Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Why Don't We Celebrate May Day Anymore?

It's springtime--the season when many contemplate the beauty of nature and why things have become the way they are.

The above meme is a wealth of information for those who wonder, "What are Rights of Nature and how do they affect me?" While many are supportive of the recent Lake Erie Bill of Rights initiative, they still have questions about how a Rights of Nature law can help We the People protect our natural resources such as our drinking water Check out the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund web site for more info. http://www.celdf.org 

And now, an article from a new TRC blogger that asks (and answers) a very pertinent question about why things have come to this point in history.

Why Don't We Celebrate May Day Anymore?
by Redd Phlagg

It's sad that Americans have no idea about the origins of May Day. They've never heard about the Haymarket Massacre. They have no clue where the eight hour day/five days a week workweek comes from. When they see or hear about a union action in the mainstream media, it's almost always slanted toward the negative. For example, a headline might scream, "Unionized School Teachers Demand Better Pay And Working Conditions While Hard-Working Parents Scramble For Daycare"

Oh, those nasty, greedy, evil union members!

Face it--Americans have been taught to hate unions and union workers. The vast majority enjoy the concessions that union activists have commandeered from the capitalist class, such as the minimum wage and overtime pay, but they simply don't have time for the people who make up the unions themselves. Workers are invisible to them.  Strange that is, too, since most Americans are--or have been--members of the working class at some point in their lives.

Why do we hate ourselves so much?

It's not a natural state of being. I don't imagine that most of us get up every day, look in the mirror and say, "Let's see how hard I can work myself to death today to make corporate profits for a bunch of rich people who couldn't care less about my health and welfare." So, how did it come to this sorry state of affairs? Mass brainwashing? Chemicals in the water?
Yes...and yes. All you need do is switch on the TV or open up a web browser and start watching the corporate-sponsored newscasts to see the brainwashing techniques at their best. Only certain issues, stories and candidates are featured on the big networks and that's not because nothing isn't happening involving lesser known people and events. It's a deliberate attempt to keep us slave laborers focused on only those things the capitalist class wants us to focus upon, namely how to make more money for them. 

Be it to deny corporate responsibility in poisoning our air and water, emphasize buying huge gas-guzzling SUVs to make you more popular with the ladies, or perpetuate the myth that the latest coup d'etat staged by the CIA and/or NSA is worth enlisting in the military and dying for (in order to make Raytheon a few more billions in profits this quarter), workers are being fed a whole lot of propaganda bullshit. 

There really isn't any simpler or nicer way to put it. We're just cogs in the capitalists' machine of profit generation. Nothing personal--we just need your blood, sweat and tears. And while you're at it, please leave your dead body in a zipper bag on an Air Force runway when you're done bombing and shooting innocent workers in exotic lands far away, like Syria, Iraq, Yemen or Venezuela. If you don't return alive, then  the elitists don't have to worry about  pesky veterans belly-aching about not receiving the medical care and benefits capitalists told them they could have if they did sign up to kill for "freedom" and Uncle Sam.
We're not celebrating May Day--a worker's holiday--anymore because the American worker is an endangered species. It's part of the oligarchs' plan. Once we're gone and used up as cannon fodder, they can easily replace most of us with androids and robots unless... 

Unless we replace them and their outdated, heinous, immoral system of economic servitude with one that embraces the rights of the worker, the average person, and rejects the ideal that parasitical hoarders of billions of dollars are somehow more worthy to enjoy "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Happy May Day, fellow drudges!  Deep down, we all know what we need to do. We just got to have the guts to do it.

BIO: Redd believes in putting the people first and foremost. Don't ever ask Redd to apologize for pointing out the selfish greed of the upper classes--you won't get it! Redd can frequently be found marching and speaking out for freedom, the real thing and not the imaginary idea perpetuated by corporate propaganda. Power to the people! 

Related article--May Day 2019 Labor Protests in 17 Photographs

Strike action in the Midwest--
strike photos courtesy of NW Ohio DSA

Live Video of Nurses and Support Staff Strike at St. Vincent's Hospital
--over 2200 workers and supporters march for better working conditions in Toledo, Ohio.

From UltraViolet:

A New York judge just let a child rapist off with no jail time and--unbelievably--justified it by saying he "only" raped one girl. "Only one"--these are the words of Judge James McClusky.

Last week, Judge McClusky sentenced Shane Piche, a school bus driver, to probation and $365 in fines for raping a 14-year-old child he met on his bus route. According to court records, Piche lured her and other minors to his house, gave them alcohol — and then raped her.4
It's horrifying that this even needs to be said, but one child raped is too many. Judge McClusky cannot be trusted to protect survivors of sexual assault, and he needs to be removed from the bench. This case is getting a ton of attention on social media and in the news, and calls are coming from across the country for the commission on judicial conduct to remove McClusky from his position permanently. 
Can you add your voice and demand Judge McClusky be removed from the bench?

Tell the New York Commission of Judicial Conduct:
"Judge James McClusky just let a child rapist off with a slap on the wrist. Remove him from his position immediately for his blatant disregard for survivors of sexual assault."
Sign the petition
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time we've heard a story like this. In 2015, the nation erupted when California Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Brock Turner to a mere six months for assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a Stanford University party. More than one million people signed the petition to demand Judge Persky be removed from the bench, and Bay Area UltraViolet members staged a number of protests. Ultimately, voters rose up to remove Persky from the bench in 2018. That was a huge victory and shows what we can do when we raise our voices together.5,6 

Like former-Judge Persky in California, Judge McClusky of New York has shown where his concern lies--for the lives of white male perpetrators and not the women or girls they assault. Because of Piche, the life of a 14-year-old child has been irrevocably changed. By demanding McClusky be removed from the bench, we can show that we won't let judges side with rapists over women and girls.

Can you sign the petition to get Judge McClusky removed from the bench?

Together we can build a world that believes and cares for survivors instead of perpetrators. 

Thank you.
-- Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Emma, Natalie, Melody, Pam, Lindsay, Ryan, Sonja, and Noma, the UltraViolet team

1. School Bus Driver Who Raped 14-Year-Old Will Not Go To Prison, New York Times, April 30, 2019
2. Judge Sparks Outrage for No Jail Time in Rape Sentence, Washington Post, April 30, 2019
3. Judge Gives No Jail Times to Former School Bus Driver Who Admitted to Raping 14-Year-Old Girl, USA Today, updated April 30, 2019
4. School Bus Driver Who Raped 14-Year-Old Girl Gets No Prison Time, Huffington Post, April 30, 2019
5. Judge In Stanford Sex Assault Case Will No Longer Hear Criminal Cases, BuzzFeed, August 25, 2016
6. Judge who was recalled after Stanford sexual assault case seeks donations to pay $135,000 in attorney fees, Los Angeles Times, December 12, 2018

From Friends of the Earth:
Last week, the Trump Administration finalized its plan to gut safety regulations for offshore drilling.

These regulations were put in place after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster killed 11 people and caused the worst oil spill in American history. Communities near the Gulf of Mexico are still recovering today. Making matters worse, it’s even more likely that a similar disaster would happen in the Gulf again. Our leaders have long seen the Gulf as a “sacrifice zone” -- where drilling can continue unabated.

Congress could take a stand against the efforts to hand over the Gulf to Big Oil and expose its communities to a future oil disaster. But we need your help to push it to act!

Trump clearly learned nothing from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Instead of reducing offshore drilling, he wanted to open more than 90% of the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling activity.

We know from experience that drilling puts marine life and coastal communities at risk. We need to shift away from drilling in our oceans, including the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Any new drilling would threaten fishing, tourism, and the livelihoods of millions of Americans in coastal communities. The only benefits would go to Big Oil executives. 

We must continue fighting with all we have to ensure that our marine life and coastal communities are truly protected. So we need your help to keep the pressure on Congress.

Deepwater Horizon serves as a reminder that any drilling in our oceans is unacceptable. It’s only a matter of time before the next large-scale oil spill disaster. Drilling disrupts marine life, pollutes our coasts, and contributes to climate chaos as well.

The good news is, pressure from people like you to stop giveaways to Big Oil is working. Trump was recently forced to walk back his plan to open nearly all of our oceans to more new drilling. And that was largely thanks to people like you who spoke up in opposition.

But Trump isn’t about to give up. Rumors are already swirling that he will revive his offshore drilling plan after the 2020 election. So we need Congress to step up, check Trump’s handouts to Big Oil, and protect our aquatic ecosystems from future destruction.

Standing with you,
Hallie Templeton,
Senior oceans campaigner,
Friends of the Earth Action

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