1 May 2008: May Day and the National Mobilization Of Immigrant Rights
Tomorrow promises to be one heck of a day. After Downing Street along with several other organizations has helped organize with the help of labor unions across the country antiwar demonstrations and strikes.
As their blog so impressively says, 1 May 2008 also marks some of the most famous and infamous political events in recent history : 122 years of the 8 hour week and end of child labor, 5 years of “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq, 3 years since the discovery of the Downing Street Minutes, 2 years since the nation-wide immigration rallies of 2006, almost 2 years ago when Nanci Pelosi and Democrats in Congress and the Senate took the impeachment of George Bush for misleading the country to war, “off the table”. Yet in one of the most mindboggling examples of the Bush Administration’s information war against Americans, May 1st has been declared Loyalty Day.
Many people feel these marches are a cacophony of malcontents. I feel the need to point out the obvious: Immigrants Rights are not only intrinsic to the Labor Movement but they are part of a larger scope of Human Rights. Unionized labor has been at the forefront of the antiwar movement not only after it was known the war was started out of a 16-word lie, but for the fact that today the United States has allegedly no money for health care, no money for free university tuition, no money for Social Security or mass transit or better schools thanks to the $411 million a day being wasted in an alleged war that is more an occupation.
In other words, the strikes and demonstrations are platforms for airing interconnected grievances that are substantiated by facts.
So take out your walking shoes and eco-friendly clothing tomorrow because as my friend Roberto Lovato says, in the grand tradition of ActUP, “Silence = Death”. Marching matters because it reminds us we are not alone in our quests for social justice.