May 1st, 2020 is both atypical and representative of the workers' struggle against the exploitative nature of capitalism.
It's atypical because it is the first time in the history of May Day that a global pandemic had prevented workers and their allies across the globe from rallying in large crowds to demand better protection rights and working conditions.Read more
This COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the brutal disregard our economic and political systems have for our well-being. Frontline workers are told to go without proper safety equipment, others have been forced out of work and left to fend for themselves, giant corporations have been gifted enormous transfers of wealth and now our communities are bracing for brutal cutbacks to public goods and services at the moment we need them most.
COVID-19 presents only a fraction of what's to come as the climate emergency escalates. Our hyper-capitalist plutocracy, led by the two parties of War and Wall Street, has flunked this test. Miserably.
To defend ourselves against "Shock Doctrine"-style exploitation of this immediate crisis and to win the Eco-Socialist Green New Deal to avert the crises ahead, we must join together now in strategic, networked collective action to shut this system down. We are fighting for our lives.
Sign this call to action and get connected to organizer training, peer-to-peer support and the latest updates on this necessary movement.
Shared Demands (From PeoplesStrike.org)
Protect All Frontline Workers
No return to work or end to Physical Distancing until health experts determine it is safe.
Protect Vulnerable Communities
Institute Universal Health Care Now
Institute Universal Social Services Now
Institute the Human Right to Housing
Bailout the People, Not the Corporations and Wall Street
- Institute Universal Basic Income Now
Release prisoners and Detainees. Abolish the system of mass incarceration.
Close the Detention Centers
Freeze Payments - including rent and utilities; Cancel debt including student loans.
Decarbonize the Economy, End Fossil Fuel and Extractive Industries Now
Institute Food Sovereignty Policies and Practices Now
Democratize the Means of Production
Close all of the Overseas Military Bases
End the Sanctions That Are Crippling Other Countries' Response to COVID-19
On The First of Every Month, I Pledge:
- No Work, Walk out, sick out, sit down, slow down, work to rule (follow all the rules to the letter; safe work or no work), wildcats occupations. Hold a meeting of your co-workers. Hold a moment of silence. Stop work however we can. Wear RED to show solidarity.
- Strike in Place, Encourage the hundreds of millions of people who are working from home or are unemployed, in prison or in a detention center to engage in “No Working, No Shopping, No Compliance” actions. Encourage those who can communicate their support for the day of action on social media or in their local media to do so by sharing their photos, their stories (video or audio), and what demands they support, utilizing the common hashtags we will collectively designate.
- No Shopping, Don’t shop, in person or online on May Day and throughout the weekend for maximum impact. Prepare and share with your neighbors and loved ones, observing the most sound hygenic practices and physical distancing.
- Targeted Demonstrations, We have witnessed very creative demonstrations the last several weeks, that demonstrate that folks take collective action and engage in proper social distancing at the same time. These include i) picking designated times to give accolades to frontline workers, ii) protests, roadblocks, and sideshows in vehicles and iii) old fashioned demonstrations and blockades of offices and various targets like landlords.
I Will Also Organize In Support Of:
Rent and Mortgage Strikes
Encourage folks to collectively not pay rent to their landlords and target major renter companies, mortgage institutions and banks with phone blitz’s, communications jams etc. to demand a moratorium on rents and mortgages, no back payments and no evictions.
Occupation Defense, No Evictions
Many cities have utilized the vacant capacity of hotels to house the homeless and the sick. And homeless individuals and families have taken to occupying vacant homes in places like LA and Oakland in the midst of this crisis. Given the situation millions are now facing, due to unemployment and eviction, we have to protect those who are in these homes and facilities and all those who are being threatened by eviction because they are not able to pay rent.
Taking collective action to flood the telephone lines of the various politicians, CEO’s, shareholders, and corporations we are targeting to meet certain demands, to make our demands known and apply as much pressure as possible.
We are not alone. Distance doesn’t mean we can’t fight together. We can’t stay quiet—in the words of fighters of the HIV pandemic, silence=death. We’ve decided to live, loud. In some cities we sing with our neighbors, in others we chant, clap and bang pots and pans–connect online #generalstrike2020 #strikeseflie #redfored #mutualaid #5.1.2020 #rentstrike #wedecide #stopshopping #schoolsout #noborders #releasetheprisoners #ourhouse #prepareandshare #noshopping #nowork #norent #noprisons #nosilence #noborders #noschool #landback #closethecamps #solidarityindistance
By Howie Hawkins
May 1, 2020
May Day, or International Workers Day, is celebrated with marches and rallies every May 1 to lift up the working people and their demands for freedom, equality, and justice. That is the Red tradition of May Day. But there is also an older Green tradition in which cultures the world over celebrate as Spring arrives in temperate and arctic climates or the wet season arrives in tropical climates. This Green tradition of May Day celebrates all that is free and life-giving on the green Earth that is our common wealth and heritage. These Red and Green May Day traditions are complementary.Read more
I don't know what has happened in America. People seem to have less and less respect for the working class, many seem to have an absolute disdain for any type of labor. Combine this with an overall lack of respect for education and skills training- decrying those who go to college or those with college degrees goes hand in hand with a hatred for union trained workers.
If federal minimum wage doesn't go up, the skilled wages don't increase. When my father wanted me to join the Plumbers and Pipefitters union in 2000, the wages for an apprentice are the same as they are today.
This Labor Day, we can't help but think about the insanity that is our country's desperate need for countless people-hours to transform our infrastructure and renew public services while, at the same time, countless people and families across our nation suffer for lack of living-wage jobs.
But as crazy as that problem is, the solution makes perfect sense: an Eco-Socialist Green New Deal. Greens have fought for it. And the idea is catching on, thanks to the tremendous effort of our members and candidates. Will you give to the Green Party of New York today so we can keep up the fight at this pivotal time? Because you and I know there is nothing the corporate power structure would love more than to erase the most essential, radical demands of the GND. We cannot allow that.Read more
Solidarity with the Communications Workers of America members at AT&T who are striking over unfair labor practices.
One of my junior political advisors and I went out this morning and walked the picket line with local union members and their families. It's time for AT&T to step up and send folks to the table who can make decisions. We join our fellow workers demanding that they bargain in good faith.Read more
Black and Green: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
In February 2018, 20,000 school employees walked out in West Virginia. At least 20,000 more walked out in Oklahoma. Then 40,000 teachers left work in Arizona. Teacher walkouts followed in Colorado, Kentucky & North Carolina. By 2019 Los Angeles & Oakland saw school walkouts.Read more
Marshall, Michigan – A walk between two labor landmarks in Marshall on Saturday, May 4 will give people an opportunity to "spring into action", put some of their own labor into cleaning things up, and talk afterward about next steps. The event, which is open to the public, is posted at https://www.facebook.com/events/289001138684843/
The walk will start at 11:30 am at the intersection of East Drive, East Mansion Street, and Michigan Avenue, across from the VFW Hall -- original site of the house where a union known as the Brotherhood of the Footboard was founded in 1863.Read more
Corporate media absolutely won’t tell you this, but this year’s Los Angeles teachers strike is the latest chapter in the long running struggle against the privatization of public education in the US. With massive public support, 30,000 teachers have voted a settlement that increases their wages a little, brings back nurses, librarians and counselors to each and every one of the city’s 900 schools, caps class sizes and charter school expansion and more.Read more
At high noon, October 3, 2018, over a hundred underpaid, fast food workers, their families, union supporters, and community members including Greater Milwaukee Greens marched on a Milwaukee McDonald's to demand a $15/hr minimum wage.
With the Fight for $15, many of us had demonstrated there over the last couple of years. We exposed the injustice of McDonald's making billions of dollars in profit while the people who do the real work are struggling to survive. This time would be different.Read more