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Diverse Protest Groups Unite As ‘The Majority,’ Aiming For Large-Scale Demonstrations On May 1st

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Diverse Protest Groups Unite As ‘The Majority,’ Aiming For Large-Scale Demonstrations On May 1st

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People take part in a protest against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter during a march in New York July 9, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

On April 4, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “Beyond Vietnam” speech in which he denounced the scourges of “poverty, racism, and militarism.” Exactly one year later, he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while organizing alongside black sanitation workers and preparing to launch the Poor People’s Campaign.

Now, 50 years after Dr. King’s historic address, a new coalition called “The Majority” is emerging to tackle the triple evils identified by Dr. King and build a “multi-racial, cross-movement fight for justice, freedom and the right to live fully, with dignity and respect,” according to a statement emailed to AlterNet. This 50-organization-strong initiative includes the Black Lives Matter Global Network, Mijente, Fight for $15, Indigenous Environmental Network and many more organizations.

“The goal of the coalition is to create space where we can come out of our silos as people who do social and racial justice work,” said Chelsea Fuller, an organizer with the Movement for Black Lives and a member of The Majority, in an interview with AlterNet. “We want to come together to say that racism, anti-blackness, capitalism and militarism affect all of our communities. They are central to the issues that we are all fighting.”

Marisa Franco, director of Mijente, emphasized in a press statement, “The shared attacks our communities are facing mean that we have a shared fate and shared work to do together. We cannot defend ourselves if we do it alone, and we cannot build sanctuary for some of us without it being something that protects all of us.”

The initiative comes amid uprisings and protest. Trump’s inauguration was greeted with massive demonstrations and direct actions in Washington, D.C., and across the country, and then millions around the world took to the streets as part of the Women’s March. Since then, protesters have flooded airports, staged strikes and coordinated actions across the country, organized popular assemblies and mobilized to defend their neighbors.

Those organizing with The Majority coalition seek to unite front-lines movements and rally behind a vision rooted in historical perspective.

Organizers say they draw inspiration from King’s 1967 speech, but ultimately credit the broader social movement that he was part of. “While we use the date of Dr. King’s historic speech and tragic assassination as a beginning point for our 2017 mobilization, we reject any analysis that would suggest that Dr. King was singularly responsible for the movement,” said the Majority. “That’s why on April 4th, we will also teach and learn about grassroots organizers who were the backbone of the Black Freedom Movement, and other social justice movements in the U.S. and globally.”

The Majority’s new initiative, “Beyond the Moment: Uniting Movements from April 4th to May Day,” is book-ended by another historical marker: International Workers’ Day.

“May 1st or May Day (International Worker’s Day) emerged out of the fight for an eight-hour workday in 1886 in Chicago. On this day, striking workers clashed with police, resulting in several deaths—four of the protesters were later hanged,” writes The Majority. “In the context of a new president using grandiose promises of job creation to mask the fundamentally anti-worker and pro-corporation nature of his policies, it is imperative that we put forth a true, collective vision of economic justice and worker justice, for all people.”

“Between April 4 and May Day, there will be a combination of mass political education and direct actions that will take place across the country,” said Fuller. “Right now, folks are still planning their actions, teach-ins, seminars, protests and mass marches. The organizations taking part have membership and reach to groups all over the country.”

Meanwhile, momentum for a massive May Day strike appears to be growing. Earlier this month, a network of more than 300,000 farmworkers, servers, cooks and food-manufacturers, including a large local chain of the Service Employees International Union, announced that they will join the walkout “to stop the relentless attacks of the Trump administration and its allies in corporate America.” Immigrant justice organizations, including Movimiento Cosecha, or Harvest Movement, have spent months organizing across the country for Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes (A Day Without Immigrants) to win the “permanent protection, dignity, and respect of immigrants.”

“The time has never been more urgent for grassroots communities to fight for our lives and liberation together in a multi-racial and intergenerational movement,” said Cindy Wiesner of It Takes Roots, one of the many organization members of The Majority.

“We’re joining together with the Movement for Black Lives because our two movements have a common bond in fighting the racism that keeps down people of color everywhere,” said Latierika Blair, 23, a worker at McDonald’s in Memphis, earning $7.35 an hour. “McDonald’s conspires with police to try to silence us when we speak out for higher pay. Corporations and politicians act to keep workers and black people from getting ahead in America. We should be investing in our people and communities. That’s why we have to protest, and that’s why we will keep speaking out together until we win.”

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

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34 Comments

  1. Rosy April 3, 2017

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  2. Phil Christensen April 3, 2017

    May Day. Because if you can’t be obvious about hating American, what’s the point?

    Reply
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    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 3, 2017

      Must you always be so narrow-minded and self-centered? I realize a frump like yourself admires narcissism and being self-centered. But before you leave this earthly existence, don’t you think it would be nice to approach your Creator with Him knowing you were finally able to become mature?

    3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 3, 2017

      Those who hate Americans are the infantile closed-minded who can only think in terms of “America First”. Your attitude is an insidious force, more damaging in the long-run than bomb-blasts. How can any American hate him or herself, Phil, unless he or she is mentally imbalanced?
      Only narcissists are capable of harming themselves, with backwards thinking, or with bombs.

      1. Phil Christensen April 3, 2017

        An “insidious force.” That’s a new one.

        1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 3, 2017

          Phil, the word “insidious” means pervasive, implying an infusion into every nook and cranny. The context for my usage is to demonstrate for you the wide-spread effects of the pernicious forces which motivate those who insist on being injurious to the well-being of humanity, which is something you should have learned about from your church attendance(?).

          You do know how to use a dictionary, and have some Christian upbringing—right?

          1. Phil Christensen April 4, 2017

            “Pernicious.” Making use that online thesaurus, are you?

          2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

            ^ this dude is a climate change denier

          3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 5, 2017

            You should try it, Phil.
            What is your problem , Phil? Is it old age, senility, too much FOX, or a combination?

        2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

          Yes, that IS a big word. Stay in school, kids, you don’t want to end up like 50-year old Phil here.

          1. Phil Christensen April 4, 2017

            This only makes me like you more.

          2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

            OK sorry you couldn’t come up with anything good to reply with.

    4. RichFromShowMe April 3, 2017

      How appropriate for the Left . . . to celebrate a day of Communist Control of the mechanisms of production, especially now that they have a “Communist” running their DNC and a “Radical Socialist Member of the Muslim Brotherhood” as second in command.

      This should tell every American, even those folks on the Left, the direction their Party is headed 🙂

      http://time.com/3836834/may-day-labor-history/

      http://politistick.com/10-quick-facts-you-must-know-about-new-dnc-chair-communist-tom-perez/

      1. 788eddie April 3, 2017

        You mean communist control as contrasted with control by the the .1%? Neither one is desirable for our country. But, as a mix, socialisistic programs that benefit the majority AND capitalism are the healthiest, and will make for a stronger America.

        1. RichFromShowMe April 3, 2017

          Does this mean you will be moving to China or Russia quite soon, to enjoy the benefits of Communist Control and Fresh Air?

          So, what if “the witch” got majority of the popular vote . . . best read the Constitution 🙂

          Bernie, the old burnt out hippie socialist tried Socialism and itd didn’t play well with the DNC . . . but he got a couple of vacation homes out of the ordeal 🙂

          1. 788eddie April 3, 2017

            I guess you forgot your social studies lessons; communism is NOT the same as socialism.

            Please take your Putin-loving troll ideas and leave the country to those who are still patriots.

          2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

            Why move to Russia when you’re busy selling out America to it already?

          3. 788eddie April 4, 2017

            Aren’t you even curious about the source of “drk money” that’s pouring into our elections?

            Many say thet that source is Russia and Midd;e-Eastern Muslim countries.

          4. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

            Ah, right – you’re interested, but only when you can stretch the facts to make an utterly baseless conspiracy theory targeting the Others you and your fellow traitors blame for all the problems you created.

            You are a disgrace. Stop calling yourself an American.

          5. RichFromShowMe April 5, 2017

            I can’t wait until Susan Rice is sworn in and answers for her crimes . . . she is the crack in the bogus “Russian” claims you on the Left have been salivating about.

            Dr. Pavlov was right!

          6. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 5, 2017

            Ah, yes, THIS imaginary conspiracy theory is SURE to be the one that works. You inbreds never learn.

          7. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 5, 2017

            I mean, just a reminder but this particular feeble effort is THE BEST that Russia’s employees have come up with in the month since Trump made a spectacularly false claim that – being a toddler – he cannot back down from. Your masters are incompetent morons.

      2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

        Why do Putin’s Man-Brides – lickspittle servants of the Last KGB Agent – always insist that everyone else is a communist?

    5. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 3, 2017

      Right, right. I guess you would know, what with your bootlicking support of America-hating traitors.

      PS: You never did issue that apology for the outrageous lie you told about Warren in a feeble effort to defend Republican treason.

      1. Phil Christensen April 4, 2017

        I’m sure House-Flipper Warren appreciates your support.

        1. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

          Yes I already mentioned that you’re a conspiracy theorist. Sorry you couldn’t find a single example to back up your stupid non-smear, but to be fair you are dumb as hell.

          1. Phil Christensen April 4, 2017

            I see someone peed in your Cheerios this morning. Buck up, you’ve got the whole day ahead of you.

          2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

            OK thanks Mulder, but I’m overseas collecting all the trade the US is losing.

        2. ♚ King Leo ♚ April 4, 2017

          I mean, hell – you’re a 53 year old high school dropout who thinks he knows better than literally all the world’s climate scientists.

  3. 788eddie April 3, 2017

    As a former Occupy Wallstreeter, I will be proud to add my presence on May 1st.

    There is still much work to be done.

    Reply
  4. Joan April 3, 2017

    We need to add real criminal justice reform to our common causes. Addressing income inequality must also be part of what we are fighting for. Trump’s efforts to divide are starting to have the opposite effect, hallelujah.

    Reply
  5. Aaron_of_Portsmouth April 3, 2017

    Great idea. But, by all means, stay focused on the major points of contention, AND don’t take it out on property.
    That way, such displays of displeasure will have a very positive affect and a nobility of the protest will serve as a vivid reminder of the vast gulf between Trump and his ignoble character, and that of the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King’s noble demeanor.

    One think is certain—You’ll never catch good old Trump putting himself on the line for anyone besides himself.

    Reply

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