It's going to be one hell of a May 1st guys. If people at my school follow it, the classrooms will be empty tomorrow, as will the cafeterias. Let's see how the subway runs now. Some mysterious commenter on this blog mentioned it and linked to Facing South's" article" critical of the "progressive blogosphere" for its failure to discuss the imminent boycott. Chuck Mertz, my current favorite radio talkshow host, asked a similar question of an immigrant rights organizer following the huge Chicago demonstration last month. "why is there such a big separation between the immigrant rights movement and the anti-war movement?"
Her answer was simple: people in the immigrant rights movement are coming out in response to something that affects them directly and while immigration "reform" is newly up-to-the-minute, the discimination against immigrants has been an issue for a long time. They're not all liberal, they're not all conservative, and they're a large and essential part of our communities.
I do think there is a separation between white, English speaking middle-class anti-war activists and progressives in general and the immigrant rights movement. The immigrant rights movement seems to be coming from community organizing around direct needs rather than ideologically oriented organizations, who have gotten involved only after immigrant service and self-help organizations got the ball rolling to begin with. I hear more about these protests through my union (which supports immigrant rights) than I do anywhere else. I have wondered who is organizing demos and actions in NY. So far, I've found two answers: I have seen a flier about a May 1st demo from the "Troops Out Now coalition" (an offshoot of the IAC) and this much more mainstream coalition is supporting the boycott.
If you want my opinion on the whole matter, I say: shorten the working day, keep the pay the same, and you'll have more jobs to go around. The reason we don't have enough jobs for people now is because capitalists benefit from unemployment. They also will always try to increase their profits and productivity at workers' expense. It doesn't matter where the reserve army of labor comes from. Also, I continue to find it ironic that we are constantly told to celebrate corporate mobility and flexibility, and yet to be afraid of worker mobility. If laws loosen it up so Shell can go Nigeria, etc.etc., why don't they loosen up in the other direction too?