The Occupy movement's syncretization of May Day tradition and 21st century anti-corporate and anti-austerity civil disobedience has been called many things. Nationally, Occupy May 1 has been calling for a general strike. Walk-outs, sick-outs, work stoppages, and what-have-you. In many more locations it is going to take the form of large demonstrations that will fall well short of a mass labor shutdown. Reasons number far from the critique that Occupy Wall Street doesn't have a relationship with labor; the fact is that many rank-and-file workers are sick and tired of continuing to lose ground to their corporate overlords. The reality is that the majority of established unions are too ingrained in the status quo to truly defend their members against the pernicious assaults of the ruling class, and let's also not forget that, much like in the 1930s, the reason many people are disgruntled, resistant, and occupying, is that they are unemployed.
So why should South Floridians join the walk-out on May 1?
-- The man in charge of growing employment in our state, Governor Scott, is not pushing forward policies that represent the interests of the 99%. Rick Scott's latest job "creation bill" promises to create 220,000 jobs, and the majority of those are expected to pay under $10/hour. Job creation in Florida today means nothing less than corporate servitude.
-- South Florida is the foreclosure capital of the nation.
Our populaton of over five million was built on the concept of profiting off of never-ending expansion. When the housing bubble finally imploded, the domino effect of rising mortgage payments and sinking housing prices has dragged hundreds of thousands of innocent, well-meaning people across Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties into foreclosure. The continued lack of investigation into the endemic fraud that has powered the foreclosure crisis is nothing less than a total abdication of public service by our elected officials for the sake of corporate croneyism.
-- According to a recent survey, Miami is the fifth most corrupt city in the nation, while Florida ranks as the fourth most corrupt state in the nation. While the list of local scandals are too many to count, my personal favorites would certainly include last year's Miami Urban Beach Week Shoot-out, Miami-Dade Police's Homeland Security Bureau spying on media folks (such as Carlos Miller and Muhammed Malik) leading up to and even following the eviction of Occupy Miami, and the ongoing struggle for Broward county school board officials to stay out of prison for corruption, fraud, and misconduct.
-- Because the immigration system is broken and stays that way only to pad corporate profits. Today immigration is not an issue of humanitarian need that must be resolved but merely a commodity. The Obama regime has shown as little interest as the previous one at resolving a problem that causes outrageous amounts of daily suffering.
-- As the global environment stands on a precipice, development in South Florida rolls ever onward. No matter how dire our water supply is, or how endangered our marine life gets, we just keep building. From the SW Ranches ICE facility that will drain 180,000 gallons of water from the Everglades every day to the expansion of the Port of Miami, South Florida is addicted to indefinite expansion in order to satisfy the never-ending thirst of development and investment. Look forward also to the expansion of the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and the Port of Everglades, which will blow up parts of the swamp remaining around the Port in favor of hundreds of thousands of tons of cement and ever increasing air and marine traffic.
-- Because as much as people can take offense at those who show wavering support for alternatives, pretending to continue to support what our government does without our consent is far worse. The United States' greatest innovative exports to the world at large today are torture and death by killer robot.
I have heard many criticisms from Miamians about May Day as there will no doubt be millions of Cubans participating in a state-mandated celebration this year as in many years past. However the Castro regime no more owns the rights to International Worker's Day as any government or institution.
We gather at noon in Bayfront Park in Miami this Tuesday for many reasons... but the causes are the same: a system that has completely dropped any pretense of serving the people it represents, and instead preys on us for everything it gets away with stealing from us. If you've had enough of this madness, join us.