Ever since 1890, May Day has celebrated the unity and fighting spirit of working people around the world. This year more than in many decades, workers in the U.S. will be in the streets May Day, inspired by the rising struggle for immigrant rights.
The continuing mass upsurge for immigrant rights, with hundreds of May 1 demonstrations being organized nationwide, drew a reaction from the Bush administration last week. Nationwide raids by the Department of Homeland Security on April 19-20 were followed by presidential pro-immigrant rhetoric and meetings to broker a compromise Senate immigration bill.
More than 60 years ago, the African American poet Langston Hughes wrote, “Lenin walks around the world, Frontiers cannot bar him … Lenin walks around the world, Black, brown and white receive him.”
The European Union’s decision to join the U.S. and Canada in halting funding to the Palestinian National Authority is greatly sharpening the ongoing crisis Palestinian people face in the Occupied Territories.
Everybody seems to agree that the Bush administration has lost much of its political support. No longer does it speak with the same authority. But it is not yet on its deathbed. In fact, there is no evidence that it is ready to make even a tactical retreat.
It’s as if the spotlight that Hurricane Katrina cast on the inequities of disaster relief never happened.
New York, N.Y., Thursday, April 13, 2006 — Dressed to the nines in tuxedos and ball gowns, delighted Billionaires For Bush will gather in cities across the country to say to American taxpayers, “Thank YOU for paying OUR fair share!”
According to Time magazine, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) decided not to support the Republican-led Senate “compromise” bill on immigration reform because he felt he was walking into a trap. This recalls Patrick Henry’s famous quote, “I smell a rat,” when the U.S. Constitution was first proposed without a Bill of Rights.
Rumors of history’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Spring 2006 has blossomed with millions of workers and students in the streets in London, Paris, Athens and Los Angeles defending the rights of workers and youth. It’s history in the making, as the people flex their marching muscles. And it’s only mid-April. The size and unity of the people’s anger at the “free market” pro-corporate assault by governments on these continents keeps growing.
The Senate debate on immigration “reform” was moving toward a dramatic showdown during the week of April 3, and no one can say what kind of legislation will eventually be passed, or if any legislation will be passed. There are competing bills from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and the Senate Judiciary Committee, and there is a possibility of a filibuster or a stalemate, both of which would delay the whole issue.