Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Workers, students, jobless people, retirees of the world, unite!

The Haymarket Memorial, Chicago

It's May, it's May, the lusty month of May! And you know and I know there is no congenial spot like dear old Camelot any more in the United Amerikan States of the Homeland. (And I am not talking about the Kennedy mythos, either. Maybe the pre-Columbian era). Raining where I am, but we definitely need it after that dry, hot, climate change-controlled April we had. Whoever heard of brush fires in April?

If you can't make it to a protest, or if it's just not your cup of tea, be part of the striking hoi polloi and just don't buy anything today. That particular act is no big problem for me, since I rarely buy anything anyway. No banking, no commerce, no commenting on presidential politics in the threads of the corporate New York Times. No watching commercial TV, including cable. I chose today to cancel Netflix. For video addicts, here's a link to a whole bunch of Occupy livestreams, worldwide. The whole idea is for the 99% to either march in the streets, or disappear from money-grubbing One Percent World altogether. Peacefully resist.

Update: Firedoglake's Kevin Gosztola has an excellent liveblog on the May Day Occupy activities. He writes that corporate media outlets are focusing heavily on the expected "violence" at the various protests. Damage to property is feared by the Powers that Be. Meanwhile, I just got another annoying email from Obama which includes a video of his speech last year announcing the Osama assassination. When the government kills somebody, it's justice. When ordinary people peacefully protest, it's time for a major crackdown.

Another Update: To celebrate May Day and mark the anniversary of the Haymarket Massacre and its ensuing entrapment scandal, the FBI arrested five self-proclaimed "anarchists" for attempting to blow up a low-traffic Cleveland bridge spanning national parkland, using government-issued dud bombs. (The quintet had apparently initially just conspired to destroy corporate signage,) To prove that the feds are equal-opportunity entrappers, U.S. Attorney Steve Dettelbach of the Southern District of Ohio proclaimed: "The threat we face is a diverse one and terrorists can come from many hues and many homelands."

Yeah... nice to know those brown Muslim terr'ists caught a break today and the guvmint concentrated on homelandian white anarchist hippies for a change.


Jay - Ottawa said...

Hellooo? ... hellooooooo ....?

Anybody here?

About the General Strike.... Nothing in the electronic NY Times about May Day activity. The live websites I checked yesterday just showed a lot of mostly young people milling around. Impossible to tell how big the crowds were. Did buying fall off tremendously, thanks to community support? Or is the funeral of the US going ahead as planned? Obama in Kabul stole the headlines maybe? Is OWS still in business, or has the MSM merely frozen out their impressive May Day demonstrations?

Hellooooo .... ?

Elizabeth Adams said...

I didn't organize any local activity, nor did I drive to another city to participate. I did no shopping. I did gather some petition signatures outside our post office. The petition is calling on our city council to pass a resolution calling on Congress to amend the constitution to firmly state corporations are not people and money is not speech.

This was my second day out there, for a total of 9 hours so far. Some interesting comments:

"Corporations ARE people!"

"I'm a lawyer and I like our constitution just the way it is."

"Are you a Ron Paul supporter?"

"Sounds like an Obama program."

"I AM a corporation! I have an LLC."

"I'm so fed up with the system I'm not even going to vote! I'm dropping out."

"I can't beLIEVE you people!"

"I don't think you know what you're talking about. Who do you think run corporations? People! the problem is the congressmen."

"I don't really know what it's about and my vote don't count anyway."

"I'm not interested in the Occupy movement." When I told her this movement preceded the Occupy movement by about 10 years, she said, "Corporations make a lot of peole a lot of money for a lot of people. I'm not against corporations."


I don't think our city will be able to get a resolution passed per the timeline of Resolutions Week. But any progress on the issue is good.

Will said...

Screw the NYT. Anyone interested in May Day activities can check out this morning's program (Wed 5-2-12) from Democracy Now for extensive coverage. I found it so heartening to see & hear people back out in the streets fighting for justice after a long winter. As Chris Hedges said on yesterday's DN, this is only the beginning. It's going to take time--maybe even a decade or so--but we're not going away. The die-hards of Occupy will keep on keepin' on until our blissfully ignorant or condescendingly dismissive fellow citizens finally figure out we're all in this together. When that happens, look out.

"They got the guns but we got the numbers." --Jim Morrison

Valerie said...

You bring up an important point, Karen. Many of us can't take part in a protest for one reason or another, but we CAN boycott. So many of our problems can be traced back to our appetite, as a nation, for consuming far more than we need so why not take a break from buying. We liberals, especially, need to practice what we preach and not support these evil multi-national corporations. We need to live simpler lives and buy and consume as few of their products as possible. It is the old "We vote with our dollars."

I am delighted that Occupy is full of vigour. Bless those who are taking part. And bless those who are speaking well of the movement - that matters too. We can give a lot of legitimacy to the Occupy Movement simply by praising it and clarifying the points they are trying to make about fairness and justice.

And good on you! Elizabeth, for getting out there and gathering signatures! It is hard to listen to all the irrational propaganda that is parroted at you when you step out and speak up. I remember protesting the invasion of Iraq and having people scream at me from their cars that I should just wait; Saddam Hussein had already attacked the U.S. on 9/11 and his missiles full of nuclear weapons were pointed straight at Washington State! There is no reasoning with some people.

Neil Gillespie said...

Thanks Elizabeth for posting the comments, it explains our current state of affairs.