The Global Climate Convergence is an education and direct action campaign that begins this spring, with “10 days to change course,” running from Earth Day to May Day. It builds collaboration across national borders and fronts of struggle to harness the transformative power we already possess as a thousand separate movements springing up across the planet. Earth Day-to-May Day 2014 (April 22 – May 1) will be the first in a series of expanding annual actions.
“Today in the U.S., we can thank the immigrant rights movement for the rebirth of May Day. On May 1, 2006 over 2 million working people and their allies poured into the streets of America’s big cities. The immigrant rights mega-marches shut down the repressive, anti-immigrant Sensenbrenner bill that criminalized undocumented immigrants and other working people who show solidarity with them.
120 years after Haymarket, another attack from big business and right-wing politicians was beat back by the power of the people. The vast majority of the mega-marches were made up of Chicanos, Mexicanos and Central Americans. By far most undocumented are Mexicano and Central Americans, and so it is no coincidence that their communities rally on May 1.”
“The Mayday Declaration on Contingency in Higher Education is part of the national Mayday $5K! campaign that was launched in the spring of 2013. Its goal is to ensure educational quality, fairness and equity by improving the wages and working conditions of all contingent faculty in higher education. They are the majority of college teachers and currently number about one million, including part-time adjuncts and full-time lecturers not on tenure-track lines. The campaign welcomes the support of everyone, whether they are students, members of the general public or teachers, regardless of their employment status.”
“KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 – There are no provisions under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 that allows the authorities to declare the anti-GST rally planned for May 1 as illegal, human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen said today. Paulsen, who is also the executive director of civil rights group Lawyers for Liberty, said the ban imposed by the authorities yesterday was likely just to frustrate the rally organisers. “Under the PAA, all assemblies can proceed but the police can impose conditions and if the conditions are not adhered the organisers can get into trouble,” the activist told The Malay Mail Online.”
“We were 500,000 proletarians,
We entered Taksim Square.
Such an Istanbul we saw.
The morning has an owner,
There will be time to settle accounts.”
This verse is from a song written by Turkish folk singer Ruhi Su in the wake of a deadly attack on May Day celebrations in Taksim Square in 1977. Hundreds of thousands of people were in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on May 1, 1977, when attackers, still unknown to date, opened fire on the crowd, and security forces started a crackdown on protestors simultaneously. This led to a panic in the crowd, resulting in more than 30 deaths, most of who were killed in the human stampede at the entrance of the Kazancı Street. ….
This year, Taksim might have seen another pleasant May Day celebration since it was pedestrianized, hence the argument of blocking traffic is not valid anymore, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyyip Erdoğan decided to not allow it. “Give up on your hopes of Taksim,” Erdoğan said April 22. “Do not engage in a fight with the state. Do not disturb the peace of our people. Our people do not want to see streets where stones and Molotov cocktails prevail,” he said. “We will not tolerate this. You are not above the law.”
Many labor unions and leftist groups, as well as opposition parties, insist on a celebration in Taksim. Erdoğan has warned them, too.
Visitors and residents will have the opportunity to experience Lei Day at the inaugural May Day event happening in Waikīkī on Thursday, May 1 at 3-5 p.m. The free event includes a concert by Hawaiian music trio, Nā Leo Pilimehana and will be broadcasted live on the radio on Hawaiian 105.1 KINE. “The May Day event we envision and are working on is going to perpetuate an understanding and appreciation of the Hawaiian culture and the history of Waikīkī for generations to come,” said John Aeto ….
This May Day event is part of a larger effort to highlight the talent and traditions of local musicians and dancers, elevate Lei Day festivities and boost tourism in Hawai‘i. Rather than limiting the celebration and recognition of Hawaiian music and dance to the month of May, The Kālaimoku Group will organize a new Hawaiian Music Concert Series, which will showcase artists all year round.
“Trade union federations will hold a May Day protest rally in Zagreb under the slogan “A Red Card to the Government, We Demand an Early Parliamentary Election”, union leaders said in Zagreb on Thursday while presenting the programme of their protest for 1 May.”
“SUBANG JAYA, April 24 — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) announced today a May Day rally to protest against Putrajaya’s newly-approved consumption tax system and a US-led free trade agreement, among other workers’ rights issues. MTUC deputy president Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid said that both the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will affect the welfare of the 11.3 million-strong workforce in the country, who are already hit by the rising cost of living amid a weak implementation of the minimum wage policy.”
“Organised Labour will on May 1 hold a national parade at the Black Star Square in Accra to commemorate “Workers Day of Solidarity.” A statement from the Trades Union Congress, and signed by the General Secretary, Mr. Kofi Asamoah, said President John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana, will be the Guest of Honour. It said worker’s parades will be held in all Regional Capitals to commemorate the day.”
“We didn’t know you couldn’t organize a mass rally in four days, and sometimes if you don’t know, then you just plunge ahead — and you do it.” So says Glenn Richter, one of the organizers of the rally in New York City, 50 years ago on May 1, that launched the Soviet Jewry freedom movement. In the spring of 1964, not many American Jews were paying attention to the plight of their 3 million coreligionists in the Soviet Union. But Yaakov (Jacob) Birnbaum and Morris Brafman were. ….
“We understood that it was, first of all, a battle for public opinion,” Richter explained. “Nobody had heard of the issue. We had to educate the public. The slogans were carefully planned. The students were instructed to be on their best behavior. We were trying to make Soviet Jewry into an issue that Americans would take seriously.”
That would not happen overnight. There would be decades of demonstrations and other protests — by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, led by Birnbaum and Richter; by other activist groups; and eventually by the mainstream Jewish organizations. There would be battles in Congress and empty chairs set at Passover seders and American Jews sneaking into the Soviet Union to help Soviet Jewish refuseniks. It would be one of the proudest chapters in American Jewish history.
All that had to start somewhere — and it did, 50 years ago on May 1, with a handful of college students who did the impossible because they didn’t know it couldn’t be done.
“Activists participating in the upcoming May Day workers’ march and celebration in the city of Chicago will deliver a clear message to President Barack Obama — two million deportations is too many. May 1, or May Day, is an international day of honoring workers. Since 2006, an annual May Day rally has been held in Chicago, highlighting immigrant rights as an important aspect of the workers’ rights debate. Thousands of people attended last year’sMay Day event in the city to rally for comprehensive immigration reform legislation, which is now stalled in Congress. This year, the main message is about deportations.”
“Support is growing for the International May Day Online Rally called…for Sunday, May 4. The rally will be held at 11:00 am US eastern time and broadcast simultaneously on the Internet throughout the world. Participants from more than 35 countries and 6 continents have registered so far, including significant delegations from the United States, Britain, Germany, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, South Korea, Australia and other countries.”