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                                       politics + culture

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1st Solidarity...and "Law Day"

I'd like to post in solidarity with the millions of hard-working immigrants staging a peaceful nationwide day of boycott and protests today.....May Day. This principled stand for civil rights and labor rights is also a way of communicating to the rest of the nation a salient fact: immigrants are tired of being treated as second-class.

That should not be too hard to understand, but many don't.

Now, George Bush, as is his wont, has chosen to emphasize a more recent holiday...Law Day. Leaving aside the hypocrisy of this president advancing the concept of "respect for the Law"...it's not hard to guess why.

Here's what Law Day's founder, Charles Rhyne, said about his motivations in founding the holiday:

The immediate inspiration for a May 1 celebration of law was directly related to the Cold War. For many years the American news media gave front page headlines and pictures to the Soviet Union's May Day parade of new war weapons. I was distressed that so much attention was given to war-making rather than peace-keeping.

My idea was to contrast the United States' reliance on the rule of law with the Soviet Union's rule by force.

So, Law Day has always been an anti-May Day holiday...and a holiday that defined May Day not by any of our own longstanding national traditions of May 1st as a day to celebrate labor empowerment, but by using Soviet militarism to red bait and marginalize those traditions. Whatever the 'peaceful' notions of Charles Rhyne...call me dubious...there's little doubt that George Bush and Karl Rove are attempting to revive, ahem..."Law Day"...for reasons that have nothing to do with peace and respect for the rule of law, and everything to do with throwing a bone to their anti-immigrant base: all 32% of Americans who still endorse this president and his policies...ie. folks who support the legislation passed by the GOP House majority that would address the immigration issue by making millions of hard-working immigrants felons at the stroke of a pen.

That's what they mean by "Law Day."


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