Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Poster(s) of the Week

Primero de Mayo de 1947
[May Day 1947 Only a conscious, united, and honest labor movement can successfully defend the interests of the workers, and help Mexico prosper.]
Pablo O'Higgins; Alberto Beltrán; Taller de Gráfica Popular
Linocut, 1947
Mexico City, Mexico

The celebration of May Day as a labor holiday marked by parades and red flags began on May 1, 1886. Behind the campaign was the universal adoption of the 8-hour working day, an improvement on the recent fight for a ten-hour day. In Chicago, the center of the movement, workers had been agitating for an 8-hour day for months, and on the eve of May 1, 50,000 were already on strike. 30,000 more swelled their ranks the next day, bringing most of Chicago manufacturing to a standstill. In a notorious riot that followed (the Haymarket massacre) the 8-hour movement failed, but the Chicago events figured prominently in the founding congress of the Second International (Paris, 1889) to make May 1, 1890 a demonstration of the solidarity and power of the international working class movement. Ever since, May Day has been celebrated globally as the international workers’ holiday.

May Day 2006
Ami Motevelli
Self-Help Graphics and Art
Silkscreen, 2006
Los Angeles, California

On December 16, 2005, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4437, the Border Protection, Anti-Terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act by a vote of 239 to 182—92% of Republicans supporting, 82% of Democrats opposing. This bill would not only have made it harder for legal immigrants to become U.S. citizens, but have made it a felony for anyone—including clergy, teachers or healthcare workers, to assist the undocumented in any way. It also called for the construction of a wall across up to 400 miles of the US-Mexico border.

The passage of HR 4437 was the catalyst for some of the largest protest demonstrations in US history, including the March 25, 2006 demonstration in Los Angeles where more than 1 million people took to the streets, and the May 1, 2006 “A Day Without Immigrants” when millions protested in cities across the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. There were school walkouts, street demonstrations, and a one-day boycott of all businesses to demonstrate the buying power of immigrants. The above poster was produced for the Los Angeles march. Following the unprecedented street demonstrations, the Senate passed a much more moderate bill, S. 2611.

In April 2010, the most repressive anti-immigrant legislation in the country was passed in Arizona. Boycotts of the state have started. On May 1, 2010, an immigrant rights march will be held in Washington, D.C.

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