The Mayday protest I attended in Dallas had about 150 participants.
It was probably the largest Mayday Protest in Dallas since the anti-communist witch hunt began in 1946. Certainly, it was the biggest one I’ve seen, because we normally don’t have anything at all on International Workers Day. Even if we had, it wouldn’t have had union support.
There were Mayday actions all over the United States, for a change. Usually, they have them all over the world EXCEPT for the United States. That’s how things are changing.
What Do We Get Done?
I’ll be the first to admit that the Mayday protesters were there for different reasons. A lot of them probably didn’t know that the Workers Defense Project had organized the event specifically to target Wells Fargo Bank for having financed the scandalous immigrant detention centers in Texas. It’s not likely that Wells Fargo management is going to change its habits just because of this picket, so people might legitimately ask, why come?
I can think of a list of reasons:
- Every public action is a training ground for the future struggles that will, must, come
- Well-done actions help us get better organized for the future
- When people see us protesting, they are just a little bit less afraid than before
- We need to develop leaders, and leadership comes out of struggle
- Camaraderie feels right, feels good
- Taking sides against our common foes feels right, feels good
- Our actions impart critical information not otherwise available
So, in the short run, people protest because we like doing it. In the longer run, we do it because the general direction of politics in the United States is going against working people and must be changed. Building a strong workers’ movement isn’t just one of many ways to change America, it is ultimately the only way.
It’s Not Easy
Building a workers movement that can stand up to our employers will not happen spontaneously. It will have to be built, and it will take hard work. Right now, Americans do not understand what is happening to them and they don’t know what to do about it. Even if they did, they’re mostly too afraid to try. Every person who turns out for public actions is chipping away at those obstacles!
Find me at http://knon.org at 9 AM Central Time every Saturday