CELEBRATE MAY DAY
by Karyn Pomerantz, April 30, 2019
The movement against private police at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is expanding. New organizations and collaborations have joined the efforts to prevent JHU from hiring armed police to patrol neighborhoods where JHU has property. Considering the role of the police to protect wealth and suppress dissent, this poses an additional threat to Hopkins neighbors and students. (See blog piece at https://multiracialunity.org/2019/03/25/stop-hopkins-private-police-action-alert/)
JHU students (Students Against Private Police) have occupied the Garland Administration Building demanding no militarization of the campus and an end to JHU’s training program for ICE employees. Women Against Private Police (WAPP) have launched a petition campaign to place this policy on a referendum in 2020, and West Wednesday rallies every Wednesday demanding the indictment of the police murderers of Tyrone West 5 years ago. It holds its 300th rally this Wednesday, May 1. These groups have united to push their demands for improvements in criminal injustice practices and support the student sit in(See Facebook for each group).
Hopkins and the government use many tactics to suppress these demands. Hopkins has threatened an activist from entering the campus while sending reps to neighborhood associations to lie and win support. Their wealth buys lawyers and legislators. (They also try to impede union campaigns). In response, organizations refuse to back off the sit in, rallies, and neighborhood organizing.
The state of Maryland demands 10s of 1000s of signatures gathered in ridiculously short times for referendums. It can delay approval of referendum requests and requires printed copies of petitions. In response. WAPP has enlisted the ACLU and a dozen other justice organizations to collect signatures. (Contact WAPP on Facebook if you can help collecting signatures on your street or your county).
JOIN WEST WEDNESDAY ON MAY DAY
Come out May 1 to support these demands. Meet at 7pm at Wyman Dell, Greenmount Ave for speeches and a march to Garland Hall. (Hopkins nurses will rally earlier at 1pm at the Hopkins Hospital, 1800 Orleans St to support their union campaign led by National Nurses United).
May day represents the unity of workers all over the world. Established after Chicago workers fought for the 8 hour day in 1886, May Day draws millions of marchers demanding an end to capitalism, wars, and occupations. To co-opt Americans the US government turned May 1 into Law Day and created Labor Day to mitigate the radical goals of May Day. In 1972, the communist Progressive Labor Party held its first May Day march, a tradition that continues today. Marchers in the 1970s confronted and fought racists in Boston who had stoned buses taking black children to school and invaded the Nazi HQ in Marquette Park in Chicago.
March on May Day 2019
May Day celebrates multiracial and multinational unity, antisexism, and reforms. May Day 2019 calls for:
- Eliminating racism and the oppression of women
- Stopping mass deportations and incarcerations
- Ending imperialist wars
- Providing healthcare for everyone
It ultimately calls for revolution to create a society run by workers. This society abolishes a wage system that produces an inequitable hierarchy with some workers earning higher wages than others, and black and Latin workers earning the least. Instead, people contribute work to serve their needs and secure housing, education, and healthcare. Without a profit motive, people can produce and access healthier options in food, transportation, climate control, and other essentials. There is no economic incentive to maintain sexism and racism. Without a survival of the fittest individualism, families can live more cooperatively and support one another, improving mental health and safety.
If these goals sound good to you, join May Day in Brooklyn, Saturday, May 4th. A bus will leave Cramton Hall at Howard University, 6th St NW at 6:30am, returning that evening, (Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org if interested).