May Day: More Important Than Ever (and no, I am not a communist)

may-day-rally1
Today is May Day — International Labor Day.
Even though this special day began here in the U.S., in Chicago, corporate powers and their politicians and media have made us forget that glorious history.

And they have created this notion that celebrating the globally recognized workers’ day would automatically mean you are a communist. Celebrating together with the world community automatically would mean you are for a violent overthrow of the government. And most people have bought into that propaganda.

No, I am not a communist, but I believe May Day is very special, as it created for the first time in modern history a new consciousness for the working men and women — not just in America, but around the world. It gave working people hope and strength.

I grew up in Calcutta, and we saw May Day celebrated in a big way. All over India: but with the rise of a Trump-like, race- and religion-bashing government, it has dwindled. In the most advanced and equalized countries in Europe and Latin America, May 1 is still a very special day. People celebrate it with much fanfare, parades, music, and yes, reading books, and watching pro-people movies and theaters.

People here do not know much about the history of the labor movement — either from a global, or an American point of view. People who blast unions ALL benefit from the long and hard struggles our brothers and sisters have took on for many years: 8-hour workday, overtime, weekends off, family leave, sick day…you name it.

The one percent is now 0.0001 percent (as calculated by some of our union brothers and sisters on the last weekend’s class I teach on Long Island) — roughly a few hundred, extremely rich, powerful and violent rulers have taken the country of 330 million over. Labor union here is only 8-10%.

The calculation was like this:

(1) 330 to 3,300 people — extremely rich — have influence the election system in America with their millions of dollar, under the leadership of Koch Brothers.

(2) 330 million people live in America.

Therefore, 330 or 3,300, divided by 330 million = 0.0001 to 0.00001 percent.

(Q.E.D.)

That is the ruling class — horrific, violent, cruel, anti-worker, anti-poor, and extremely rich and powerful.

Today, to be organized with new knowledge, education, and insight, it’s even more important to celebrate May Day — to feel solidarity with the labor movement worldwide. If the corporate powers and their media can unleash their global reign of terror, we can fight back together — globally — and nonviolently.

May Dr. King and Gandhi be our guiding lights.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

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May Day Protestors March For Immigration Reform

My Labor Union and Bernie Sanders

Thanks to the Labor MovementReally, to elect Bernie Sanders, the fiercest fight must be against the DNC and the liberal media. Because they are the real fiercest forces working for the one percent and corporate America. Storm them. Expose them. Strip them naked. NON-violently. If we can do it now, we have a chance. Really, if we can, we have a chance.

What have I learned from my union brothers and sisters over all these years?

(1) They are some of the smartest people, unlike what media and corporations want us to believe. Many of them may not have a college degree, but they are full of education with life’s real experience.

(2) They know their craft inside out, and take their jobs very seriously. On any day, their level of skill and training would outdo a non-union worker hands down.

(3) They are fun to be with, they are warm and respectful, and they have a real society, where people do not mind telling their buddies to stop smoking or drinking too much, or cut down on that beef or pork, for fear of some intrusion of privacy crap. They know their buddies, their families, and their children.

This is the last remnant of the American society that is perhaps our last hope for this country. And the one percent knows it. Therefore, they are trying to destroy it, undermine it, and making the younger generation become oblivious of their history.

People are fighting back against the tyranny and lies of the one percent, in an effective and organized way, wherever there is a strong union. A vibrant labor movement in Sweden, Iceland, Belgium, Greece, Spain or Germany has forcefully resisted, or tried to resist, the new global fascism unleashed by IMF, World Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Exxon, or GE. Or, war and prison industries. (Most of these corporations are supporting Hillary).

On the other hand, countries with insignificant union powers have failed. Such as USA or India. Even in UK, there is still a substantial labor density, which has stopped Monsanto and GMO, and elected a socialist to be the leader of the Labor Party.

If Bernie Sanders can storm into the Democratic Party’s pathetic status quo, and beat back against the Obamas and Clintons and Schumers and Feinsteins, it might jump start a new labor movement in America. And the working men and women — the 99 percent — will rise again to their old glory.

And if you haven’t noticed, this is my “speech,” coming out of another charged labor workshop on immigration, just on the eve of Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate.

People I work with are smart, brave, and fun to be with. I believe we are on to something, together.

Maybe, America’s 99 percent is rising.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York

Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. Together, these two pro-99% leaders can change the world.
Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. Together, these two pro-99% leaders can change the world.