A growing coalition of workers, anti-fascist activists and students is planning a march through center-city on Thursday, May 1, that will feature halts at major economic targets such as Comcast, Wells Fargo and MacDonalds.
Under the banner Unite to Fight the 1% the 4 pm march is part of a nation-wide effort to bring the U.S. back to the worldwide celebration of May Day that began in 1886, when more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter of the campaign for an 8-hour day, 40,000 went out on strike. On May 4th several civilians and police were killed leading to the arrest and sentencing death of a group of anarchists including Sacco and Vanzetti. [tag]
The infamous Haymarket Massacre led to the celebration of May Day as an official holiday across the world, while being derailed in the country where it began. Americans celebrate Labor day on September 1, not as an organized event for the rights of working people, but to mark the end of the summer holiday.
Following on several recent years in which mainly Latino groups were instrumental in reviving this international holiday int he U.S., Philadelphia's May Day will be a day of international worker solidarity. Its aim is to build unity and power across the entire working class, showing that the unemployed and other oppressed groups working for liberation on a daily basis are part a connected struggle. With fewer than 6% of workers unionized, the coalition is reaching out to teachers, students, postal, transportation, health, restaurant and construction workers, as well as Greens and anti-war vets and activists.
Demands include: increasing the minimum wage to $15, ending unemployment, ending corporate and corporate non-profit tax abatements to fully fund public services, and schools a, LGBTQI issues, women's issue, reproductive rights, ending the school-to-prison pipeline, collective bargaining rights for all workers, affordable housing and anti-gentrification, fair compensation for restaurant workers, amnesty and the end of police-ICE collaboration, anti-racism & police brutality.
The coalition is led by ICA has been joined to date by
Workers World Party
Temple Students for Justice in Palestine
International Action Center
'$15 Now' Philly
The Party for Socialism & Liberation-Philadelphia
People Utilizing Real Power (PURP)