Monday, May 01, 2006
May Day posted by Richard SeymourTwo big highlights for May Day: New immigration protests in the US; Huge labour protests in Indonesia and the Phillipines. Significantly, the US protest is composed mainly of migrant labourers who would otherwise be working today. I should, for accuracy's sake, call it a mass strike, and not just a protest. Meanwhile, Indonesian workers are out in force against plans to enforce neoliberal changes to the labour laws. The Indonesian Vice-President had previously refused demands to make May Day a national holiday, so they too are out on strike, with 50,000 alone out in Jakarta. The Manila ruling class is terrified that the protests breaking out across the Phillipines will be a repeat of the same protests that brought down Estrada in 2001.
Some communists have marched in Moscow too. They'll be marching on St Petersburg next.
Also worth noting is the rally by Peugeot workers in Birmingham trying to save their jobs. Yes, we've got a national holiday, and the only people protesting are people who are about to get fired. I expect the reason for this is that a large number of the activists who would ordinarily organise a May Day protest are busily helping Respect out in the East End. If you're able to, why not take the opportunity to go down and help out your local Respect campaign? Make this a May Day for Blair to regret. I can't. I've got a sore foot. I'll go tomorrow.