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Bail Out the People Movement: May Day ’09
From Mumia Abu-Jamal on death row
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May Day ’09
Taken from a March 23 commentary. Go to www.prisonradio.org to hear Mumia’s audio columns and www.millions4mumia.org to get legal and political updates on his case.
While May Day has historically been a day of workers’ solidarity and a celebration of labor power, this is not a day or year like any other.
That’s because many nations are in the midst of economic recession and financial failure, and it is workers worldwide who are suffering from layoffs and mass firings in almost every sector of the global economy.
While labor is depressed, capital is aggregating to itself bigger and bigger shares of national and global wealth, as governments rush to bail out banks and investment firms, but only if they are “too big to fail.”
Under the newly amended rules of capitalism, corporations—especially in the financial sector—can scam, steal and hustle virtually everyone, and when the economy falls, the government sails in and bails them out with public money!
Under a system such as this, capitalism can never lose. It’s like a gambling casino, where the house rules change every half hour, or depending on who’s winning and who’s losing. But workers are losing.
Around the world, workers are facing lost jobs, vanished careers, foreclosed homes and families broken and shattered against the grinding wheel of capital.
This will be one hell of a May Day, but it’s the one that globalized capital has fashioned for us all. Only if labor is truly globalized can it fight for and demand its fair share from the ravages of capitalism. Let that be our mission for May Day and for tomorrow.
May Day 2009
New York: Assemble in Union Square--12 noon, Friday, May 114th Street & Broadway Rally at 4:00 p.m, March at 5:30 p.m. For nationwide actions: See BailOutPeople.org On the 100th day of President Barack Obama’s administration, join the movement to demand “Bail out the People, not the Banks. Come out for worker & immigrant rights on May 1.” Dear Friends: Working people here and worldwide are facing a growing crisis. Unemployment is reaching record levels; nearly 20 million people are unemployed or underemployed. Tens of thousands of people have been thrown out of their homes as the foreclosure and eviction crisis grows. State and local budgets are being slashed, with draconian cuts in education, housing, and h ealthcare, while tuition, and transit fares increase. Every day we hear news of a new round of layoffs. What is often not reported is the growing movement among working people to demand a real bail out--not handouts to wealthy CEOs, but immediate relief for the people. On April 3 & 4, thousands converged on Wall Street, Los Angeles, Raleigh, N.C ., and Seattle, to demand “Bail out the people, not the banks and corporations.” (See http://bailoutpeople.org/april3report.shtml for a report and video on the Wall Street protest.) What’s next? Come out on May 1! In 2006, immigrants and their supporters marched in record numbers. They held some of the biggest demonstrations seen in decades, demanding an end to the repressive Sensenbrenner bill which penalized immigrant workers. Since 2006, workers have marched to commemorate May 1, International Workers Day, even as the crisis is growing among immigrant workers. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids are on the rise. Families are being ripped apart as parents are hauled away to detention centers without legal rights or due process. Children are often left stranded at school when their parents are swept up in this terror campaign. The horrific raids and deportations, the criminalizing of workers, the beatings and killings are meant to not just to terrorize immigrant workers but to divide us, when we should join together and build a united movement.
There is now a great opportunity for working and progressive people to help continue to revive the legacy of May Day in the spirit of unity and common interest. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we work to build on the growing success of previous May Day demonstrations.
As all workers face a growing crisis, now is the time to unite and organize in our own name and for our own interests. We’ve already seen Washington and Wall Street’s economic plan: trillions of dollars in bailouts for banks and giant financial institutions, while working people get service cuts, unemployment, and homelessness. If we’re going to reverse this trend, we need to come out in record numbers on May 1 and beyond. Protests will be held nationwide--in the East, West, North and South. See www.BailOutPeople.org for a list of actions. May 1 marks the first 100 days of the Obama administration. A united movement of people with documents and without, Black, Latin a/o, Asian, Arab, Native and white, employed and unemployed, youth and seniors, women, men, LGBT or straight, able-bodied and disabled, will send a clear message to Washington and to Wall Street. After May Day, the Bail Out the People Movement will continue to help to build a united movement to fight for working people’s rights. On May 31, just before the June 1-3 UN General Assembly Global Financial Summit, we will hold a Peoples’ Summit to focus the discussion on the real crisis. On June 14-17, the Moratorium NOW! Coalition in Michigan, a member organization of the Bail Out the People Movement, will hold a Peoples' Summit during the National Business Summit. Activists are planning a tent city and other events to confront the big-business CEOs and politicians gathering for the Business Summit. In September, the G20 will meet in New York City, to coincide with the UN General Assembly’s annual meeting. We will not let this meeting of heads of state, finance ministers, and corporate lobbyists go unchallenged. Bail Out the People Movement is already preparing for protests then to demand a bail out for people, not banks. And since this is strictly a grassroots movement, we need to appeal to you—our friends and supporters—to donate to help build this vital movement. We hope to see you on May Day. In solidarity and with our thanks,
The Bail Out the People Movement staff
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