the prison industrial complex, and to recognize all the labor you contribute to the world!
from David Chavez, Los Angeles
The military style ICE raids which are separating families and communities, the caging of undocumented people in ICE's nearly 200 clandestine detention facilities, and Arizona's SB1070 are all bullets fired from the Prison Industrial Complex revolver. The issue of immigration in the U.S.can not be transformed so long as any person is criminalized based of their place of birth.
As we march on May 1st in solidarity with all workers, with or without papers, we as abolitionist also must carry on the chant of "No Human Being Is Illegal or Criminal."
from Andrea Slocum, New Orleans
The history of May Day is a religious, political, and revolutionary day celebrated around the world. In light of what is happening in the gulf south today with the oil spill, I'm choosing to protest the poisoning of our communities in the name of profit. It is evident that the powers that be will not hold peoples lives over money. It is shown through the environmental violence to the violence that the PIC inflicts every day to oppress people. May Day is a day for people all over the world to come together,speak truth and claim power.
Helia Rasti, Oakland CA
When I think about May Day this year, I think about the economic crisis. As private and public banks, multinational corporations, and other institutions of capitalism continue to profit from the financial crises they helped to orchestrate, people all over the world continue to suffer from poverty and state repression.
Arizona's new immigration law weighs on my heart and my mind as another chapter in US domestic and imperialist policy -a connecting point between global economic forces that compel people to migrate, and massive legal and military repression when real or imagined migration happens. It reinforces the PIC's mandate to isolate and criminalize people of color and indigenous people as we take action against powerlessness and death.
On this International Workers' Day, I stand in solidarity with people around the world who fight to work, who fight to live, who fight to be free.
David Stein, Los Angeles
Today, on International Workers Day, we are reminded of the Haymarket massacre when communists, anarchists, and other leftists called a general strike amidst capitalist crisis and were attacked viciously by the police. Likewise, as the great general strike of the formerly enslaved led to the abolition of slavery, we abolitionists have a long history to remember today.
The legacies of those folks prompt us to think of ways that we have collectively struggled to take back our time-our weekends, our eight-hour-work days, the products of our labor. We are reminded of this while our friends and family are locked in cages having their time-their living capacities stolen. And through this, we work our other shifts doing the reproductive work of nourishing our communities while the PIC tries to undermine us at every turn. On May Day, let's remember these histories and make some more of our own. Abolition now.