WHAT: May Day is International Workers Day. The Detroit May Day Coalition will march from Clark Park to Grand Circus Park, with rallies along the way. Many people around the country will be taking off work and school in a “day without the 99 per cent.”
WHEN AND WHERE: The schedule is as follows:
12:00 Noon, Assemble at Clark Park
1:00 PM, Rally at Maybury School
March to Michigan Train Depot
2:00 PM, Rally at Train Depot
March to Federal Building
3:15 PM, Rally at Federal Building
March to Rosa Parks Transit Center
4:00 PM, Rally at Transit Center
March to Grand Circus Park
4:30 PM, Begin to assemble at Grand Circus Park for rally, picnic, music, food, tables and more—celebration of May Day
6:30 PM Occupy Detroit General Assembly
Occupy Detroit plans to set up camp and re-occupy Grand Circus Park overnight.
WHO: A coalition including Occupy Detroit and local immigrant rights, labor, community, peace, antiwar, anti-nuclear and environmental organizations and activists. Endorsers include: One Michigan (an immigrant rights organization), Occupy Detroit, Rev. D. Alexander Bullock, Peace Action of Michigan, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice, Detroit Area Peace and Justice Network, Sierra Club, Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shutoffs, Michigan Emergency Coalition Against War and Injustice, Detroit Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Autoworkers Caravan, Alliance to Halt Fermi Three, the union UNITE HERE and Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery, Students for Justice in Palestine—WSU, Movimiento Justicia y Paz (Justice and Peace Movement).
THEME: Save the workers, defend immigrant rights, save our communities, save the planet. Additional core demands are Green jobs now, defend democracy and union rights, stop attacks on people of color and women, and defend lgbtq rights.
The May day actions planned in Detroit are part May day actions planned across the world. For over a century International Workers Day has been celebrated in most countries. The tradition was revived in the U.S. in 2006 when millions of immigrant workers took to the streets to demand their rights.
“We are glad to be a part and continue the tradition of immigrant rights advocacy on May day,” stated Jose Franco, spokesperson for the immigrant rights group One Michigan. “Now more than ever, in an election year, we need
to let politicians and our community know that we will no longer remain in the shadows. We are undocumented and unafraid.”
All of us—part of the 99 per cent—are outraged by the violent evictions of occupations, the deporting of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants each year, the attacks on labor, women, people of color and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and the destruction of the environment. The consent decree in Detroit and the imposition of Emergency Managers in other African-American communities represent a blatant attack on democratic rights.
"Detroit is a city of hope,” stated Michelle Martinez, Detroit native and environmental activist. “We can show the world how to recover from a toxic industrial decline with human rights at the core. But we can't wait for bureaucrats on their high horses to do this from the goodness of their hearts-- we must demand it, model it, live it now."
Across the Midwest, governors and legislatures undermine union rights. Only 11.9% of workers in the U.S. have a union. Unemployment and precarious work plague most of the younger generation. Many students face mounting debt and few desirable job prospects. Austerity policies in Detroit have closed many schools and foreclosed many homes. In Michigan 75 auto plants have been closed, most of them in the past decade—these plants could be reopened to create green jobs. This could be part of a massive public works program. Instead we read every day about more layoffs, most recently in the public sector.
“In such circumstances in which the link between politics and capital neglects the lives of most of everyone, a multitude of general assemblies and coalitions across the world call for everyone to strike and/or participate in direct actions on May Day” stated Stephen Dewyer, a local activist. Dewyer suggests Detroiters “do not go to work or school, shop or bank.”
“Occupy Detroit and other organizations and leaders from across Detroit will be joining together for all the 99 per cent” added anonymous of Occupy Detroit.
“Whites and Blacks, undocumented and documented, gay and straight we are coming together in common cause against the one per cent. They thought we were gone after they shut our camps down last fall but we’ll show them that the genie won’t go back in the bottle.”