May Day 2015 — Dock Workers Walk Out to Protest Police Killings

Workers of All Colors Unite!

International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 in the Bay area will use its monthly stop-work meeting on Friday to idle the ports of Oakland and San Francisco to protest recent police killings of African Americans. The executive board and membership of Local 10 aligned its “Union Action to Stop Police Killings of Black and Brown People” with International Workers’ Day, which is celebrated on May 1 in many countries.

May Day in Oakland: ILWU March and Rally Against Police Terror!
April 22, 2015
The membership of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 has voted at its meeting on April 16, 2015 to call for a stopwork meeting on May 1st. It is fitting that on May Day, International Workers Day, Bay Area ports will be shut down to protest the racist police killing of mainly black and brown people. This is the first U.S. union to take such action. Local 10 took similar action on May Day 2008 to close Pacific Coast ports stopping all work to demand an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the first such anti-war union action in American labor history.

ILWU Local 10 dock workers march in San Francisco on May Day 2008 in the first-ever strike action by U.S. workers against U.S. imperialist war. The work stoppage shut down all 29 West Coast ports demanding an end to the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as support for immigrant rights.

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The Anthem of Global Revolution – The Internationale

version by Billy Bragg
May Day – International Day of the peoples’ struggle

Stand up, all victims of oppression
For the tyrants fear your might
Don’t cling so hard to your possessions
For you have nothing, if you have no rights
Let racist ignorance be ended
For respect makes the empires fall
Freedom is merely privilege extended
Unless enjoyed by one and all

So come brothers and sisters
For the struggle carries on
The Internationale
Unites the world in song
So comrades come rally
For this is the time and place
The international ideal
Unites the human race

Let no one build walls to divide us
Walls of hatred nor walls of stone
Come greet the dawn and stand beside us
We’ll live together or we’ll die alone
In our world poisoned by exploitation
Those who have taken, now they must give
And end the vanity of nations
We’ve but one Earth on which to live

And so begins the final drama
In the streets and in the fields
We stand unbowed before their armour
We defy their guns and shields
When we fight, provoked by their aggression
Let us be inspired by life and love
For though they offer us concessions
Change will not come from above


Vietnam Vets throwing medals back at the Capitol in Washington, 1971

During the Vietnam War, GI resistors played a key role in ending the war.

This action on May Day, 1971, was organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War

May Day 2012, Los Angeles: Four Winds Converge In Rallies For Workers & Immigrants

The Huffington Post  |  By Anna Almendrala |  5/ 1/2012

May Day, which falls each year on May 1, is International Workers’ Day. In Los Angeles, several rallies and protests are planned to recognize the contributions workers are making to the country and to protest for better working conditions, fair pay and immigration reform.

Occupy Los Angeles is trying to encompass all the events in a city-wide demonstration that brings protestors out in caravans of cars, on bicycles and marching by foot. Four different “winds,” coming from all four corners of the county, will converge at 6th Street and Main Street in downtown LA at 2:30 p.m., near Skid Row, to feed the homeless and raise awareness about economic inequality.

The route is studded with mini-protests like an SEIU strike at LAX (6 a.m.), a memorial for members of the Black Panther Party (12 p.m. at 41st and Central) and a cupcake “flash occupation” in Beverly hills (11 a.m. at Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard). While the Occupy movement didn’t organize all the events, the Occupy May 1st map lists them all en route to the center of their downtown LA protest.

Immigrant advocacy groups are rallying at American Reclamation, a Glendale company that sorts commercial trash for recyclable materials. Organized by the Los Angeles County ederation of Labor, AFL-CIO, the rally will protest the working conditions of the mostly immigrant workforce at the plant. Civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, LA City Council Member Eric Garcetti and LA City Controller Wendy Greuel will be there to speak out against poverty wages and hazardous working conditions, and band Outernational will perform, “Todos Somos Ilegales/We Are All Illegal.” 500 people are expected. Continue reading

Chant for May Day by Langston Hughes (1938)

To be read by a Worker with, for background, the rhythmic waves of rising and re-rising Mass Voices, multiplying like the roar of the sea.

WORKER: The first of May;

When the flowers break through the earth,

When the sap rises in the trees,

When the birds come back from the South.


Be like the flowers,

10 VOICES: Bloom in the strength of your unknown power,

20 VOICES: Grow out of the passive earth,

40 VOICES: Grow strong with UNION,

All hands together— Continue reading