May Day Protests for Justice
May 1 is labor's day everywhere but US and Canada.
by Stephen Lendman
Annually on May 1 in dozens of countries worldwide, labor commemorates International Workers Day. It's now called May Day.
Since the 1880s in America and Canada, Labor Day is a national holiday on the first Monday in September. It once had meaning. It no longer does.
Years of organizing, taking to the streets, going on strike, holding boycotts, battling police and National Guard forces, as well as paying with blood and lives won real gains. Now they're lost.
Bargaining collectively with management on equal terms no longer exists. Grassroots energy waned. Corrupted union bosses and politicians sold out to management for personal gain. Global activism wants lost rights restored. So do Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists.
Direct Action striking on May Day was urged. Boycott work, school, shopping and banking. Take to the streets in protest. OWS issued the following statement:
"Building on the international celebration of May Day, past General Strikes in U.S. cities like Seattle and Oakland, the recent May 1st Day Without An Immigrant demonstrations, the national general strikes in Spain this year, and the ongoing student strike in Quebec, the Occupy Movement has called for A Day Without the 99% on May 1st, 2012."
"This in and of itself is a tremendous victory. For the first time, workers, students, immigrants, and the unemployed from over 125 U.S. cities will stand together for economic justice."
Global actions joined them. European cities participated. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Russia, and other countries saw large demonstrations. So did other cities worldwide.
The European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC) calls May 1 a day of youth employment and social justice. General secretary Bernadette Segot said:
"Making jobs unsure, and especially jobs for young people, is not a solution to" today's economic crisis. Force-fed austerity compounds it.
Asian nations participated. Thousands took to the streets in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. Common themes were stressed. They include higher wages as well as better working and living conditions.