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Tallahassee FRSO holds May Day rally

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Tallahassee, FL – On Saturday, April 29, around 25 community members gathered for an International Workers Day rally at the Smokey Hollow Memorial, organized by the Tallahassee Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). International Workers Day, otherwise known as May Day, was born out of the struggle for the eight-hour workday here in the U.S. and is celebrated by working class people all over the world.

Regina Joseph, member of the Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC), spoke on the current situation facing working-class people in Florida, saying, “Everywhere we look Ron DeSantis is doing something new and creatively evil to attack our class – to attack the working class and oppressed people.” 

The current legislative session has been one of the most brutal in Florida’s recent history. DeSantis and conservatives in the Florida legislature continued their attacks on reproductive rights and bodily autonomy, culminating in the passage of a harsh six-week abortion ban. In regard to the local situation, Joseph highlighted the city’s recent proposal to increase property taxes in order to fund a 14% budget increase for the Tallahassee Police Department. 

Conservative attacks have also increased in the arena of public education, most recently with House Bill 999 which seeks to eradicate ethnic studies, multicultural student groups, and entire course subjects like women’s and gender studies. 

Recently, Florida State University Students for a Democratic Society (FSU SDS) has been organizing on campus demanding university President Richard McCollough commit to defending these programs and opposing DeSantis’ assault on public education. “All of these attacks are a reaction to the progress that we’ve made. Roe v. Wade was overturned because the Supreme Court saw that there was overwhelming support for abortion and reproductive rights. They are trying to attack us because of the power they saw during the George Floyd rebellion in 2020,” said Cas Casanova, president of FSU SDS.

In the working-class internationalist spirit of May Day, leftist musical performances were held in between speeches. TCAC member Isabel Ruano performed El Pueblo Unido, a Chilean socialist song, as well as a powerful anti-femicide song from Mexico. Community member Paddy League performed a union hymn from Brazil.

Organized labor is under threat in Florida as a bill makes its way through the legislature that would ban automatic payroll deduction of dues for public sector union members and require public sector unions to maintain 60% membership or risk decertification. The FSU Graduate Assistants United (FSU GAU) has been organizing and pushing back against anti-union legislation. “Labor really needs to shift focus and understand that there’s a bigger struggle at play here – a struggle for power within the workplace against the employers and against the administration,” said Dennis Houlihan, the bargaining chair of FSU GAU.

In Tallahassee and across the country, working and oppressed people are organizing and deepening the struggle against capitalism and reaction despite the ruling class’ attempts at stifling the people’s movements. Various sectors of people are coming together to unite all that can be united and to defeat their common enemy: monopoly capitalism. The days of rule of the 1% are numbered. Every day more and more people are becoming fed up with living under the boot of monopoly capitalism.

Closing out the rally, Delilah Pierre, an organizer with the FRSO perfectly encapsulated the spirit of May Day, saying, “We do have power to organize. We do have power to stand up against the oppressive systems that try to crush us to the ground! Because if there’s no opportunity for reform in our system, then our only option is revolution!”


Source: https://www.fightbacknews.org/2023/5/5/tallahassee-frso-holds-may-day-rally


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