Hip Hop artists, musicians, educators and community builders will be participating in the global call-out for a general strike on May 1, 2017 (May Day). In Seattle there will be multiple autonomous actions, marches and #BlocTheJuvie will be having a pop-up bloc party with Hip Hip artist’s Raz Simone, Poesia, Bypolar, Yirim Seck , Julie-C, Black Magic Noize and many more live performances. We will also have great food, organizations tabling, live-painting, and amazing speakers that will share information about the juvie, prison industrial complex, prison labor and organizing efforts in Seattle and the region. We will announce at #BlocTheJuvie hashtag on May 1st, 2017, 3:30pm the location of the bloc party.
May Day is rooted in the resistance of anarchists, workers and organizers in the 1880s who begun organizing in Chicago for the 8-hour workday where 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States went on strike on May 1, 1886. Chicago was the epicenter of this struggle, where 40,000 workers join with anarchists in the forefront of public’s eye, anarchism became respected and embraced by working class people and despised by the capitalist elite, the general strike faced brutal police violence infamously known as the Haymarket Martyrs that established May Day as International Workers’ Day, officially a holiday in 66 countries yet unofficially celebrated in the United States, the country where it all begun.
It is in this spirit of global resistance that we join the 2017 May Day General Strike against fascism. In Seattle, May Day is known as a day of direct action, where social and creative movements of resistance manifest against exploitation and oppression; students, workers, migrants, and artists will be engaging in a general strike happening in cities across the world. This day the people will be building community, marches, direct actions and cultural events to participate in global resistance movements. Additional actions and events happening in Seattle and King County include the March on Amazon-May Day 2017 and the 18 th Annual May Day March for Workers and Immigrant Rights. We support all people-led movements of resistance and solidarity amongst those of us most affected and exploited by capitalist white supremacist violence.
Prisoners and migrants, are part of an exploited workforce that is denied human and workers rights. The United States has the largest incarcerated prison population in the world with 25% of the world’s prison population. Over 50 Corporate companies like Costco Wholesale Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Koch Industries Inc., McDonald’s Corporation, Victoria’s Secret, Microsoft Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Starbucks Corporation and many others profit from slavery often referred by intellectuals and academics as the Private Prison Industrial Complex. The United States of America government claims that slavery was abolished in 1865,yet within the USA constitution is a loophole in the 13th Amendment that allows for corporations to invest and exploit prisoners “as a punishment for crimes” in the 21st century. Corporations have lobbied and invested billions of dollars to use prison labor as a punishment for “crime”. Today Black and Brown peoples are racially profiled, incarcerated and forced into mandatory, essentially unpaid labor (slavery).
Youth and children are target by the police to be derailed into the prison system of means of becoming an unrecognized exploited prison labor workforce. The Youth Jail in the Central District is no different in profiting from slavery. It is in this act of solidarity and resistance with the youth inside the Juvie that we gather to put on a community Hip Hop bloc party to bring light to how Seattle City Council and King County are complicit in exploitation thru the Prison Industrial Complex by allowing prisons, detention centers, and Juvenile detention centers in the region. As a community we demand alternatives to incarceration that are centered in the experiences of the most marginalized youth, migrants, and artists.