Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Fighting for Our Future" Rally Inspires Struggle

Big changes require big struggles, and May Day 2016 -- "Fighting for Our Future" set a powerful and inspiring framework for the labor battles and elections this year.

An enthusiastic and diverse crowd at the King Davis Labor Center in Hartford gave a standing ovation to People's World editor John Wojcik who quoted extensively from Albert Parsons last statement made in 1886 before being hanged on a frameup charge following a huge rally for the eight-hour work day in Chicago's Haymarket Square. Parsons exposed the corporate owned media for trying to discredit the workers' movement by creating hysteria around the lie that he threw a bomb at a time and place where he was not even present.

Wojcik made the connection to the role of the mass media today in promoting the interests of giant corporations and politicians like Donald Trump, emphasizing the great need and role of the People's World to tell the workers' side of the story.

The annual People's World celebration included a panel discussion which called upon the Connecticut State Legislature to reject an austerity budget with layoffs and cuts in public services and instead increase taxes on the top 1%. A large scroll petition signed by all present was delivered to the Speaker of the House the next day.

The panel also called on the Legislature to pass a bill adding security guards to the labor standards act.

Panelist Alexandra Marks, a New Haven high school student, received a standing ovation after presenting the work of the YCL and New Elm City Dream in the Jobs for Youth - Jobs for All campaign and calling for participation in the Yale Unions' rally on May 5 for job security.

A slide show "May Day Around the World" showed common workers' struggles in Latin America, against corporate right wing attacks; and in Europe where workers and young people are battling years of austerity imposed by powerful bankers.

Also highlighted were the low-wage workers' April 14 demonstrations for decent pay and work schedules, taking place in dozens of countries and in 320 cities in the US including Hartford.

The concluding message was that t
he international solidarity this May Day gives hope for the future.

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