May issue of The Spark online

May 1, 2012

As we go to press the ‘Aotearoa is not Sale’ Hikoi has left Auckland and will reach parliament on May 4. Two days later, thousands are expected to turn out at a Christchurch protest calling for mid-term elections and the resignation of the City Council CEO. These events follow after demonstrations against state housing demolition in Glen Innes, a significant labour struggle at the ports of Auckland (see page 7) and protests demanding the reinstating of a rail link in Gisborne (see page 9).

In this issue we cover the Mana Movement AGM and catch up with the various Occupy New Zealand groups to find out what they are doing now that the campsites are gone. Many people who were radicalised by the Occupy movement are involved in the aforementioned mentioned protests. It seems to be the case that ‘You can’t evict an idea’. An article in our previous issue looking at why women have left the Occupy movement attracted a number of responses that are printed on page 11.

Elsewhere in this issue you’ll find articles looking at copyright, transgender oppression, and the privatisation of electricity. We also reprint at article looking at the history of international workers day – May 1st.

May Spark pdf


The story of May Day

May 1, 2012

In this article originally published by the Socialist Workers Party (USA) Elizabeth Schulte tells the history of May Day, a socialist holiday founded to honor the Haymarket Martyrs and celebrate international workers’ solidarity.

“THERE WILL be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.” Those were the last words of August Spies, one of four innocent men executed for an explosion at Chicago’s Haymarket Square in May 1886.

The real “crime” for which Spies and his comrades were condemned was being labor militants fighting for workers’ rights and the eight-hour day. The national strike for the eight-hour day that they organized was called for May 1, 1886-it was the first May Day.
Their struggle, and the struggle of thousands alongside them, convinced a generation of labor militants and radicals to devote their lives for the fight for workers’ rights and for socialism.

Still, although May Day was founded to honor a U.S. labor struggle, few workers in this country typically know its origin, because the history is largely untold. This has changed, however-since the mass immigrant workers’ May Day marches that began in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »


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