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.
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.
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.