We cannot help but believe that were every law, every title deed, every court, and every police officer or soldier abolished tomorrow with one sweep, we would be better off than now. – Lucy Parsons
American society’s core is predicated on slavery. When outright ownership of human beings was abolished, the prison system eventually filled the demand for a free labor force. However, while labor arrangements changed from chattel slavery to a wage labor system, the pervasive social context in the US has rested on the negation of personhood for black people.
The slave masters and the slave catchers from the 18th and 19th century have become the police force and the judicial system today. The racist current that encourages police to shoot black and brown people at will, with no consequences, also incarcerates a remarkable amount of people for trivial legal transgressions.
From the original May Day until today, those with a hunger for liberation have never stopped resisting. This May Day we are standing with two historic movements that are striving to break this system of domination: the Free Alabama Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The Free Alabama Movement in conjunction with the IWW/IWOC has called for noise demonstrations in solidarity with prison work strikes that are being launched on May Day across Alabama. The Free Alabama Movement stated, “mass incarceration is in essence an economic system which uses human beings as its nuts and bolts.” With solidarity from Texas prisoners they intend to put this economic system to a halt.
In NYC, we are standing up for all the victims of police violence but specifically for Akai Gurley and his family who were recently violated in one of the most outrageous instances of American barbarism. If there is a time to stand up, it is now.
This May Day, with our fists raised in defiance we stand in solidarity with the prison strikers, with the family of Akai Gurley, and all those who desire to set fire to the master’s house. Burn down the American Plantation!