MAY 1ST and the SOUTHERN PEOPLES INITIATIVE FOR A NEW SOCIAL ECONOMY

In the South we face an economic reality with roots in slavery, privatization, and “right-to-work” laws that have exploited southern, U. S., and international workers. The Southern Movement Assembly is organizing for a just transition into a New Social Economy. Extractive practices like fracking and mining, as well as low wages and bad working conditions that create poverty, contamination, and death in our communities, have no place in a just society. Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act passed in 1947 allows states to pass so-called “right-to-work laws” which prevent employees from establishing a union in their workplace that has any real power to change their conditions. If bosses can hire people outside of the union, what power does the union even have?

Resistance is on the rise! People’s community cooperatives, farms, land trusts, community banks, and credit unions are emerging as the beginnings of the New Social Economy. Southern Freedom Fighters are practicing community-based agriculture, developing emancipatory education to generate knowledge and strategies for a people’s economy, advancing the working-class struggle in the 21st Century, and continuing to organize the unorganized in workplaces and communities  into a new social movement unionism that increases the power of working-class and oppressed peoples and communities to challenge the forces of domination that deny people human rights and threaten the wellbeing of the planet. These changes are necessary and vital for workers currently denied access to legal labor protections.

Ever since May 1st 1886, when workers in Chicago began a general strike to establish the eight-hour workday, to guarantee the right to organize, and to prohibit child labor, May 1st has been a day of resistance in working communities. May 1, 2017 shall be a day for marches, rallies, forums, teach-ins, and other events across the South, the nation, and the world.

Actions are taking place in all thirteen southern states to demand:

  • Living wages
  • Healthcare and housing for all
  • The universal rights to organize and migrate
  • Ending deportation and separation of families
  • Collective bargaining for all workers

None of us are free until all of us our free, and Southern Freedom Fighters are taking initiative towards a New Social Economy.

 

Working communities are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, Fight Back!

 

From Grief to Power