May Day: A Celebration of Workers’ Struggles

Today, we celebrate May Day. We celebrate an international, no, better yet, an intergalactic workers day—so as not to exclude our compañeros on Mars. What is the significance of this famed day, which workers celebrate all over the world, from Mexico to Argentina, from France to South Africa, from Japan to Greece?

It has its origin in the struggle of workers in Chicago. They fought so that they would only have to work 8 hours a day, instead of 18. Thanks to their struggle, begun in the year 1886, today it is considered normal to have an 8hour work day. We should mention as well, that many of those workers who risked their jobs and their lives to go on strike for an 8 hour work day, were in fact migrants themselves, abandoning their home countries in Poland, Germany, England, Italy and elsewhere, in search of a better life here in the United States. Like us, they discovered that, upon arriving here, the dreams of freedom were not always fulfilled. Instead, they quickly realized that freedom was not gifted to anyone in any country in the world. Rather, it had to be won, through struggle, through self-organization.

On this May Day 2009, El Kilombo Intergaláctico once again raises our voice against the global system of exploitation and subordination called capitalism, which many years ago ceased to respect borders, including all of us in its misery. Today in 2009, like the martyrs of Chicago in 1886, we unite not only with migrants of our own nationalities, and not only with those that have arrived at this (so-called) nation. Today we live in a world in which the wake of capital and its free trade treaties has created immense flows of migration from North Africa to Europe, from rural China to urban China, from Bolivia to Argentina, of Asians to Australia, and of Latin Americans to the United States. We consider all of these people, who live in similar conditions to our own and who fight the same struggle, our compañeros.

And although today we demand total amnesty for all of the “undocumented” in the United States, we understand that a solution to what is a truly global situation must go deeper. Citizenship has been converted into a cheap merchandise, that in any case many of us can’t afford to buy.

Given this situation, the problem of the migrant is not who is in government, democrat or republican, conservative or liberal. On the contrary, the problems that migrants face today are how to exercise the power of decision-making when the place previously designated for this exercise (the nation-state) exists mainly as an apparatus of repression? How to de-link political action from government when governments govern only for those above? How to organize a society from below and for below? How to be a nation when the only nation possible—today, that is—is the self-determination of all of those below?

If capital and its governing administrations have created an incessant war that has been called the international of terror, we as migrants from below must go further, incessantly creating global networks to erase today’s most significant border: that which divides those who create and are left with nothing from those who live off others and take everything.

Total Amnesty! They can take our papers, but they can’t take our dignity.

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