Saturday, May 1, 2010

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Last year I participated in the first rva May Day parade, here, feeling the need to represent and show my support for the unemployed workers of whom I'd recently become a member. Here I am a year later, still looking for work (the Census won't go on forever) and marching today in my second May Day parade.

The rally began at 4:00 at Abner Clay Park and we heard from various speakers from organizations like Food Not Bombs, the Socialist Party and the Virginia People's Assembly; some were inspirational, others informational and one guy did some excellent spoken word. The organizers had even secured a permit this year, giving us a police escort as we headed down Clay Street past my house into Carver to Harrison, where we headed up to Broad and turned onto Adams. Along Broad Street, restaurant employees stood outside watching us since the dinner rush had not yet begun.

Last year's parade was part of First Fridays and stayed in that area, so tonight's route was far longer. People were out on the streets in much large numbers this year too, watching and waving us on; it may have been the music and our chanting that brought them out of their houses. Traffic was stopped for us at key intersections and we even got some honks of approval and raised fists from supporters as we moved along. Mostly, people took pictures and waved but at least they saw our message.

The sign I was carrying high over my head said, "Solidarity. Workers Unite." Assuming my status doesn't change, next year I plan to make my own sign to acknowledge people like me. I think it'll say something like. "Jobs for ALL."

But whether I'm working or not, I know I'll be walking in the parade. After all, May Day kicks off my birthday month and there's nothing like a parade to begin the festivities.

Likewise, there's no feeling quite like being part of democracy in action.

1 comment:

  1. the facebook pic of you in the parade was gooood.