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Freedom Road Socialist Organization celebrates May Day 2013 in Minneapolis

By Mick Kelly |
May 5, 2013
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Deb Howze, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, welcoming audience at Minneap
Deb Howze, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, welcoming audience at Minneapolis May Day celebration. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN – More than 50 people gathered here May 3 for a celebration to mark International Workers Day. The event was organized by Freedom Road Socialist Organization. In a festively decorated hall, the celebration began with a dinner and slide show that highlighted the struggles of the past year.

Jess Sundin, a Twin Cities leader of Freedom Road Socialist Organization, gave the opening speech. “This day, International Workers Day, is celebrated by the working class in every corner of the world. This great holiday, a communist holiday, is marked with protests and marches, and also with meetings and celebrations. It’s been more than 125 years since May Day began, and struggles by U.S. workers and our unions have won the eight-hour work day, the 40-hour work week, health and safety rules at work, the right to unionization, unemployment insurance, welfare and Social Security, minimum wage and much more. These things are threatened in workplaces and government halls every day.”

This year’s May Day celebration had a strong emphasis on the employed and unemployed sections of the working class. Mark Froemke, the president of West/Red River Valley Area Labor Council, talked about the heroic struggle waged by the workers who had been locked out at Crystal Sugar. More than $400 was raised for their support.

Joe Burns, author of an important book on the way forward for the labor movement, Reviving the Strike, talked about the key elements of class struggle unionism. Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFSCME Local 3800, spoke about attacks on public employees and the need for resistance. Angel Buechner and Ebony Harris of the Welfare Rights Committee gave a riveting account of the fight to raise public assistance grants.

Francisco Segovia of Mesa Latina, and a key organizer of the 1000-plus Saint Paul May 1 immigrant rights march, spoke on the need to fight for demands of the undocumented.

Other speakers included leaders of the Anti-War Committee, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Acton Committee.

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