May 01, 2018
As workers across the world marked International Workers' Day, or May Day, by taking to the streets to demand living wages, improved labor conditions, and that employers respect their right to unionize, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) used the global mobilization to note the importance of fighting to improve labor conditions year-round.
"Every day we must strive for a just and moral economy with decent wages, decent benefits, and decent working conditions for all workers," he tweeted Tuesday.
\u201cEvery day we must strive for a just and moral economy with decent wages, decent benefits and decent working conditions for all workers. That is a struggle that must be carried on by every generation. #MayDay\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1525185381
The annual wave of protests comes as teachers across the Unites States have been battling state governments for higher pay, reliable pensions, and greater investment in public schools. Arizona teachers kicked off their fourth day of walkouts on Tuesday, closing hundreds of schools statewide. Educators in Colorado, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and West Virginia have also held rallies and walkouts in recent weeks.
Supporters of the teacher protests took to Twitter to express solidarity with those aiming to improve public education:
\u201cHappy #MayDay especially to the teachers of West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona who reminded us that the Koch brothers and their political lickspittles cannot kill the labor movement. "It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out." https://t.co/LDvme44gHA\u201d— Dave Zirin (@Dave Zirin) 1525179386
\u201cToday is #MayDay when we celebrate the victories of the labor movement and empower each other to fight the battles ahead. This year, we stand with the students, teachers and parents rising up to demand we #FundOurSchools for every student.\u201d— MEJA (@MEJA) 1525190184
Meanwhile, outside the New York Stock Exchange--one of many actions planned for New York City on Tuesday--hundreds of people joined a march organized by the immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York to demand that Wall Street "stop making money from the pain of our communities."
The group specifically denounced policies pushed by the Trump administration, with co-executive director Javier Valdez tellingNBC News, "The Trump administration has made very clear that they've declared war on the immigrant community on all levels."
\u201cPOWERFUL! Hundreds of New Yorkers outside the Stock Exchange building demand that Wall St. #BackersofHate stop making money from the pain of our communities! #MayDay\u201d— Make the Road NY \ud83e\udd8b (@Make the Road NY \ud83e\udd8b) 1525174985
Cynthia Nixon, who is running in the state's gubernatorial race as a progressive challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, participated in the protest. "We are sending a notice to Wall Street: Stop funding Trump's prison policy and backing his racist agenda," she tweeted. "No one should be profiting off of human misery."
\u201cThis #MayDay, we are sending a notice to Wall Street: Stop funding Trump\u2019s prison policy and backing his racist agenda. No one should be profiting off of human misery. #BackersOfHate\u201d— Cynthia Nixon (@Cynthia Nixon) 1525181460
Across the country, in Los Angeles, union members, LGBTQ and immigrant rights advocates, and community activists planned a series of marches focused on, according toNBC Los Angeles, "defending workers' rights, halting deportations that 'break up families,' and urging residents to vote in the upcoming mid-term elections." The demonstrations were organized despite growing concerns about violent opposition from far-right groups.
The People's Congress of Resistance captured the demands driving Tuesday's national and international demonstrations in a Facebook event for a rally in Los Angeles, declaring:
We demand an end to the attacks on unions, ICE raids, police brutality, and sexual harassment in the workplace. We call for an end to imperialist wars abroad which devastate innocent people and the planet. We strive for a society with justice for women, students, LGBTQ folks, and the environment. We salute the striking teachers and student walk-outs across the country who are demonstrating that when we are organized we have the power."
Halfway around the world, McDonald's workers in the United Kingdom walked out to demand a wage increase.
\u201cLast night - @McDonalds workers midnight walkout of Manchester McD\u2019s kicking off #MayDay #McStrike actions across the UK. If McDonald's can afford to pay their bosses \u00a35,500 an hour, why aren't they paying their workers a decent wage?\u201d— Dave Haslam (@Dave Haslam) 1525156745
\u201cGlobal @McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook earns three thousand times more per hour than his company\u2019s average employee.\n\nThis is the scene right now outside the local branch in his hometown of Watford, UK #McStrike #Mayday @FastfoodRights\u201d— Jack Shenker (@Jack Shenker) 1525173513
Journalists in Turkey turned out to demand justice for colleagues who have been jailed "on baseless charges."
\u201cTurkey\u2019s \u2018Journalists outside the bars\u2019 take the streets in Asian side of #Istanbul to honor #MayDay and seek justice for 160+ colleagues who are deprived of their freedom, jailed on baseless charges. #InternationalWorkersDay #journalismisnotacrime #1May\u0131staMaltepedeyiz\u201d— Sebnem Arsu (@Sebnem Arsu) 1525162853
Turkish protesters also sought to defy a ban on demonstrating in Taksim Square, prompting a harsh crackdown by law enforcement. AFPreports that police "detained more than 80 people and placed a security lockdown on the city."
\u201cIstanbul police detain more than 50 people and place a security lockdown on the city as the Turkish metropolis marks a tense May Day\n#Turkey #MayDay https://t.co/dQY9tpCSKs\u201d— Randa HABIB (@Randa HABIB) 1525185962
Major protests were also held in Cambodia, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and elsewhere.
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