May 1st, 2020
A parade of 20-30 cars and bicycles took to the streets of Seattle allowing their protest to be taken directly to sites of worker struggles. At the same time activists with different organizations were protesting at Amazon in their vehicles for the rights of workers or in Olympia at the Capitol building in their cars demanding immigrants and workers rights.
In the time of quarantine and social distancing; protests, rallies, and demonstrations have to adapt. Honking horns, chants through megaphones, and shouts out windows caught the attention of passersby while signs taped to cars shared the messaging around workers rights and immigrant justice. The distance traveled was far longer, personal interactions non existent, and there were no incidents of pepper spray or blast balls. However, SPD was an ever present force in their cruisers, vans, and unmarked vehicles, occasionally directing traffic around the protest.
From the Facebook event page:
“Join the COVID-19 Mutual Aid Network, International League of People’s Struggle, members of the ILWU in solidarity with Local 10 in Oakland, the community, and cross-industry working people for a *social distanced* May Day.
Friday May 1st, join a *social distanced* caravan (on bikes or cars) throughout the streets of Seattle to different targets to show our solidarity with workers, promote worker demands and declare EVERY HUMAN IS ESSENTIAL. We will be livestreaming the different targets via Facebook Live.
The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly revealed the contradictions of imperialism that daily plague the world. The triple crisis of viral plague, recurring crises of capitalism, and the failure and/or unwillingness of governments to provide necessary protections, especially for the poor and those subjected to racialized capitalism have thrown us into A FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES.
Capitalism further exploits the workers and forces people to choose between their livelihood and their lives. People incarcerated in prisons and caged in detention centers are being put in life-threatening conditions. Health workers, grocery workers and other essential workers are denied access to basic protective equipment. All while the rich get richer and put profits over public health.
Join us in opposing this racist, exploitative, militarized response to COVID-19 this MAY DAY and join together to demand better for our communities, defending workers rights, immigrant rights and human rights.
11:00 UW: Burke Museum lot 45th st+ Memorial Way
11:45 Trader Joe’s: (Capital Hill, 1700 E Madison St)
12:30 SSA Marine: 1131 SW Klickitat Way
1:15 Cargill Sweeteners: 2 S Horton St
1:45 King County Metro Central Base: 1500 6th Ave S
2:15 Reynolds Work Release: 410 4th Ave
2:45 VA Hospital 1660 S Columbian Way
[Route may be adjusted day of, please follow the FB live and this event page with updates]
Workers are essential, not disposable
Thank you workers! You deserve (fill in the blank)______ !
Capitalism is the virus, people over profit
How to join:
Decorate your car visibly in support of the messages above
Making a sign and hold it out your window or paint your car to make our caravan really visible for workers watching cars drive past
Meet us at any of the stops and join along
Or watch online and share with your friends and co-workers
Follow the livestream on FB to find up to date locations
Safety and Health protocols:
**We ask that everyone in attendance use a FACE COVERING for safety, and not exit their cars unless they are 6 feet apart from those around them. Bring gloves, masks, sanitizer, and any hygienic products that can ensure your safety as well as the safety of others. We are doing this to demand protection for our communities–let’s do it mindfully–we are responsible for each other!**”