May Day 2008 International
Workers Day and Mobilization to Support Immigrant Rights!
Reports from Around the World
Lee Siu Hin
National Immigrant Solidarity Network http://www.ImmigrantSolidarity.org
ActionLA Coalition http://www.ActionLA.org
Peace NO War Network http://www.PeaceNOWar.net
May Day 2008: http://www.MayDay2008.org
May Day 2008
Call to Action!
National Immigrant Solidarity Network
On May Day 2008,
National Immigrant Solidarity Network is calling for a multi-ethnic,
decentralized, multi-topic and multi-tactic national day of mobilization to
support immigrant workers rights.
1. No to anti-immigrant legislation, and the
criminalization of the immigrant communities.
2. No to militarization of the border.
3. No to the immigrant detention and deportation.
4. No to the guest worker program.
5. No to employer sanction and “no match” letters.
6. Yes to a path to citizenship for undocumented
7. Yes to speedy family reunification.
8. Yes to civil rights and humane immigration law.
9. Yes to labor rights and living wages for all workers.
10. Yes to the education and LGBT immigrant legislation.
that there’ll be multiple call to actions from across the country to organize
May Day 2008, and each coalition will present their sets of demands. We should
respects each other organizing and encourage and supports everyone’s issues:
1) Multi-ethnic, Decentralized and Multi-topic mobilization: while everyone will pledge to support immigrant workers rights at May Day 2007, local groups can choose to includes any other topics for their mobilizations: civil rights, anti-war, Katrina, labor rights, health care…., etc.
Multi-Tactic May Day organizing: We will encourage everyone to organize their
actions at May Day, but will let local groups to decide what they want to do at
the day: march, boycott, strike, lunch action, vigil, community event,
conference or congressional lobby day, etc.Understanding the connections between
our individual conditions of life and the lives of people everywhere in the word
allows us to come together and organize across all borders. WE NEED to link the
connections between: wars in Africa, south America, Asia, Iraq, Palestine &
Korea with sweatshops in Asia as well as in Los Angeles, New York; international
arm sales and WTO, FTAA, NAFTA & CAFTA with AIDS, hunger, child labors and
child solider; multinational corporations and economic exploitation with racism
and poverty at home–then we can win the struggle.
Let’s all come together, on May Day 2008, to build a new immigrant rights and
civil rights movements!
Day 2008 Local Reports:
May Day revival on three fronts: labor, immigrant, and antiwar
Sharat G. Lin –
What started on May 1, 2006 as some of the largest
political demonstrations in
The work stoppage at all 29 West Coast ports on May 1, 2008
by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was an historic
turning point for the
The work stoppage by 25,000 dockworkers idled towering cranes and closed ports from
Until recently, organized trade unions have been reluctant to reclaim May Day as International Workers' Day in the
Among the unions that joined in the ILWU-led May Day march in
While widely celebrated outside of the
In mobilizing for May Day, ILWU leader Clarence Thomas had stated that resolutions against the war were important, but they do not stop wars. "But when you stop the ports, the White House listens and the whole world listens," he said to a gathering in
Indeed, the impact of the ILWU strike has already been felt around the world. At the May Day rally in
In a prepared statement read by U.S. Labor Against the War (USLAW) coordinator Michael Eisenscher, the Iraqi labor movement reminded the world, "The invaders helped to foment and then exploit sectarian divisions and terror attacks where there had been none. Our union offices have been raided. Union property has been seized and destroyed. Our bank accounts have been frozen. Our leaders have been beaten, arrested, abducted and assassinated. Our rights as workers have been routinely violated."
The statement, signed by 37 Iraqi labor leaders, continued, "We demand an immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from our country, and utterly reject the agreement being negotiated with the U.S.A. for long-term bases and a military presence. The continued occupation fuels the violence in
In addition to trade unions; peace, antiwar, and impeachment organizations were well represented. Three candidates for national political office -- Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, and Gloria La Riva -- addressed the rally. There was also a visible demand for immigrants' rights in the ILWU march. A contingent of signs read, "Stop ICE raids. Stop war."
The signs were a reminder that the spark that ignited this revival of May Day came on May 1, 2006 when millions of immigrant workers and their families marched throughout the United States in protest against a legislative attempt to criminalize their existence in the country. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the May Day marches of 2007 and 2008 followed in the wake of the largest political demonstration in Northern California's history when more than 250,000 people marched in
May Day 2008 brings together three fronts -- labor, immigrant, and antiwar -- in a common unified struggle for peace and social justice.
Community to Community
Numbers up around five-hundred filled the streets yesterday
Attached are several photos we liked.
Bellingham Herald article:
Photos from the Herald:
By Fightback News Service
One of the speakers was the son of Elvira Allerano, Saul, who flew in from
Other speakers included Hatem Abudayyeh of the Arab American Action Network and Richard Berg, president of Teamsters Local 743. 100 workers and family members from Local 743 marched together in the protest, the largest contingent of any union.
Musical guests included Boots Riley of The Coup, Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Ben Harper.
May Day demonstrations demanding legalization and full equality for undocumented workers took place across the
MAY DAY ACTIONS CITYWIDE: Port Shutdown,
Student Walkouts, Downtown
LOS ANGELES INDYMEDIA: May Day demonstrations and marches
were held throughout the region yesterday. Two marches converged downtown at 5th
and Broadway in the late afternoon. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people took
part in the downtown demonstrations. Although not as large as the past two years
the marches were described as festive and high spirited. Immigrant rights was
the primary focus of the demonstration, but other issues such as the
Scattered student walkouts and sit outs also took place at
a number of local high schools. Dockworkers at the
March Rally in LA on May 1
—For the third year in a row. more or less than 30,000
marchers from three major groups- the MIWON, March 25 Coalition and the April
7th Coalition for Full Immigrants Rights in Los Angeles and demand full rights
and legalization for immigrants and to commemorate International Workers Day.
The media called it “a combination of a holiday parade and party
celebrations” Different media outlets have different estimates like a
conservative estimate from as low as 7,000 from KCRW and as high as 30,000 from
NPR radio. In
Filipino Immigrants Network for Empowerment (FINE)
May 1, 2008
30,000 IMMIGRANTS/ WORKERS MARCH-RALLY ON MAY 1st IN LA
Los Angeles—For the third year in a row. more or less than 30,000 marchers from three major groups- the MIWON, March 25 Coalition and the April 7th Coalition for Full Immigrants Rights in Los Angeles and demand full rights and legalization for immigrants and to commemorate International Workers Day.
The media called it “a combination of a holiday parade and party celebrations” Different media outlets have different estimates like a conservative estimate from as low as 7,000 from KCRW and as high as 30,000 from NPR radio.
Shouting: MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT, LEGALISAYON, NGAYON and ANG TAO, ANG BAYAN NGAYON AY LUMALABAN.
The almost a hundred strong Filipino American contingent rallyist marched down Alvarado and Beverly Streets to
They marched with the Korean drummers and the BRU yellow-clad marchers led the lively crown with chants like LEGALIZATION NOW. THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED, AMNESTY NOW!
Joint MIWON/March 25th and April 7 Coalition March/Rally
On the other hand, the April 7 Coalition composed of another 15,000 strong led by the Hermanidad Mexicana, Latino Movement –USA and ANSWER-LA marched together with the March 25 Coalition in Olympic and Broadway at around 2;00 PM.
The two contingents met at 5th and Broadway Streets and marched together at 1st street and Broadway at around 3:30 PM. Another group from American Apparel factory in
The rally was later held from around 5:00 PM where speakers after speakers asked for immigration reform and a pathways for citizenship not a guest workers program.
For more information contact cdir –
Photos from Ron
Social Justice Educator/Community Organizer
Venice High School Students Walk out of
Marcus LA Indymedia
Venice High School Students Walk out of Class,
Venice High School Students Walk out of Class,
Contact Information: Alex Gillis 608/345-9544 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, around 700 hundred people march from
The events began a little after noon with the arrival of
students from local high schools and the
Towards the end of the rally, there were a few words spoken by Dane County Supervisor Al Matano, Jorge Carrera and Hector Ordoñez from U.T.I (Immigrant Workers Union), Frank Medina (Lawyer), Patrick Hickey from Workers Right Center, Will Williams from TAME / MAPC, M.E.Ch.A (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan), C.A.N (Campus Antiwar Network), I.S.O. (International Socialist Organization), Local Spanish media, WNPJ (Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice), and others.
The speakers who received the largest applause were those who expressed support for the main demands of immigration reform and to a stop to Sheriff Mahoney's harassment of immigrant workers and their families.
Organizers of the event were content with the rally yet were quick to point out that the labor and immigrant rights movement face huge challenges in the near future. "Raids are really shaping the turn out of the rallies, but it is about time people will overcome this general mood of fear and regain the streets" Clarissa Pearson (IWU)
The Immigrant Workers' Union thanks the
Now Dave Mahoney
has to decide
Far from gone; critics of Dave Mahoney are spreading among
the community. He is reporting any non
He argues he is asked by ICE to do so. However, not only he is not mandatorily obligated by the ICE, but also creating a lot of negative effects in the community. At this moment, many people within the immigrant community do not trust in the credibility's of a judge sentence anymore "The judge sentenced my brother for 3 days of jail but Mr Mahoney decided to punish him harsher and deported him. Now that he's away, it ruined his 4 year old's childhood by reporting him to the ICE" testified Rosalba Rodriguez.
Dave Mahoney has to choose between bringing
IWU says that the only way out for this situation is to call for a recall of Sheriff Mahoney. Time is running out and Mahoney is proving a lack of community sensitivity and leadership to keep a safe and pro-human rights community.
Thousands Marched Through Downtown Milwaukee
Protesters want a fair and just immigration reform
bill passed within the first 100 days of the next
El Conquistador Newspaper staff
3206 W. National Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215
May 1, 2008
Milwaukee (ELCNN) - They came by the thousands, the
young, the children, the senior citizens, and middle
age protesters chanting “Si Se Puede”, and “Today We
March, Tomorrow We Vote” along the 6th Viaduct route
to Veteran Parks on the lakefront. This year, the
Immigration Reform protesters were predominately young
that included teenagers, and children outnumbering
their parents, grandparents, and adults. Their sheer
numbers has sent a strong message to public and
elected officials that indeed they are part of this
nation and tomorrow they will change the face of
hands, and most likely a stream of new leaders
marching for their rights will follow.
The massive march is one of the 200 marches taking
place in about 200 cities throughout the nation.
Organizers are focusing on voter registration and
setting an agenda for the next president. The march
began from the front offices of Voces de la Fronteras,
1027 S. 5th St. and was led by teenagers wearing white
t-shirts with red letters saying “Just Immigration
Reform first 100 days” hoping to ensure the next
President elected and the U.S. Congress can finally
enact an immigration bill that would legalize and pave
the way for the more than 13 million undocumented
immigrants to stay in this country.
Voces de las Fronteras in Milwaukee organized the May
1st National Day of Action march “A Day Without
Latinos” with labor groups in support of comprehensive
immigration reform legislation. A press release on
Thursday from the organization stated, “in figure
backed by ACLU legal observers, Voces de la Frontera
organizers put the number marching in Milwaukee today
at 30,000, with the city's march expected to be one of
the largest in the nation once again.”
"Support for the day's 'First 100 Days' message was a
massive expression of the urgent need for change from
the next presidency. Today's march was also the city's
most diverse yet in making a call for fundamental and
just immigration reform. In this crucial election
year, the march will call on the next President to
make comprehensive immigration reform a priority for
his/her first hundred days – and on the current
administration to stop tearing families apart through
immigration raids and the criminalization of workers
and employers through ‘No Match’ attacks,” Christine
Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera Executive Director
In Wisconsin, the Hispanic population increased by
more than 4%, greater than the national hispanic
growth rate, and more than 271,000 Hispanics lived in
Wisconsin in 2007. The population of Hispanics has
grown by 40% since 2000, according to the
H. Nelson Goodson, Managing Editor of El Conquistador
Newspaper and who joined the march representing
Taxpayers for Immigration Reform says, “Taxpayers for
Immigration Reform based in
advocating nationwide since last Summer for Latinos
and supporters of immigration reform to continue to
shop at Latino owned businesses and businesses which
support our community.” The group says immigrants as
taxpayers do pay taxes on just about everything on a
daily basis. Taxpayers are not required to be
citizens to pay them.
For the above reason, as taxpayers we have embarked
and joined the national campaign to continue to push
for Immigration Reform that would provide a path for
legalization for more than 13 million undocumented
immigrants who do pay taxes.
Everyday, Latinos and immigrants pay millions of taxes
welcomed and respected as immigrants who do contribute
millions of dollars to our economy. It’s time for our
government and public officials to recognize the
million of taxes we contribute everyday, Goodson
Even today, all of us can feel the affects of our
economy, and there is talk of a recession in the
distant future. What President George W. Bush and
Congress needs to do is to pass another stimulus
package to help stabilize our economy. It is with
common sense that they need to pass a Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Bill as soon as possible so our
nation can keep our manufacturers, and other producing
companies, and its workers working in order for them
to contribute to our economic wealth.
“We do have an economic impact in this nation, and we
need an effective strategy for financial management of
our economic purchasing power which totals in the
billions of dollars to influence immigration reform.
We should continue to invest, shop and spend our money
in businesses and entities in our communities that
respect us, do welcome us, and support immigration
reform,” said Goodson.
There are three major factors for the 890 billion
dollar boost of our economy that is generated by
undocumented immigrants. Their economic contributions
is a major boost to the U.S. economy with the combined
value of their labor, their stimulus on our economy,
and the taxes they pay, according to a University of
California-Los Angeles study by Raul Hinojosa.
Undocumented immigrants from
between $154 billion and $220 billion to the Gross
Domestic Product of the
undocumented immigrants paid up to $20 billion in
Social Security taxes between 1990 and 1998.
Immigrants paid $80,000 per person more in taxes
during their lifetime than they received in public
benefits as of 1998; due to immigrants' younger age
profile compared to the "native" population,
immigrants will contribute up to $500 billion to
Social Security from 1998 to 2022, according to a
report by the Office of Migration and Refugee Policy
and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
included and considered illegal in most studies.
However, they do contribute to our economy by paying
taxes, working and buying homes, goods and services
adding to the stimulus on our economy just as their
A city economic study reported that the south side
households in the predominately Latino community
located inside Postal Zip Code 53204 in Milwaukee
spend more than $91 million annually in retail goods,
according to the 2006 Department of City Development
statistics. In one day, they spent approximately
$249,315.06. The biggest tax-generating base for the
city comes solely from the south side.
Thomas Marczewski – NYC Indymedia
Immigrants, union members and workers of all creeds
celebrated May 1st with protests and marches throughout NYC. Demanding better
rights, access to greater opportunities and safeguards for their neighborhoods
demonstrators protested outside of the city hall, marched across the
Brooke Anderson, Organizing Director
No One Is Illegal Banner Drop
12th and vine
Today on international workers day, a group calling itself the Stolen Land Committee hung a banner off the east face of an abandoned building at 12th and Pearl streets reading "No One Is Illegal."
The group took this action in solidarity with workers
throughout the world who march and rally today in commemoration of those who
lost their lives during the struggle for the 8 hour day here in the
Unlike some labor unions, the stolen land committee
recognizes that the criminalization of these workers and the treatment of
immigrants as a possible terrorist threat which we should fortify our borders
against serves the interests of large agricultural companies and corporations
seeking to drive down the wages of all workers in the
Currently migration across the U.S./Mexico border is the
largest migration in the history of humankind. An estimated 1 million
people cross each year. As the border has been militarized, starting in
the 90s with operation gatekeeper, significant barriers have been placed along
the border in areas where it is easiest to cross. This has pushed
immigrants to crossing in dangerous areas like the
Today the same corporations who benefit from defense
In the era of the globalization of capital and the opening
of borders to the free flow of goods and services, but not of workers it becomes
increasingly clear that these borders serve to divide workers from eachother for
the benefit of companies seeking to exploit labor in order to realize
super-profits. Today, as workers celebrate international workers day
across the globe, and as immigrant workers and immigrant rights marchers across
No One Is Illegal!
Stop The Raids and Deportations!
No Apartheid Wall!
No to Empire!
No to Plan
No to Plan
There Can Be Not Justice On Stolen Land!
They Didn't Cross The Border, The Border Crossed Them!
Solidarity with Working People everywhere!
By Brad Sigal
St. Paul, MN - 1000 people marched to the Minnesota State Capitol on May 1, International Workers Day, in support of immigrant and workers' rights. Marchers demanded a stop to the immigration raids and deportations that target immigrant workers and families. They also called for legalization for all undocumented workers. The rally started in a park overlooking the Mississippi River, marched through downtown
One of the recently-fired workers from D'Amicos restaurant spoke at the rally about their struggle. In early April, D'Amicos fired 15 long-term Latino immigrant workers, accusing them of 'social security no-match' violations. The workers have waged a protest campaign and have galvanized broad local support. A student from
Along the march route, stops were made in front of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press building and the Minnesota Public Radio building, while delegations of marchers went inside to demand that the media outlets stop using the term "illegal" to refer to undocumented immigrants. The march also stopped in front of the National Guard building to make the connection between wars that the
The Saint Paul march was organized by the May 1st Coalition, which includes the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Coalition (MIRAc), Asamblea para los Derechos Civiles, Minnesota Immigrant Freedom Network, and many other groups.
by Carrie Lee email@example.com SF Bay Indymedia
Students, concerned about the fate of higher education, have organized on campus at
Earlier in the morning at about 5:30 AM a group of San Francisco State students, which are a part of the Student Worker Action Network, joined the community picket line at the Oakland docks to shut down the railroads in solidarity with the striking dock worker's shut down of the west coast ports to demand an end to the war. Students back at campus proceeded to walk out of classes and into the streets. Around noon a rally at Malcolm X Plaza was held and honored the rich legacy of activism on campus which was the historic setting of the longest strike in the history of any University in the U.S.
As students began to gather around the Malcolm X plaza many of them began to shout "Walk out at SF State, shut it down like '68," among many other chants. In displaying solidarity with Immigrants rights many of the students shouted in spanish, "Ningun Ser Humano es Ilegal" and "No borders, no walls, Education should be free for all." As students approached
Students marched to the immigrants rights demonstration in Dolores Park afterwards from the Church Muni Stop. Felipe Rivera, a junior currently at
May 1 Immigrant Rights March
By Carlos Reyes – Fight Back News
Speakers at the kick-off rally included members of the community group Voluntarios de la Communidad, who talked about city ID cards and Student Advocates for Higher Education, an organization of undocumented college students. Strengthening Our Lives addressed the need to register and vote and Mark Silverman, an immigration lawyer, also spoke.
After the rally there was a spirited march, chanting, “¡Sí se puede!” and waving Mexican and American flags, through the heart of the Chicano/Mexicano community and on to City Hall in downtown San José.
May Day 2008 Actions in
M.I.R.A. called for a rally at UCSC and march to
Hundreds of families, students and workers participated in May Day activities in
Immigrant rights march from Latino neighborhood through
Laury Kenton, Photographs by Elliot Stoller
On May Day, several thousand demonstrators
marched through downtown
The demonstration was organized by El Comite Pro-Amnistia General y Justicia Social (The Committee for General Amnesty and Social Justice). It was sponsored by a host of organizations — including immigrant-advocacy groups, human-rights organizations, student groups, churches, and labor.
The theme of the event was "We are not undocumented. We are not illegal. We are workers." Many of this year's speeches focused on the growing outrage over how some police and other local officials treat immigrants. During the pre-march rally, Archbishop Alex Brunett told the crowd that the Catholic Church "respects the law" but "cannot ignore the human needs of immigrant workers and their families when the law fails to protect their basic human rights." Archbishop Brunett told immigrant workers "You are welcome in our parishes, our schools, our hospitals and our social services. Our hospitality does not require documents."
The rally was followed by a march from
To encourage people to attend both events, the Backbone Campaign, America in Solidarity, and SNOW Coalition and CISPES provided a "We're All In This Together - Bridge Building Hospitaliy Event" from 2-5 p.m. at the Seattle Labor Temple. The event included music by Hot Cargo as well as snacks and a place to rest their feet before joining a sidewalk feeder procession.
During the past six months, 3,314 immigrants from
Today's immigration policies encourage a steady stream of immigrants to work in the nation's factories, fields, and offices. Multinational corporations use immigrants to drive down wages and benefits. When these workers realize that they are being exploited, their vulnerable legal status is used against them. Labor is demanding that wages be determined by the work done, not by the worker's immigration status.
Although comprehensive immigration reform isn't on the
immediate horizon, the marchers were resolute, many chanting "Sí, se puede!"
("Yes, we can!") as they marched through the streets of
Report Back From the
ILWU May Day March
25,000 lILWU members held an 8 hour strike to protest the war in
The strike defied the ruling of an independent arbitrator,
who decided last week that the union had to report to work on May Day.
ILWU International President, Bob McEllrath released a statement saying
that "Longshore workers are standing down on the job and standing
the post-march rally, speakers spoke about the toll of the war. One
speaker commented that it was a day of "Blood, roses, and
justice". Another commented that "We are all citizens of the
same planet....We cannot ignore the injustices in
recurring theme in many of the speeches was how Bush's war economy has
hurt working people. Health care, education, and roads have all
deteriorated as domestic expenditures have been diverted to the war. In
commenting about the increasing costs for food and gas, one speaker said
"Inflation is like assassination to the poor."
theme in the speeches was that only labor has the power to change
society. Lynne Dodson, President of the American Federation of Teachers,
Local 1789 (Seattle Community Colleges) told the crowd that "we are
workers creating a world we want."
made an effort to build bridges with other movements. One ILWU speaker
said that the anti-war movement is a rank and file movement. Another
told the marchers that they all were part of a proud and beautiful
family that should look out for each other. Speakers from other
organizations praised ILWU's courage in standing up against the war. A
student organizer from
I organized and hosted MAY DAY JAM: A CONCERT FOR LABOR, SOCIAL CHANGE & HEALTHCARE
REFORM NOW! in New
ReadNex Poetry Squad and Mexican revolutionary singer/guitarist Zenote Sompantle.
My own duet, The Flames of Discontent, traded sets with the above acts. We also
had several wonderful speakers as well and a guest poet, Olsoul, a young man who
offered a powerful spoken word piece.
The site was a large club in the hear of New
the Muddy Cup, which is frequented by students of SUNY New Paltz. The club was very
crowded---standing room only with many also sitting on the floor and standing up
against side walls. The best news to report is that our message of workers and immigrants'
rights, peace and social change was heard clearly. This was a mixed audience that
was multi-cultural and ranged in age from an 86 year-old activist (who'd worked
as an organizer for the CIO) to teenagers. All were with the program and cheered
loudly at the anti-Bush, pro-labor, pro-immigrants' rights commentary, both
in verse and discussion, and of course for the cries for a cure for our healthcare
The Flames of Discontent opened with our rocking versions of classic protest anthems:
"Bread and Roses", "16 Tons" and the Brecht/Eisler song "Solidarity
Song". Zenote Sompantle offered a powerful set that included both Spanish-language
and English language songs, all complimented by his powerful, soulful singing and
masterful Flamenco cum Jazz-Rock fusion guitar playing. Olsoul then offered his
piece, starting it at the back of the house and moving forward as his intensity
built. He was the perfect opener forthe already celebrated RedNex Poetry Squad.
Here's a group of young poets of color, Black and Latino, who find the nexus
between Jack Kerouac, the Last Poets and Public Enemy. Easily mixing free-verse
spoken word with throbbing hip-hop, they had the house on its feet by the end of
their first set. Featured was their rhythmic, wrenchubng version of "Wade in
the Water", which opened with their DJ (DJ H20)playing part of a track of an
early recording of this slave rebellion song, and then folds into pounding percussive
backing, with the ReadNex raps over it. Their statement about freedom cold not be
Guest speakers here were Gary Bischoff, local activist and host of "Radio Free
Kingston" (WKNY-AM) and Yvonne Seiwell, director of the Max's Kansas City
Project, a foundation which offers grants to musicians in medical crisis.
The Flames returned to play reconstructions of "Viva La Quince Brigade"
(the Spanish Civil War song), plus Woody Guthrie's epic about the plane wreck
"The German Miserere". Zenote returned to the stage for a lengthy Flamenco
guitar exposition, which featured his hands blurring not only on the strings, but
the sound-board of his instrument as well. The crowd was by then ready fior another
explosive set by the ReadNex Poetry Squad. This second, lengthy set was highlighted
not only by more spoken word and hip-hop pieces, but break-dancing. One of the pieces
performed was dedicated to immigrants, "from all generations and all countries".
It reminded us all that we're all from elsewhere and the roots of Native Americans
can be traced back to tribes from other lands as well. Another piece spoke of the
roots of hip-hop in African griot culture.
Guest speakers at this break included Mikey Velarde, of M.E.Ch.A. de Vassar and
also the May Day Working Group of Vassar Coolege; and Alma Rodriguez of the Workforce
The show ended with one more selection each from the Flames of Discontent (a rockabilly
version of Joe Hill's anti-war "Stung Right") and Zenote Sompantle
(a powerful cumbia piece for which he brought up a djembe player and background
singer/percussionist). All returned to the stage to go out with a powerful rendition
of the labor anthem "Solidarity Forever", with improvised raps by the
ReadNex Poetry Squad inserted into the militant verses of this classic. By the time
we ended, the audience was dancing, shouting and charged for of revolutionary vigor...hopefully
ready for a social action. Now that's the next, obvious step.
For more info on the performers:
The Flames of Discontent - www.flamesofdiscontent.org
ReadNex Poetry Squad - www.Myspace.com/readnex
Zenote Sompantle has no website, but can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia Activists Take Action Against Raids at Pilgrim's Pride Plants
Two immigrant justice activists from the organization The People United
prepare to cross into the
through an authorized port of entry early Saturday morning, April 19th.
Jeff Winder from
will walk forty miles of migrant trails through the
Border Patrol highway checkpoint, where they may be arrested. They will
carry only the water and food they can on their backs. The crossing will
officially end at May 1st demonstrations being organized by Mexicans
Without Borders in
In light of anti-immigrant policy, like the resolution passed in Prince
William County Virginia requiring police to verify documentation for
anyone under suspicion for having committed a crime and limiting county
services to citizens, and increasingly frequent raids throughout the state
and region, Winder hopes the action, "will spark greater involvement from
non-immigrant communities in the struggle to protect all of our rights."
This week at least 300 workers were arrested in a series of raids at
Pilgrim's Pride poultry plants in five states, one of which in
detained in similar raids, and are currently undergoing deportation
Frankel-Streit, 44, says, "
make us safer. The end result of the current anti-immigrant tide in
to document checks at bus stops."
Ricardo Juarez, coordinator of Mexicans Without Borders, says that the
organization has endorsed the action to, "focus attention on the reasons
why people are forced to cross the border in search of jobs and survival."
Solidarity actions are being organized by members of the Virginia
Immigrant Peoples Coalition for Friday, April 18th in
The People United will hold a press conference on the border at the
conference will take place at the dirt parking lot on the
border at 3 pm. The group expects the crossing to be completed by Tuesday.
Day 2008 Report from Around the World
May Day 2008
Statement from the Iraqi Labour Movement
To the Workers and All Peace Loving People of the World
April 29th, 2008
On this day of international labour solidarity we call on our fellow trade unionists and all those worldwide who have stood against war and occupation to increase support for our struggle for freedom from occupation - both the military and economic.
We call upon the governments, corporations and institutions behind the ongoing occupation of
Five years of invasion, war and occupation have brought nothing but death, destruction, misery and suffering to our people. In the name of our "liberation," the invaders have destroyed our nation's infrastructure, bombed our neighbourhoods, broken into our homes, traumatized our children, assaulted and arrested many of our family members and neighbours, permitted the looting of our national treasures, and turned nearly twenty percent of our people into refugees.
The invaders helped to foment and then exploit sectarian divisions and terror attacks where there had been none. Our union offices have been raided. Union property has been seized and destroyed. Our bank accounts have been frozen. Our leaders have been beaten, arrested, abducted and assassinated. Our rights as workers have been routinely violated.
The Ba'athist legislation of 1987, which banned trade unions in the public sector and public enterprises (80% of all workers), is still in effect, enforced by Paul Bremer's post-invasion Occupation Authority and then by all subsequent Iraqi administrations. This is an attack on our rights and basic precepts of a democratic society, and is a grim reminder of the shadow of dictatorship still stalking our country.
Despite the horrific conditions in our country, we continue to organise and protest against the occupation, against workplaces abuses, and for better treatment and safer conditions.
Despite the sectarian plots around us, we believe in unity and solidarity and a common aim of public service, equality, and freedom to organise without external intrusions and coercion.
Our legitimacy comes from our members. Our principles of organisation are based on transparent and internationally recognised International Labour Organisation standards.
We call upon our allies and all the world's peace-loving peoples to help us to end the nightmare of occupation and restore our sovereignty and national independence so that we can chart our own course to the future.
1) We demand an immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from our country, and utterly reject the agreement being negotiated with the
2) We demand the passage of a labour law promised by our Constitution, which adheres to ILO principles and on which Iraqi trade unionists have been fully consulted, to protect the rights of workers to organize, bargain and strike, independent of state control and interference.
3) We demand an end to meddling in our sovereign economic affairs by the International Monetary Fund,
4) We demand that the
We seek your support and solidarity to help us end the military and economic occupation of our country. We ask for your solidarity for our right to organise and strike in defence of our interests as workers and of our public services and resources. Our public services are the legacy of generations before us and the inheritance of all future generations and must not be privatised.
We thank you for standing by us. We too stand with you in your own struggles for real democracy which we know you also struggle for, and against privatisation, exploitation and daily disempowerment in your workplaces and lives.
We commend those of you who have organised strikes and demonstrations to end the occupation in solidarity with us and we hope these actions will continue.
We look forward to the day when we have a world based on co-operation and solidarity. We look forward to a world free from war, sectarianism, competition and exploitation.
Endorsed by: (signers as of 4/29/08)
Hassan Juma'a Awad, President, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU)
Faleh Abood Umara, Deputy, Central Council, Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions (IFOU)
Falah Alwan, President, Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI)
Subhi Albadri, President, General Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (GFWCUI)
Nathim Rathi, President, Iraqi Port Workers Trade Union
Samir Almuawi, President, Engineering Professionals Trade Union
Ghzi Mushatat, President, Mechanic and Print Shop Trade Union
Waleed Alamiri, President, Electricity Trade Union
Ilham Talabani, President, Banking Services Trade Union
Abdullah Ubaid, President, Railway Trade Union
Ammar Ali, President, Transportation Trade Union
Abdalzahra Abdilhassan, President, Service Employees Trade Union
Sundus Sabeeh, President, Barber Shop Workers Trade Union
Kareem Lefta Sindan, President, Lumber and Construction Trade Union, General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW)
Sabah Almusawi, President, Wasit Independent Trade Union
Shakir Hameed, President, Lumber And Construction Trade Union (GFWCUI)
Awad Ahmed, President, Teachers Federation of Salahideen
Alaa Ghazi Mushatat, President, Agricultural And Food Substance Industries
Adnan Rathi Shakir, President, Water Resources Trade Union
Nahrawan Yas, President, Woman Affairs Bureau
Sabah Alyasiri, President (GFWCUI) Babil
Ali Tahi, President (GFWCUI) Najaf
Ali Abbas, President (GFWCUI) Basra
Muhi Abdalhussien, President (GFWCUI), Wasit
Ali Hashim Abdilhussien, President (GFWCUI) Kerbala
Ali Hussien, President (GFWCUI) Anbar
Mustafa Ameen, Arab Workers Bureau, President (GFWCUI)
Thameer Mzeail, Health Services, Union Committee
Khadija Saeed Abdullah, Teachers Federation, Member
Asmahan, Khudair, Woman Affairs, Textile Trade Unions
Adil Aljabiri, Oil Workers Trade Union Executive Bureau Member
Muhi Abdalhussien, Nadia Flaih, Service Employees Trade Unions
Rawneq Mohammed, Member, Media and Print Shop Trade Union
Abdlakareem Abdalsada, Vice President (GFWCUI)
Saeed Nima, Vice President (GFWCUI)
Sabri Abdalkareem, Member, (GFWCUI) Babil
Amjad Aljawhary, Representative of GFWCUI in North America
A report about police repression upon the May Day demo by
Source (Asahi Newspaper, in Japanese):
May 1, 2008, "Freeter/non-regular employment workers
Disease Festival 2008" at a park in Chuo (Central) Ward of Fukuoka City.
After the rally, when about forty participants were about to start the
demonstration could be deemed to violate the Road Traffic Law, and
Demonstrators, dressed up in various costumes such as a monkey, banging
drums or pans, waving flags with slogans like "Anti-Poverty," tried to
walk out onto public thoroughfare. Immediately, the prefectural police
department , who had arranged about fifty police officers around the
park, gave them a warning that the demonstration could be regarded as a
violation of the Road Traffic Law. While both sides had a vigorous
argument, the surrounding area became tense for a moment.
While Eguchi, the deputy chief of Chuo station of the prefectural police
department, explained that the police "warned them because they were
about to go to public thoroughfare in a group without getting permission
of road-use," Ono, Chairman of Freeter Union Fukuoka, said "We normally
register for permission when we use roadways, but this time we did not.
This is a repression towards freedom of expression."
Mayday Riots in
hello, my name is_______ 02.05.2008 21:31
Barmbek district, protected by the police, while 10,000 antifascists
protested and attempted to stop the Nazi demonstration.
the police violence against peaceful blockades sparked the heaviest
the anti-nazi actions consisted of rallies, concerts, barricades on
the street and on railroad tracks (which actually delayed the arrival
of the neo-nazis), and a protest march.
when about 8 000 people blocked the starting point of the neo-nazi
demonstration, the police, instead of canceling the neo-nazi march,
decided to attack the blockade with water cannons, pepper spray and
the organizers of the anti-nazi demonstration decided to cancel the
march at this point. right afterwards, the demonstration was attacked
again by thecops for standing on a crossroad which turned out to be
part of the alternative route for the fascist demonstration.
in the meantime, the nazi demonstration didn't receive as much
attention from the police as it should have. most of the police force
was engaged in fighting antifascist, while the nazis could attack
people on the side of their demonstration, among them a couple of
journalists, without the police giving them too much trouble.
on the nazi route, the water cannons were in permanent operation to
keep off protesters and clear burning barricades. a spontaneous
demonstration of 3 000 antifascists was stopped by water cannons,
close to the S-Bahnhof Ohlsdorf (a train station), which was the end
point of the neo-nazi march.
when the neo-nazis arrived,they were welcomed with flying stones. The
situation almost turned into a street battle with stones been thrown
on both sides.
When neo-nazi leader Jürgen Rieger started to sing the first verse of
the Deutschlandlied (german national hymn), which has been illegal
since 1945 (only the third verse is legal), the concluding rally was
immediately canceled. the police attempted to arrests Rieger, which
failed due to the resistance of his fellow neo-nazis, who fought back
the police. With massive pepper spray use, the police managed to move
the neo-nazis into the train station. But their departure proofed to
be difficult, since a lot of their buses were destroyed or left
without them. A number of later skirmishes on subways and train
stations were reported.
main article: http://de.indymedia.org/2008/05/215364.shtml
related indymedia posts:
Riot in front of the Rote Flora.
later that night, in front of the autonomous culture center Rote
Flora, a fight between kids and the police broke out. 4 people were
arrested. These Quarrels are common, especially after big demonstrations,
and have been more frequent since the G8 protests last year.
Neo-nazi identified in an assault on antifascists. Siegfried Borcher,
called SS-Sigi by his mates, lives in
of him here: http://de.indymedia.org/2008/05/215334.shtml
200 Nazis riot in the Bremer HBF.
On the way back from
train station who looked remotely left-wing. the police watched and
did nothing for a long time. as the finally decided to arrest one of
the fascists, they were attacked by his kameraden. stones, bottles and
firecrackers flew through the air, and the cops decided to let the
arrestee go. http://de.indymedia.org/2008/05/215405.shtml
nazi postings on indymedia.de,
during the demonstration, several postings appeared, claiming that an
antifascist was killed at protests. since no reliable sources could be
found, these posts were deleted by the indy-moderators. In a later
post, the name of the supposed victim was given, an antifascist
journalist, who has been defamed by nazi newspapers in the past.
The antifascist journalist enjoys best health. These postings are
believed to have been launched to stir up violence at the protest.
mainstream media reports:
a lot of these reports miss the fact, that Hamburg has a long history
of police violence, especially since 2001, when a coalition of the
newly formed ultra right-wing Schill party and the conservative CDU,
(chirsitian democratic union) took over the government. If you just
only think about the Bambule protests 2002-2003 or the student
protests in the last 4 years, this kind of militant resistance come as
Hundreds of anarchists, punks, and anti-authoritarians were arrested on may day parade in
Mayday report from
Also this year
other cities in
in Euromayday network. After some problems with organisation and
involvement of individuals and groups to join the activities concerning
mayday parade we decided to organise more on symbolical level to support
transnational activities of precarious (no)workers worldwide on the local
context. This year we didnt organized parade on the street of
we made the small direct actions in city with distribution of our
leaflets. During the preparation we decided to make 2 leaflets which can
attract people that they can realize their position inside the system of
labour exploatation. On first leaflet "Precarity in
most typical precarios workers: construction worker, truck driver, nurse,
waitress, programmer and journalist. For each of this workers we put small
explanation of his personal circumstances concerning work and life. For
Construction worker say: "Im
migrant worker from
construction site of apartment building. I have family at home. I live in
workers dormitory. After 12 working hours per day, I dont have much
freetime. I share my room with 5 fellow workers. For bed I pay 150 euros."
We also described the term precarity and what are its most negative
disadvantages. Some words about Euromayday, who organize it and why were
also part of explanation.
Special thing which people really like it was mayday money. Printed 500
euro bill with demand: Im your monthly european living wage! Cheap housing
and income for everbody.
The mayday party at the evening of 30.april took place in Pekarna cultural
center. We made the living room on the parking space, screen the movies
from our EVS volunteer Alex from
Malmoe made very inspiring and eductative movie about radical feminist
music groups and how they put their political messages to the public. We
were also supprised by the visit of our friends from Genova. The band
Blownpeperbags stopped in
years. On the other side we are happy that some political event finnaly
happened in cultural center Pekarna, where is a chance to become partly
dispaced and gentrified space in the next years. Our main preocupation is
therefore not concentrated on the transnational processes at the moment
but more to inside complex unification and search for new common ground
where our defensive strategies can be developed.
with great love to all mayday stars and beyond
Reports of the May Day demo in
G8 2008, is located. The "Unity May Day for Freedom & Lives in
was held on 29 April.
●A report from the organiser of Unity May Day for Freedom & Lives in
It is over. And now it begins.
A huge success in the May Day held yesterday (29 April)☆
The May Day went well with about 200 participants despite our
inexperience. Many thanks for those who joined us, who gave a hand to
make it happen, and who gave moral support from difference places.
The Sapporo May Day was organised for workers as well as for those who
are not be able to work and who do not feel like to work.
It created a meeting place for marginalised people from different
backgrounds such as disabled, sexual minority, Koreans in
indigenous Ainu people whose lives have been put in precarious and
At the rally, we had a maximum fun as the venue turned into a commons’
park [something like a temporary autonomous zone]. The parade turned out
to be huge and packed with the multitude. We totally enjoyed walking
among full of unknown people whom we met for the first time. Yay! The
sound demonstration was awesome and the chanting bloc came up with real
voices from the heart.
We were really impressed by the fact that a large number of participants
whom we had not ever met before came and joined us. We wondered whether
this means that the established movement have turned away people who
actually should have come and joined the May Day.
This is the beginning of the precariate/indie May Day in
This is the beginning of the end of the unjust world.
The May Day 2008 is over but it is the beginning of another May Day.
See you all in the next May Day.
Keep up our lives till we meet at the next May Day.
Let make a change in the world till the next May Day.
See you all in the new world☆
That is what we hope for.
Demonstration for workers' rights: 200 converged in Sapporo
Caption: Youth on marching in appealing for eradicating wage gaps by
saying ‘anti-poverty’ and ‘we are also human beings’.
On 29th April, “Unity May Day for Freedom & Lives in
the disabled and casual workers claimed their rights to live was held in
Approximately 200 demonstrators marched along the central business
district in chanting such as ‘we demand the minimum standards of living’.
It was organised by a citizens’ group ‘the concerning for human rights
and livelihood for the disabled and minorities’ (K.S, a director) in
order to demand higher wages from low wages and draw an attention for a
plight of poverty.
Y.K one of organisers, gave his speech by saying ‘speak up and protest
against the modern economic structure which drives competition among the
poor’ at the rally in
a truck in which installed a DJ playing music and appealed against the
low-wage and long working hours.
Various reports of "Mayday for Freedom and Lives"
Mayday for Freedom and Lives organising committee
There are all sorts of numbers being put out by the news, but we
estimate the final turnout for the demo around 1,000 people. A huge
crowd gathered for the declaration, so many that the assembly space
overflowed; after the declaration ended and we set out, the roughly 550
people present split up into two "forces" and continued to increase in
size, making it very difficult to grasp precise numbers. The swarm
dispersed peacefully in front of the station, and the all-night party
was also a great success, drawing a full house; people spilled out onto
the street, creating spontaneous pools of interchange. We would like to
thank everyone for showing up and making the event a smashing success.
"Employees Are Not Disposable!" Irregular Workers' Mayday, Shinjuku
Among a labour market where part-time and other irregular workers have
come to comprise one-third of the workforce, freeters and other youth
participated in "Mayday 2008 For Freedom and Lives" on the 3rd, near
1,000 people (numbers according to sponsor) shouting "Irregular
Employees Are Not Disposable!" in a demonstration march through
This demonstration was organized the "Freeters' General Union", which
allows individual membership, and marks the event's fourth time.
Participants danced and chanted slogans such as "Raise Hourly Pay!",
"Shorter Work Hours!" to the beat of quick-paced music flowing from atop
truck beds in a "Sound Demo" as they proceeded in a two-hour walk around
JR Okubo and Shinjuku stations.
"Independent Maydays" celebrated all over Japan
A Call to Eliminate Wage Disparity and Poverty
Part time workers, freeters, and other low income earners whose lives
are fraught with instability gathered together in places all over Japan
for Mayday, choosing "Independent Mayday" celebrations over existing
union events. On April 3rd, 550 people participated in the "Mayday 2008
For Freedom and Lives" demonstration march in
Denigrate Our Lives!" as their common phrase, young people are beginning
"Give Us Job Security!"
"Employees Are Not Disposible!"
These feelings and others were expressed on the placards held up during
the 2-hour music-accompanied parade through Shinjuku's busy streets.
Young people hastened from
well. The Tokyo Executive Committee, working to create a Freeter General
Union, has formed a caravan and is traveling around the events to offer
One of the committee members, Y.I. (26) of
continues to live "life on a tight-rope" as a part-timer worker. After
five-years of social withdrawal, Y tried his hand at finding employment,
but it didn't go well. "It's hard to live in a society that demands
'perfect'. I want to create a network of people who share this feeling,
where we are all visible."
"Everyone has a voice. Wage Disparity and Poverty and unchangeable if we
remain silent," appealed Freeter General Union Head Secretary M.Y.
Mayday: Irregularly Employed Youth Gather in the City
Irregularly employed youth, including part-time and temp-workers, were
the theme of "Mayday 2008 For Freedom and Lives" held on the 3rd in
results for them unstable and difficult lives. These participants
demanded "guaranteed wages to live straight."
This is the fourth year of Mayday events, organized first in 2005 by
"Freeters' General Union," which many irregularly employed youth
continue to join. As well as
At the assembly in Shinjuku ward, associations and labour unions
involved with irregular employment and homelessness issues called for
the right to life and an improvement in working conditions. Afterwards,
around 550 people (numbers according to sponsor) participated in a
demonstration march. "Irregular Employees Are Not Disposable!", "Let us
Live!", "No More Kickbacks for Temp-Agencies!" were among the repeated
A 33-year-old man who works as a temporary day-laborer and attended the
event had this to say:
"I'm fed up with wages too low to live on and thuggish employment
practices. I've been doing temp-work for almost 10 years, and I think
it's time that irregularly employed workers raise their voices."
Here's a little movie I made from the Anarchist and later the
Anarcho-syndicalist (SAC, about 7000 members) demonstrations. About 800
in the first demo, and combined with the AS about 2500 people
demonstrated. Everything went smoothly and unlike last year there where
no incidents with the police at all. In
holiday but most people nowadays treat it like any day of so the
demonstrations are not as big as they could be. The biggest demo was the
Social Democrats in
Watch the movie: http://jaycut.se/mix/15884/preview
Explanations in English.
Great American Boycott
International Workers Day
The history of May Day as a labor holiday
Other May Day 2008n Actions Across the Country and Globe:
Truckers call for Mayday Strike
May Day anti-war push could shut down ports
Latest Immigrant News from Across the Country
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Native Hawaiians occupy palace grounds in downtown
A May Day preview and review
Immigration rally again set for May Day
SLEJ organizes group of students to participate in immigrant-rights protest.
MAY DAY MARCHES - SAN FRANCISCO TRANSIT AND TRAFFIC IMPACTS
Thousands expected for May Day immigration rally
US-Wide Actions Set for Immigrant/Workers Rights on May Day
Reason we march on May Day
1 May 2008 : May Day and the National Mobilization Of Immigrant Rights
Governments Prepare for International Labor Day Protests
May Day protesters demand wage hikes amid surging rice prices -
Rising food, fuel prices drive Indonesian May Day rallies
Transport disrupted across
Thirty-five rallies scheduled for May Day in
As workers mark May Day, it's suffering and smiling
Ghanaian workers mark May Day
Thanks for many local
immigrant activist who send us the reports/links to compile this report!
Return to National Immigrant Solidarity Network
Return to May Day 2008