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Thursday, May 3, 2012

What I said at the May Day rally.....



Good afternoon. Why are we here? I mean here, today, May 1st? Because 126 years ago, in Chicago, police opened fire on workers who were striking for the 8 hour work day. And the sounds of those gun shots echoed around the earth and the Haymarket Square Massacre became a watchword for workers worldwide. 
So that in 1904 the Socialist International would call on workers everywhere to honor this day and work for the 8 hour day, justice for the proletariat and universal peace. And today workers march in global solidarity with one another.
So isn’t it ironic? Isn’t it almost unbelievable that  the country that gave birth to this international outcry for justice is one of the very few in the world that do not recognize this day? 
The struggle must continue. Today we are here to call for an end to the Employer Sanctions act. Cynically promoted as a way to protect American workers’ rights, it does nothing of the kind. Does it protect America workers’ rights? NO!
What does it do? It strips any rights away from those without paper leaving them completely vulnerable for exploitation. It creates the moral equivalent of worker slavery. It pits worker against worker in death race to the bottom and devalues all our labor. The economy is compromised for all....
Today there are 4 million workers in the US without the most basic of human rights...
So we are here to say
 NO  to employer sanctions
NO  to exploitation of immigrant workers 
NO to division of worker against worker 
NO to worker slavery
And 
YES equal rights for ALL workers
YES to the solidarity of workers everywhere
YES for an end to worker slavery
We must 
break the chains now
break the chains now
break the chains now
break the chains NOW


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