Workers of All Colors Unite!
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
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
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
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
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