New Orleans: May Day Car + Bike Rally

No reopening until it’s safe! Workers’ Safety Before Capitalist Profits!

In the spirit of International Workers’ Day, or “May Day,” we will be having a car and bike rally on May 1, while practicing social distancing, to demand that Workers’ Safety be put before Capitalist Profits.

1. No Reopening Until It’s Safe.
We will not return to work until it is safe to do so. Public health and medical officials have warned that lifting the lockdown too soon will lead to more spikes and unnecessary death.

2. Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Hazard Pay for Essential Workers. We need to keep those safe who are already working!

3. Expansion of unemployment insurance/income replacement to include all impacted by COVID-19 through 2020. Fix the unemployment system!

4. Freeze on all rent & utilities for those not receiving income replacement. No debt!
Healthcare for all workers and mobile free COVID-19 testing for all (without requiring a state ID).

5. Free Them All! Immediate Release of all people currently detained by ICE and incarcerated people who have not been convicted of a violent crime to effectively contain COVID-19.

6. Housing is a human right! There are more than enough apartments, homes, and resources to solve the issue of houselessness in New Orleans.

Please RSVP at https://nohwa.org/mayday2020

We welcome all workers and supporting organizations to participate in this action. To those who are not able to join us on that day due to health, safety, and transportation concerns, we understand. We ask that you circulate our demands and action in any way that you can. In solidarity with us, we ask that you wear Red on May 1st.

Since the day Louisiana confirmed its first case of COVID-19, the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Alliance has been demanding that the City and State Governments put workers’ safety before profits. Our priority throughout the pandemic has been containment and survival for all workers in Louisiana, in solidarity with workers throughout the world. Our lives have value, and it is up to fight for what we deserve. Now, more than ever, we need to organize.
As hospitality workers, it is our labor that makes tourism run and we know that the rich bosses would happily risk our lives so that they could collect their profits. The reality that the minimum wage has not gone up in over 20 years, that we do not have access to healthcare, that both local and state budgets prioritize police and prisons over jobs and education, shows that the government does not prioritize our lives. Politicians continuously prove through their actions that they are controlled by the interest of the rich ruling class. We can not allow them to continue this assault on the safety of our families and communities.

We will take to the streets in solidarity with all essential workers; undocumented farm workers, grocery store workers, truck drivers, transit operators, medical workers, delivery drivers and warehouse operators. We are in solidarity with all incarcerated folk, people held in ICE detention, those who are houseless, and all of those who are in need of income replacement.
We are enraged that in a predominantly Black city, institutional racism consistently ensures that Black people suffer most from any crisis. It is not merely COVID-19 that is killing twice as many Black folk in New Orleans as white folk, we know that this high mortality rate reflects the long history of oppression and exploitation of the Black population. We are enraged that essential workers, who are by majority Black, have been left on the frontlines in unsafe conditions. We are disgusted that the City and State have refused to release all those incarcerated and detained, which would prevent unnecessary deaths from COVID-19.

The Federal government is shovelling Trillions of the peoples’ money to save corporations and the banks, and spending Millions to bomb and wreak havoc on workers in other countries while workers are pushed to the bottom. Millions are waiting on unemployment insurance, many are not getting anything, and millions are collecting more debt from living expenses. The CARES Act did not cover a majority of workers, and provided relief for major corporations and businesses.
Every year, over $180 Million in tax dollars are stolen from the people, and used for private business interests. The non-elected boards who hoard these funds need to be dissolved immediately! These funds should go toward healthcare, housing, and income replacement! Instead of bailing out the rich, we demand that workers are prioritized! We demand ventilators, not bombs! We are infuriated that we are being asked to die for Capitalist profits, and we say NO!

It is important that we come together in the fight against COVID-19. Moreover, we must get organized to ensure that when we do return to work, we have more rights. We Gotta’ Fight To Get It!