May Day is a day with a lot of significance, but this year I think it’s safe to say it was even more momentous. This year’s International Workers’ Day marked more than the progress of the labor movement and workers’ rights-- it stood for the resistance and exemplified how we will continue to stand together, not divided.
On Monday, people of diverse backgrounds, ages, and economic standing stood side by side on immigrant rights, workers’ rights, health care, and affordable housing. Our individual concerns were many, but through our presence we marched as one. Let us not forget, however, that the resistance starts with marching and goes hand in hand with advocating for sensible legislation.
In a short time, Trump’s Administration has attempted to take away health care security by dismantling the Affordable Care Act, proposed a border wall that does nothing but spend money that could be used elsewhere, and tried to criminalize and tear apart families. This Administration has put at risk the safety of our parents and grandparents by flip-flopping on the promises not to cut funding to Medicare and Medicaid.
These examples are just a few of the injustices that are divisive, unfair, and not representative of what this country stands for. These are the injustices that fueled our path as we marched on Monday.
To me, the resistance is about advancing the core values of every American family and demanding that those values get honored by every level of our government. If we stay connected, celebrate the work of everyone, and recognize each person has a place in our community, then we can right every Trump wrong. The resistance lies in our hands and in the ballot box as we approach the 2018 election. So, as we look back at International Workers’ Day we must not forget that resistance is not just about fighting back but about fighting forward. The resistance is not about protecting ourselves from the swings of a bigoted Administration, it is about fighting for our place in this country we call home and making lasting changes in the political and legislative landscape.
Monday was about each one of us asserting that everyone has place in this community and in this economy -- we cannot let anyone deny us access to clean water, clean air, housing, respect, or dignity because of the color of our skin, where we come from, the language we speak, or who we love. While California has lead the way for the revived and impassioned progressive movement, we must continue to fight for that child, that sister, that father who is looking for an opportunity in Arizona, in Nevada, or in Detroit.
We must demand a government that understands that we the people, we the workers, we the voice for the voiceless will serve as their checks and balance. We must continue to ensure that America remains the place where the value of our work is matched by our wages, where we have a say at work and in our political system through the power of unions and collective bargaining, and where every individual, no matter what age, family, and community has the opportunity to create, innovate, and thrive.
So as people across the country reflect on May Day and think about the resistance against President Trump’s mass deportation force, against the Administration’s scapegoating of immigrant and refugee communities, and against the senseless policies aimed at separating us, let us keep demonstrating the power, resilience, and strength of our collective power.
The resistance is in the actions we take when our livelihood is at stake.
Let us not forget that we are the only ones who can protect each other.
Let us not forget that we, the people, are the only ones who can create change.
And let us not forget to remain united, strong, and persistent not only on May Day but every day.
The Resistance is You, Me... We!
How will you resist?