Monday, May 01, 2006

Photos from the May Day March in
downtown L.A. 12 noon
everyone is an immigrant (unless you're american indian)
punk rockers
these are my buddies :)
Black Bloc
(vegan) nutritionist and (vegan) lawyers - these are my friends

it was so awesome being part of this historic event.  
these are some photos that i took at the may day march.
i left early so i can check out the may day rally in westlake/wilshire.
This was on the flyer:
On May 1, we will wear "white" a T-Shirt and/or white arm bands, we can paint and write our political demands
(and creative arts) at the T-shirt go to rally, protest, strike, vigil, work or school--we will have a ocean of white
T-shirts with our political demands from east coast to west coast, at the street, work place, school, bus station &
store... and our voice will be LOUD AND CLEAR AND CANNOT BE SILENT FOR EVER!

We will settle for nothing less than full amnesty and dignity for the millions of undocumented workers presently
in the U.S. We believe that increased enforcement is a step in the wrong direction and will only serve to
facilitate more tragedies along the Mexican-U.S. border in terms of deaths and family separation. The success
of the March 25 Los Angeles "Gran Marcha" proves that we can make it happen! A new civil rights movement of
the 21st century is building, a multi-ethnic movement to link immigrant rights, social justice and anti-war

Therefore, activists and organizers have a particular responsibility to point out the links between Katrina's
impact, immigrant rights, civil liberties, labor rights and the U.S. war in Iraq. We need to make the connections
between: wars in Africa, south America, Asia, Iraq, Palestine and Korea, and sweatshops in Asia as well as in
Los Angeles and in New York; international arms sales and the WTO, FTAA, NAFTA & CAFTA with AIDS,
hunger, our reproductive rights, child labor and child soldiers; multinational corporations and economic
exploitation with racism, homophobia and poverty at home--then we can win the struggle. No Work, No School,
No Selling, No Buying ...
May 1, March Begins at 12:00 PM at Olympics & Broadway in Downtown LA and Ends at City Hall

Breaking News-MAY DAY in Los Angeles
8:40 AM Mr. A is reporting that the truckers have successfully shut down 90f Los Angeles Harbor. So far only 5
trucks have shown up.
9:05 AM The traffic at LA harbor is usually 100 trucks per hour, but so far today only 5 trucks showed up in the
last few hours. (The picture on the left was taken today around 8:30 AM)

May Day - the Real Labor Day

May 1st, International Workers' Day, commemorates the historic struggle of working people throughout the
world, and is recognized in every country except the United States, Canada, and South Africa. This despite the
fact that the holiday began in the 1880s in the United States, with the fight for an eight-hour work day.
In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions passed a resolution stating that eight hours
would constitute a legal day's work from and after May 1, 1886. The resolution called for a general strike to
achieve the goal, since legislative methods had already failed. With workers being forced to work ten, twelve,
and fourteen hours a day, rank-and-file support for the eight-hour movement grew rapidly, despite the
indifference and hostility of many union leaders. By April 1886, 250,000 workers were involved in the May Day

The heart of the movement was in Chicago, organized primarily by the anarchist International Working People's
Association. Businesses and the state were terrified by the increasingly revolutionary character of the
movement and prepared accordingly. The police and militia were increased in size and received new and
powerful weapons financed by local business leaders. Chicago's Commercial Club purchased a $2000 machine
gun for the Illinois National Guard to be used against strikers. Nevertheless, by May 1st, the movement had
already won gains for many Chicago clothing cutters, shoemakers, and packing-house workers. But on May 3,
1886, police fired into a crowd of strikers at the McCormick Reaper Works Factory, killing four and wounding
many. Anarchists called for a mass meeting the next day in Haymarket Square to protest the brutality.

The meeting proceeded without incident, and by the time the last speaker was on the platform, the rainy
gathering was already breaking up, with only a few hundred people remaining. It was then that 180 cops
marched into the square and ordered the meeting to disperse. As the speakers climbed down from the
platform, a bomb was thrown at the police, killing one and injuring seventy. Police responded by firing into the
crowd, killing one worker and injuring many others.

Although it was never determined who threw the bomb, the incident was used as an excuse to attack the entire
Left and labor movement. Police ransacked the homes and offices of suspected radicals, and hundreds were
arrested without charge. Anarchists in particular were harassed, and eight of Chicago's most active were
charged with conspiracy to murder in connection with the Haymarket bombing. A kangaroo court found all eight
guilty, despite a lack of evidence connecting any of them to the bomb-thrower (only one was even present at
the meeting, and he was on the speakers' platform), and they were sentenced to die. Albert Parsons, August
Spies, Adolf Fischer, and George Engel were hanged on November 11, 1887. Louis Lingg committed suicide in
prison, The remaining three were finally pardoned in 1893.

It is not surprising that the state, business leaders, mainstream union officials, and the media would want to
hide the true history of May Day, portraying it as a holiday celebrated only in Moscow's Red Square. In its
attempt to erase the history and significance of May Day, the United States government declared May 1st to be
"Law Day", and gave us instead Labor Day - a holiday devoid of any historical significance other than its
importance as a day to swill beer and sit in traffic jams.

Nevertheless, rather than suppressing labor and radical movements, the events of 1886 and the execution of
the Chicago anarchists actually mobilized many generations of radicals. Emma Goldman, a young immigrant at
the time, later pointed to the Haymarket affair as her political birth. Lucy Parsons, widow of Albert Parsons,
called upon the poor to direct their anger toward those responsible - the rich. Instead of disappearing, the
anarchist movement only grew in the wake of Haymarket, spawning other radical movements and organizations,
including the Industrial Workers of the World.

By covering up the history of May Day, the state, business, mainstream unions and the media have covered up
an entire legacy of dissent in this country. They are terrified of what a similarly militant and organized movement
could accomplish today, and they suppress the seeds of such organization whenever and wherever they can.
As workers, we must recognize and commemorate May Day not only for it's historical significance, but also as a
time to organize around issues of vital importance to working-class people today.

As IWW songwriter Joe Hill wrote in one of his most powerful songs:

Workers of the world, awaken!
Rise in all your splendid might
Take the wealth that you are making,
It belongs to you by right.
No one will for bread be crying
We'll have freedom, love and health,
When the grand red flag is flying
In the Workers' Commonwealth.

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