Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Olympia Workers Association Statement on the Militarization of the Port of

May 30, 2006

In solidarity with workers worldwide, The Olympia Workers Association condemns union labor loading military machinery onto ships to Iraq. Dock workers in Seattle began the General Strike of 1919 when they refused to load weapons to fight workers in Russia. We urge local dock workers now to refuse to load military equipment to fight workers in Iraq. Only when local workers stand in solidarity with workers worldwide will we earn the true value of the work we produce.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hundreds Mark Historic May Day in Olympia

Reports from 2008 May Day

Olympia, WA-- Hundreds of community members celebrated International Workers Day on Monday May 1st, 2006. People in Olympia assembled in Sylvester park for a “Day Without an Immigrant” and joined in solidarity with millions of people across the US and workers around the world.

People gathered while speakers from various community groups talked about immigration, Zapatistas, cross border organizing, local worker solidarity and other ways for people to get organized. When the speeches ended, people took to the streets toward the State capitol to voice their views.

The doors to the State Capitol building were locked. No politician came out to greet the May Day participants. People made speeches from bullhorns calling for immigration reform and the need for more worker solidarity. At many times people chanted “¡Sí, Se Puede!”

The May Day Parade reassembled at the base of the capitol stairs, approximately a half hour later, and then proceeded down Capital Way toward downtown. Some stores along the parade route were closed for the day in solidarity. The Parade took a right on 4th Ave. and ended at the Artesian Well in the parking lot by Jefferson Street.

Bike police officers, a half block away, guarded Pizza Time. Pizza Time became a focal point of the local labor movement last year when all 10 workers went on strike for better working conditions in February 2005. Those workers were locked out by the current owner Heath Flores in August. A boycott of Pizza Time still remains in effect although Pizza Time was not made an issue this May Day.

People took turns hitting a piñata made to look like a Border Patrol SUV. A mobile sound system broadcast Free Radio Olympia 98.5fm and a dance party started in the parking lot. The IWW Banner “Capitalism cannot be reformed” got duct taped to a bank billboard overlooking the parking lot on 4th Ave.

Hundreds of people in Olympia answered the call to not work or go to school on May 1st and gather to support immigrant and worker rights. Many people talked about taking their May Day experiences back to their workplaces and asserting their rights on the job.