A Time for Modern Activism
Over the past century, International Workers’ Day has become a global celebration of union rights and a dedicated day for workers’ rights activism. Even though the United States doesn’t federally recognize May Day, May 1 has been chosen in recent years by immigrants’ rights activists for “A Day Without Immigrants” in 2006 and by the Occupy movement for national demonstrations in 2012. Last year, the Port of Oakland staged a shutdown on May 1 to call attention to the social injustices faced in the United States by minorities and the working class.
Last year’s global celebration saw mostly peaceful protests. In Jakarta, Indonesia, thousands of union members marched for improved working conditions. In Durban, South Africa, various trade unions marched together in a stand against xenophobic violence in the country. In Italy, a wreath was sent out to sea by labor leader Susanna Camusso in memory of migrants who died trying to reach European shores.
Honor Workers Everywhere
This International Labour Day, make space to appreciate how our work connects us.
As you start your morning routine, cultivate a new mindful awareness of the labor invested in everything that sustains you. Give thanks to the worker who treated the water running from your tap and the worker who helped deliver it to your pipes. Give thanks to the natural systems working to make sure you have fresh water to bathe and drink and send lovingkindness to all the water molecules working around the clock to sustain your physical body.
Send gratitude to everyone along the chain of labor that made your morning cup of coffee possible.
A renewed appreciation for all of the work that connects us can help humanize the stuff in our lives. Start shopping ethically, with all of that work in mind. Considering both the human capital and natural capital put to work to make everything we have possible can help us move toward a more complete picture in which we can see and support both the people who grow what sustains us and the land working hard to produce it.
How is your work sustaining you and the greater global community? Work with us toward a world that works for everyone: an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just future for all.