My Blog__ Mayday 2012
Today is Mayday 2012. Every year (we're talking pre-christianity here) on the first of May civilians come together in a general strike against a system that does not work for the majority of people who have no choice but to comply to it. It is a literal outcry against structures that oppress, "Mayday" is derived from the French "m'aider" which means HELP ME.
People do not work, do not go to school, do not submit to the day-to-day functions that help keep a system with inequality at its roots running. It is a cry for help from the unemployment, racism, sexism, starvation, inadequate housing, lack of health care, mass incarceration, state-sanctioned violence, and all other limitations on the lives of the 99 percent that we have to deal with. We didn't choose it. We want to change it.
There is always the fear of participating in any mode of protest that seems to be an attack. People don't like to feel like they are the aggressors. People don't want to protest because they don't want to be the source of an outburst. The way that occupiers were presented in the media positioned them as menaces, as insurgents, and as inconveniences. The beautiful thing about Mayday is that it rearticulates the masses as victims of a system that hurts them. Help us. Help yourself. This holiday is about YOU. You are angry because you are not the source, you are being done harm to.
Any person who has watched someone they love be laid off, has had to scrape cash together to help a friend pay for an abortion, has watched their boys be chastised for holding hands with other boys, has been kicked to the ground and cuffed can relate to this victimization. Any person who cried for Trayvon Martin, who kissed a sibling goodbye on their way to Afghanistan. These moments hurt you, and it is okay to ask for help. M'aider. Help me.
Both Mayday and Occupy are non-violent protests. Watching videos and seeing photos of students being pepper-sprayed, veterans being beaten, and professors being arrested this year helps us understand that non-violence from protestors does not elicit non-violence from the police.
Today is Mayday 2012, and it is set to be the largest demonstration in over 50 years. We can only imagine what kind of steps the NYPD and the American police forces all over the country are prepared to take to suppress protests. Whatever your political allegiances to or grievances with the demonstrators are, let's all agree to wish for their safety today. It's a good day to think about the basic tenets of humanity that every living person should be guaranteed. To learn more about Mayday 2012 click here.