Tag Archives: May Day

First Press Release From the May Day Organizing Committee


May Day has been a significant date for many working people since the late 19th century. From the battles over the 8 hour day to the general strike, walkouts and rallies of 2006, workers have utilized May 1 to gather with each other and assert their rights.

The May Day Organizing Committee is an Iowa City group made up of members involved in local labor, community and student organizations. We are planning events and activities centered around worker and immigrant rights issues for Friday May 1, 2009 in the downtown pedestrian mall of Iowa City starting at 12 PM.

There will be guest speakers, music, informational tables, educational discussions, and children’s activities until 9 PM. Everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend.


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Speaker Paul Street


Here is a bio on one of our speakers, Paul Street. Paul will be talking about the ‘People’s Economic Stimulus Plan’.

Paul Street is an independent radical-democratic policy researcher, journalist, historian, and speaker based in Iowa City, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois.  He is the author of four books to date: Empire and Inequality: America and the World Since 9/11 (Boulder, CO: Paradigm, 2004); Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era (New York: Routledge, 2005); Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: a Living Black Chicago History (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); and (most recently) Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics

Street’s essays, articles, reviews, and commentaries have appeared in numerous outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Capital City Times, In These Times, Chicago History, Journal of American Ethnic History, Social History, Review of Educational, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, Dissent, Black Agenda Report, Dissident Voice, Black Commentator, Monthly Review, History News Network, Tom’sDispatch, AlterNet., and (above all) ZNet and Z Magazine. From the base of ZNet, Z Magazine, and Black Agenda Report, his essays are picked up and reproduced (often in numerous languages) across the planet/World Wide Web in venues too numerous to track and mention.

Street’s writings, research findings, and commentary have been featured and presented in a large number and wide variety of media venues, including The New York Times, CNN, Al Jazeera, the Chicago Tribune, The Times of India, Morning Star (England), Al-Alkhbar (The News in Beirut, Lebanon), WGN (Chicago/national), WLS (ABC-Chicago), Fox News, the Chicago Sun Times, the Capital City Times (Madison, WI), and the Iowa City Press Citizen.

Street has appeared in more than 60 radio and television interviews/broadcasts and on the popular live Web book-chat at “Firedog.” Lake

Street possesses a doctorate in modern U.S. History (with an emphasis on the history of industrial and class relations) – a degree that he will soon be marketing on E-Bay – and once hit a 25-foot jump shot over the outstretched arm of Michigan Wolverine basketball great and future NBA veteran Ricky Green.

Street has taught various aspects of U.S. history at a large number of Chicago-area colleges and universities.  He has been strongly attached to Left political and intellectual culture since he read Volume 1 of Das Kapital and Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution (the first at a snail’s pace) in the basement of a house in DeKalb, Illinois in the spring of 1978.   He was the Director of Research at The Chicago Urban League from 2000 through 2005.

Street is a (sixth-grade) graduate of (the original John Dewey) Laboratory School at the University of Chicago but it was all public schools after that. Teenage delinquency may have saved him from ruling-class indoctrination/socialization at one of the nation’s elite universities or liberal arts colleges and put him on a fateful path to the once-exciting “little red schoolhouse on the prairie” – the formerly Marxist History Department of Northern Illinois University.  The best childhood education he received came from the social movements of the 1960s – a pedagogical engagement that begin with hearing Martin Luther King, Jr, speak at Chicago’s Soldier Field during the long hot summer of 1966. Much of Street’s writing revolves around criticism and exposure of what King called “the triple evils that are interrelated”: racism, economic exploitation (capitalism), and militarism-imperialism. He thinks that other and related evils, including sexism and ecocidalism (and authoritarianism more generally) deserve equal consideration


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Speaker Gene Baur


Here’s some background on one of our speakers. Gene will be talking about working conditions in meatpacking and agricultural industries.

Gene Baur grew up in Hollywood, California and worked in television, film and commercials, including some for McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants. Today, he campaigns to raise awareness about the negative consequences of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system. He lives in rural New York state and is the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization. Gene holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University Northridge and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University.

After volunteering and working with various environmental and human rights causes, Gene turned his attention to animal agriculture. He has conducted hundreds of visits to farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses to document conditions, and his pictures and videotape, exposing factory farming cruelty, have been aired nationally and internationally, educating millions. He has testified in court and before local, state and federal legislative bodies, and has initiated groundbreaking legal enforcement and legislative action to raise awareness and prevent factory farming abuses. He played a significant role in passing the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming systems – including the Florida ban on gestation crates, the Arizona ban on veal and gestation crates, and the California and Chicago bans on foie gras. His efforts have been covered by leading news organizations, including the New York Times, The Larry King Show, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Public Radio, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN. His book, entitled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds about Animals and Food, was published by Simon and Schuster in March, 2008 and has become a National best seller.


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May Day Callout


This is a call-out from the May Day Organizing Committee, an Iowa City community group, for labor unions, immigration groups, and other interested organizations to be involved, participate, and help organize events for May Day 2009.

May 1st traditionally celebrates the efforts of the Haymarket Martyrs and the fight for the eight-hour day. This tradition was continued in the historic May Day events of 2006 when millions in over 200 cities marched for immigrant rights.

Please join us in forming a planning committee to continue this tradition of fighting for immigrant and worker rights on May Day 2009.

Possible activities could include a rally downtown at the pedestrian mall, workshops, speeches, music, tabling, and/or a march.

For Questions Contact
Michael Rack
mcrack [at] iowa.uiowa.edu

Warren Conatser Echevarria
warrenc83 [at] gmail.com

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