Cities like San Francisco, Oakland and New York are joining over 100 other cities across the nation to participate in a national general strike organized by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. It’s possible this could be the largest event by the OWS.
Historically May Day is celebrated around the world as International Workers’ Day and is an international labor movement. It is commonly celebrated by organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labor unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries as a political day for demonstrations.
Today the U.S. joins many of those cities around the world as a way to raise consciousness and ask protesters to avoid attending both work and school and calls for demonstrators to avoid making purchases.
The OWS Movement seems older than it is. In reality it’s only been since last September when the first demonstration took place in New York City's Zucotti Park, where the first occupiers took a stand. They issued a challenge to Democrats, Republicans and independents to join in a cause with a united message of support for the middle class and those in poverty for economic justice. Their website calls on Americans to support not only Americans, but also the general strikes in Spain and Quebec. Workers, students, immigrants, and the unemployed can stand together for civil rights and income equality around the world.
The Green Party
Today’s demonstrations offer a particular clarion call to Green Party leaders, Democrats and their leaders. The General Strike leader of the Green Party challenges Democrats: “Try and find one of your Democratic political party’s leaders in a May Day general strike protest,” according to a Green Party website.
In New York State the Green Party with its presumptive presidential candidate Jill Stein has issued this endorsement of the May Day OWS General Strike: “Green Party members will participate in the May 1 General Strike organized by the Occupy Movement and the May 1 Coalition and will join thousands of union members, students, immigrants, and others across the US in the first national strike in the nation’s history… The Green Party of New York State and Park Slope Greens have endorsed Occupy Wall Street’s May 1 General Strike actions.”
Jill Stein will be actively participating on the street in general strike protests today in New York.
Stein challenges the the Democratic Party claiming it speaks for working Americans, but there is no endorsement of the May Day protests by the Democratic Party at any level, national, state or local.has a fundraiser tonight at which people who pay extra money get “VIP” status, but President Obama won’t endorse the May Day protests.
The Green Party questions why Congress has passed legislation forcing cuts in education, Medicare, mass transit, and environment protection. She states further, “Democratic readers, maybe I’m missing something. Prove me wrong. Find just one national Democratic Party leader who has endorsed, or even acknowledge, today’s May Day protests for economic justice.”
Democrats and platform 2012
There was evidence of support last year, but the response by Democrats was cautious. Some came out initially to support OWS, according to a report in Politico.
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), who represents upstate New York, joined in supporting the protests last year blaming the banking industry for the widening gap between the rich and the rest of America following the recession.
“It’s time for all Americans to pay their fair share,” Slaughter, the ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, said in a statement. “And I’m so proud to see the Occupy Wall Street movement standing up to this rampant corporate greed and peacefully participating in our democracy.”
Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who are co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a joint statement that they were “inspired” by the ongoing protests. And liberal hero— who lost his Wisconsin Senate seat last year — has also endorsed the protests.
“We share the anger and frustration of so many Americans who have seen the enormous toll that an unchecked Wall Street has taken on the overwhelming majority of Americans while benefitting the super wealthy,” Ellison and Grijalva said in a statement reported by Politico last year.
Democratic Platform 2012-as proposed by the Democratic Underground
Too radical or just right?
We will pass new tax laws that spread the tax burden fairly across the economic spectrum, with those benefiting most from our society contributing commensurately.
We will pass law to protect the right of workers to organize and have a voice in the operation of US businesses. This will include raising the minimum wage to $20.00 per hour to ensure a reasonable standard of living for all working families and to stimulate our sluggish economy.
We will pass law to provide Medicare for All so no American is denied care or has to suffer financial hardship because of health problems, and no American businesses are saddled with health costs that keep them from competing fairly with foreign competitors. This plan will include a “safety net” to guarantee every citizen is provided the food and shelter necessary to survive difficult challenges in their lives.
We will withdraw of all US military and contracted personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives being wasted on these wars, we will instead provide aid to these countries, and to other depressed areas where atrocious conditions breed terrorists.
We will order the Department of Justice to investigate those who led us into these wars to determine if war crime charges are warranted. If so, they will be prosecuted with vigor and any ill-gained profits shall be returned to the people.
We will order the Commerce Department to present a holostic plan for maintaining and advancing the infrastructure of our great country.
We will order the Secretary of Education to present new plans to guarantee all Americans have access to our public schools, from pre-kindergarten through advanced degrees.
We will order Homeland Security to present a new plan for securing our borders from those who would do us harm while allowing appropriate travel and visitation to our many friends around the world. This plan is to include a path to citizenship for those who serve in the US military, or who came here as children and are now productive members of our society.
We will order the Department of Energy to begin another “Manhattan Project” to enable us to cease our dependence on fossil fuels. At the same time, I am announcing the nationalization of all US oil and gas reserves, as well as other reserves owned by the citizens of the US that are currently being extracted from our soil for private profit without regard for our environment.
We will order the Department of Justice to begin immediately to root out crimes of corruption within our government. In concert with this, I want Congress to pass laws to ensure elected officials are serving for the benefit of the American people as a whole, not to gain wealth or power for themselves or their friends.
And finally, we are asking you, the People, to help with the most critical problem facing our Democracy today. We’re asking you, the People, to pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting political spending by corporations or any other entity or individual not qualifying as a person with citizenship in this great country.
These and other policies we will put in place will cause a sea-change in how our country serves the citizens - We the People - rather than a tiny handful of super-wealthy who would subvert our democracy and plunder our wealth while denying even the most basic services for our citizens. Thank you for your support and thank you for standing up for the rights of all citizens.
You be the judge. Are the Democrats going to be able to answer the call for economic justice and income equality, or do liberal progressives need to search elsewhere for representation?