5 May 2009

May Day -- for the Many!

May Day -- for the Many!
[speech writ. 4/30/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Ona Move! LLJA!

As May Day is celebrated by some, others focus on the minor notes played by immigrants, and the song they sing is one of anger, hatred and division.

But that's because they're being played by the corporate media, and the corporate-driven state, and the siren's song of nationalism.

May Day should be a day of workers celebration; but what's there to celebrate today? Joblessness? Foreclosures? Homelessness?

May Day would be a day of celebration if workers organized across national borders. Imagine if the UAW (United Auto Workers) joined not only with auto workers in Canada, but in Mexico as well. Wouldn't it be more powerful today, than it is?

But the crippling of unions can be traced to the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) pact, pushed and sold under Bill Clinton, a base betrayal of millions who voted for him from labor, to serve corporate greed.

NAFTA shipped manufacturing jobs to places where labor was cheaper, like Mexico. It also opened up Mexican markets to U.S. businesses, thus driving these markets out of business, and fueling the immigration north for millions of Mexicans seeking jobs.

When labor organizes globally, it protects jobs globally.

NAFTA globalized capital -- why not globalize unionized labor?

Until this happens, workers will continue to lose jobs -- and social power!

Ona Move! LLJA!

Thank you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Saturday 20 June, 11 am - 6 pm
Ruskin College, Walton Street, Oxford

We cordially invite you to visit the 1st ever OXFORD WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR! There will be books, talks, workshops, short films and more books and magazines . . .

We plan to recover/reclaim some of the hidden history of Oxford, with its gallery of rogues, rebels and revolutionaries, to touch upon some topics of contemporary relevance to the man & woman on the street today, provide quality entertainment, discuss the big issues past and present & hopefully have a real good time to boot! - All in a relaxed and warm atmosphere!

The range of local groups invited includes; political groups, Trade Unions, community groups, campaign groups, booksellers and history societies. If you would like to have a stall email us at the address above!

The event will include a commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the 1909 RUSKIN COLLEGE STUDENT STRIKE, a pioneering student uprising for independent working class education, that saw students breakaway to form a radical education and self-help networks based on an alternative progressive view of what education could be. They argued that it wasn't enough for the working class to have limited extended access to higer education, but rather that they needed a fundamentally different kind of education, curriculum & pedagogy to meet their needs and the needs of the class. They were involved in the PLEBS LEAGUE (a grassroots education iniative) and set up an anti-capitalist education network of CENTRAL LABOUR COLLEGES, many of the leaders of the student uprising were miners and trade unionists who went on to be authors of THE MINERS NEXT STEP, a classic text of rank & file trade unionism and syndicalism.

Along the way, we will learn the story of the RED SHIRTS, a group set up at Ruskin College to sabotage the attempts of Oswald Mosely's fascist BLACK SHIRTS to get a base in 1930s Oxford & consider how we fight against fascism & racism today. There will also be sessions on culture, trade union & labour history, feminism/women's liberation, ecology & climate, war & empire etc. More information about speakers, events and other happenings planned will appear on our page shortly - watch this space! Sponsors include the local I.W.W

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