Daily briefing 1/5/20

News

Today is May Day, that is, International Workers’ Day. The annual marches are cancelled throughout the world due to restrictions of public assembly during the pandemic.

A grassroots union campaign, #RedForKeyWorkers, is asking you to wear red today in solidarity with key workers.

Today in US there will be an historic wave of walkouts by workers at Amazon, Instacart, Wholefoods Walmart, Target, and Fedex.

Events

For May Day 2020 there’s a great line-up of events organised by Arise—A Festival of Labour’s Left Ideas, Labour Assembly Against Austerity, The People’s Assembly Against Austerity, and the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs with Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Ann Pettifor, Laura Pidcock, Maxine Peake, and others.

London Renters’ Union is holding a MayDay Zoom Rally at 5:30pm.

Sheffield Transformed’s weekly pub quiz is today themed around May Day and trade unionism.

This evening at 8pm UK time (3pm EDT) Verso Books hosts an online teach-in on anti-fascist organizing during moments of crisis with Natasha Lennard, Kim Kelly, Shane Burley, and Mark Bray.

Taking place from 8pm tomorrow evening to 8am on Sunday morning, LAVA LAKE is a 24-hour online fundraising event featuring a global line up of 24 QTIBIPOC DJs, including Ain Bailey, Atim Catu and Sasoraye, among others. The fund provides short-term support to Queer, Trans and Intersex, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour currently living in the UK who are affected by COVID-19.

New articles, podcast episodes, and resources

In Salon Magazine, Asad Haider asks: “How do workers organize when we can’t go to work?

in Tribune Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC, looks at May Day in an Age of Coronavirus and argues that workers must seize this as an opportunity to demand justice. Tribune also has a feature by Adam McGibbon on a recently established online initiative, “Workforce Coronavirus Support Group” and a piece by Len McCluskey arguing that we must ensure that the working heroes who run Britain are at the heart of tomorrow’s society,

For Novara Grace Blakeley looks at how Coronavirus is accelerating tech monopolisation.

In The Nation Quinn Slobodian writes that in the US “The Vulture Capitalists Are Counting on Us To Do Nothing.”

Pandemic Notes” is a collaborative archival project between MayDay Rooms and Chris Jones, a member of Ultra-red and Southwark Notes, to preserve the feelings and practical effects generated by the pandemic. You are invited to submit both written and audio contributions.

At the Virtual Social Centre

If you have a suggestions for resources we should post or for questions you want answered, please let us know. Also get in touch if you have ideas for events you’d like to host or stories you’d like to tell about workplace or social struggles.