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May Day Heroes

May 01, 2020

Americans Who Tell the Truth

As frontline workers are calling for May Day strikes – still seeking basic protections – we honor all of those who have fought for workers in the past: Woody Guthrie, Cesar Chavez, Eugene Debs, Mother Jones, Francis Perkins, and Emma Goldman, to name a few. Lesser known is Emma Tenayuca,  who, at age  21, led the Pecan-Shellers’ Strike, considered by many historians to be the first significant victory in the Mexican-American struggle for political and economic equality in this country.

And today, so many courageous workers and advocates carry on. Among them Ai-jen Poo, who is documenting the lives of domestic workers during the pandemic and organizing the Coronovirus Care Fund on their behalf.

As Utah Phillips said: “Because we organized; we broke the back of the sweatshops in this country; we have child labor laws. Those were not benevolent gifts from enlightened management. They were fought for, they were bled for, they were died for by working people, by people like us. Kids ought to know that. That’s why I sing these songs.” 

And the bleeding and the dying goes on…but so does the fight and the song.

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