Friday
May 11, 2007
SGN.org
Volume 35
Issue 19
 
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Stories, song and cheers celebrate the labor movement on Cinco De Mayo at New Freeway Hall
Stories, song and cheers celebrate the labor movement on Cinco De Mayo at New Freeway Hall
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Starting with a delicious dinner of herb-roasted pork loin, and accompanying buffet (including a vegetarian option), the celebration of both Cinco de Mayo and May Day kicked off last weekend (May 5th), at New Freeway Hall. And dressed in the colors that have come to be associated with both the immigrant rights movement and labor movements, speakers read from quotes and accounts from various famous labor battles through history, including the famous Hay Market riots that happened in Seattle at the turn of the century.

Cheering accompanied the testimonials about how police under the authority given them by the governors of the time, had tried to quell the early labor movement with force, but failed time and again. This movement, readers who read from labor papers from the early labor movement, kept being reborn, and became stronger as a result of the continued struggle with 'the bosses of industry'. And from these early beginnings, the current labor organizations like the IBEW and AFL-CIO, as well as others were born. Also it was stated; this began the movement for worker's rights, and gave today's workers the eight hour day and other necessary benefits.

Also noted were how early civil rights activists like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made the connections between a need for worker's rights, the end to the Vietnam War and more equality for Blacks, who during the sixties, suffered most of the unemployment and often were first fired and last hired. References to the sanitation strike in Memphis, and how this had united Black workers, ministers in the civil rights movements and white activists gave those gathered for the evening's festivities a chance to put the current movements in perspective.

After the program and dinner, some audience members stuck around to further discuss where they thought the current labor movement and immigrants rights movements should be headed and how joining these together could also be used to pressure our current government to stop the Iraq war. In all, another lively and inspiring evening with Radical Women and the Freedom Socialist Party, who together put on the dinner and program. For more on upcoming events and meetings, call 206-722-6057, or e-mail, FSPseattle@mindspring.com.

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