Never be deceived that that rich will allow you to vote their wealth away.

Lucy Parsons, the Haymarket Square widow who internationalized the struggle for the eight-hour day and whose work led to the May Day rallies held around the world. Happy May Day!

Check this out for more on the Haymarket Martyrs, the origins of May Day, and Lucy Parsons: Lucy Parsons: An American Revolutionary

May 1 is also 2013 Blogging Against Disablism Day
May 1, 2013 | Submitted by Rambling Justice (click here for text with embedded links)
This blog post is offered as a contribution to the
 2013 Blogging Against Disablism Day (BADD) event. This is an annual blogging activity, held each year on May 1, in which more than a hundred bloggers contribute blog posts on disablism.  Follow the link to discover many other contributions from this year.

Five Ways to Support the US #CRPD Ratification Campaign!

I have been deaf since birth.  And, though I didn’t know it until I was in graduate school, I also always have had attention deficit disorder. So I have confronted various forms of disablism/ablism all my life.  (The variant of disablism visited upon deaf people is often called “audism”, by the way.)  And I’m passionate about seeing disablism/ablism be defeated in every country on Earth.  Which we can’t do, at least not effectively, without the right tools. This is why I become frustrated when I meet fellow advocates fighting for disability rights who don’t know much about the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  

I absolutely love the annual May 1 Blogging Against Disablism Day (BADD) event.  But I also get frustrated when once again another year goes by with very few (if any) contributing BADD bloggers even mentioning the CRPD in relation to disablism.

The CRPD is an international treaty written to protect the human rights of people with disabilities.  Many elements of the CRPD was inspired in part by US disability civil rights legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In just six years, 130 countries have ratified it. And in these countries, advocates have slowly begun to use the CRPD to support arguments for reforming laws to ensure that the rights of people with disabilities are better protected. And governments have been slowly starting to listen.

Also importantly, ratifying the CRPD gives a country the right to send representatives to high-level meetings among countries in which people discuss the best practices for CRPD implementation.  These meetings are a critical vehicle for disseminating ideas and influencing other countries to consider ways to improve their practices in defending the rights of people with disabilities.  But because the United States has only signed, and not yet ratified, the CRPD, we in the US have effectively excluded ourselves from that conversation.  Although the US does still have some influence (after all, we passed the world’s first civil rights legislation protecting people with disabilities), our inability to join these high-level conversations as a fellow ratifying country does limit our opportunities for disseminating ideas to people in other countries in a position to do something about them.

The US disability community, Americans veterans community, various faith communities, parents and families of people with disabilities, and other allies have been advocating for the US to ratify the CRPD.  We failed our first attempt in 2012.  But keep watching for the next attempt!  In the meantime, if you are a US citizen, consider these ideas for how you can support the campaign for US ratification of the CRPD!

1. Educate yourself about the CRPD!

CRPD = “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”: an international treaty defending the human rights of people with disabilities.  It is ratified by 130 countries—but not the US.  We’re working to fix that! Learn the basics. Or, keep learning more.

Track news at USICD’s CRPD updates page. Follow @USICD in Twitter and in Facebook.

2. Talk to Senators!

Visit Find the website for each of your two senators. Email them, call them, tweet them, visit their offices, or leave messages at their Facebook page! In twitter, use the hashtag #CRPD. Your message for senators: “Please ratify the CRPD in 2013! This is an important issue for the disability & veterans community!” If desired, say what your connection to the disability or veterans community is.

3. Lend your Face!

Show senators the faces of CRPD supporters! Take a picture of you holding your own homemade sign supporting the CRPD.  Look at more pictures for ideas.  Send the picture to Susie Richard at USICD!

Use Twitter? Tweet pictures to senators with the #CRPD hashtag.

4. Recruit Friends and Family!

Educate friends and family about the CRPD.  Ask them to call, email, or tweet  senators–and contribute pictures! Retweet @USICD in twitter often. “Share” the USICD Facebook page .

5. What Can YOUR Organization Do?

Have your organization sign on to USICD’s letter of support from organizations for the CRPD. (Check the list to learn what other US organizations have signed on.) Encourage your organization’s constituents to contact senators supporting the CRPD. Make a group picture of people who support the CRPD and send it to at USICD!! See examples of pictures here. Consider sending your own letter to senators. Explain why your organization wants the US to ratify. (Read letters of support from other organizations). Send a PDF copy to Susie Richard so she can post it to USICD’s website. Communicate with USICD about these and other ways to help the effort.

May Day in New York City!

Join us tomorrow on May 1st for May Day in New York City!

Yes, It’s that time of year again… “International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day) is a celebration of the international labor movement. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries. It is the commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago.”—Wikipedia

May Day Events happening in NYC Tomorrow: 

full schedule here - facebook event with individual event links here

10:30am - 11:00am: Young Workers: March with TWU! — starting at Bryant Park

11:00am - 2:30pm: Free University at Cooper Union

12:00pm - 2:00pm: Immigrant Worker Justice Tour — starting at Bryant Park

12:00pm - 4:00pm: May 1 Coalition Union Sq. Activities — Union Square

12:00pm - 2:00pm: Occupy to Save the People’s Post Office at SW corner of Wash Sq. Park

1:00pm: Anti-Capitalist March leaves from Tompkins Square Park [warning: high arrest-ability]

2:30pm - 4:00pm: 99 Pickets Solidarity Swarm at Union Square

3:00pm - 4:00pm: Citywide Student Convergence — Cooper Square

3:00pm & 4:00pm: Resistance Is Fertile: Love Bomb Seed Bombs

4:00pm - 5:30pm: Unified Rally for Immigrant Rights & Worker Rights — Union Square

5:15pm - 7:00pm: Unified March for Immigrant & Worker Rights from Union Square to City Hall

6:00pm - 7:30pm: City Hall Rally for Labor & Citizen’s Rights

7:00pm - 8:30pm: May Day People’s Assembly / Asamblea del Pueblo del 1ero de Mayo — Foley Square

7:30pm - 8:30pm: Occu-Evolve Kimani Gray Memorial Assembly — Zuccotti Park

9:00pm: Dance Your Debt Away! — Washington Square Park

Can’t make it to NYC? Follow our ustream channel to watch it LIVE the whole day and follow @1181documentary and @OWSMayDay on twitter for live tweets!

April 16, 2013 - from my email:

Hey folks!

May Day is fast approaching and a bunch of student groups are in the process of organizing a citywide student convergence!  Plans are in the works for some campus-specific actions & events in the lead-up to May Day, a Free University hosted by Free Cooper Union on May Day, followed by a citywide convergence afterwards!
The first convergence planning meeting was last Sunday at Cooper Union.  There was a great vibe and a ton of enthusiasm about showing solidarity with labor by using May Day as an opportunity to strengthen and build the student movement in NYC.  
There’s still a lot of work to get done!  If you’d like to get involved, email me offlist and I’ll add you to the May Day student convergence listserv (, which we hope to use beyond May Day for future citywide student events and coordination.
At the last meeting, the group decided to leave the final decisions about the structure of the day to next week’s meeting in order to go back to their respective campuses and to give more time for folks that couldn’t make the first meeting to give input.  The next planning meeting for the May Day Student Convergence will be at:
April 21st, Sunday, 1pm-3pm 
Washington Square Park
Please RSVP to the event page and share with friends:
If you or your group wants to be involved in the planning of the convergence, contact me off-list and we’ll coordinate.
Volunteers associated with Indian-Kashmir Health department shout slogans demanding better remuneration during a protest march on Labour day in Srinagar. Reports state that though a public holiday in more than 80 countries, the labour leaders in Srinagar told media their collegues at many construction sites were denied holiday by the companies. Rallies and marches were staged by labourers in Srinagar to mark the labour day.

Volunteers associated with Indian-Kashmir Health department shout slogans demanding better remuneration during a protest march on Labour day in Srinagar. Reports state that though a public holiday in more than 80 countries, the labour leaders in Srinagar told media their collegues at many construction sites were denied holiday by the companies. Rallies and marches were staged by labourers in Srinagar to mark the labour day.