May Day 2012
Join us in Solidarity Against Austerity
Take to the streets on May 1 to stop the cuts. Help bring the Maple Spring to Ottawa.
11:30am at Confederation Park. 12pm at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Your support is needed today to build a broad mobilization to stop the cuts to our public services and defend our rights. The recent Ontario and Federal budgets are a declaration of economic warfare on the 99%. We need to unite to resist this. We need to do so right now. And we need your help to make it happen. Canada is not broke. It’s about priorities.
The fact is those who promote austerity know the money is there, but would rather spend the money enriching the already rich 1% at the expense of everyone else. The fact is a strong economy needs strong public services. The fact is they prefer sky-high corporate tax cuts, jails, fighter jets, and tar sands subsidies to public services, human rights, and the environment. The fact is, contrary to the rhetoric, austerity kills jobs while increasing economic inequality. We need an equal economy for all, not a budget for the 1%.
The question is: what are we going to do about it?
As we’ve seen from the Arab uprisings, the Indignant movements in Europe, the worldwide Occupy movement, and most recently the Printemps Érable – the Maple Spring – which has brought hundreds of thousands of striking students into the streets of Quebec, there is another way. We need to take to the streets to say loudly and clearly that we won’t pay for the global economic crisis created by corporate greed and excess.
And so, on Tuesday May 1, the newly formed Solidarity Against Austerity will take to the streets to defend universal, quality, democratic public services, and oppose privatization and discrimination. We want you to be part of it.
DEMAND ECONOMIC EQUALITY
On May 1, we will march in opposition to the massive job cuts proposed in the budget that will have a huge impact on our region. We will march to defend federal public services and regulations, workers rights, Old Age Security (OAS), pension security, health care, childcare, affordable post-secondary education, and a living wage, because the goal each of these is the same: to bring us closer to an accessible economy and a fair society, with equal opportunity for all. The attack on crucial safety nets like OAS in the recent federal budget is part of the overall strategy to create a two-tiered society. Whether it’s two-tiered OAS, two-tiered wages, or two-tiered health care, for Harper, it’s not about the government saving money. It’s about rolling back the gains of the last 50 years under the guise of austerity.
DEFEND INDIGENOUS RIGHTS
On May 1, we will march to defend Indigenous rights, which the Harper government’s federal budget would undermine by allowing further encroachment onto reserves of mining, oil and gas corporations. This injustice compounds the already mounting attacks on Indigenous communities who speak out for economic equality and self-determination. Indigenous communities are having their rights and livelihoods eroded in the name of “jobs and growth”. Standing in solidarity with these communities and in support of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a crucial part of the fight against austerity.
LEARN FROM YOUTH AND STUDENTS
On May 1, we will march in solidarity with the inspiring Maple Spring in Quebec, where over 200,000 students are engaged in a crucial fight against austerity. The massive student strike in Quebec – with its demands for accessible, affordable education – can point the way toward a mass pan-Canadian anti-austerity movement. The mass walkout of thousands of high school students across BC, in solidarity with their teachers, is another strong example of the kind of solidarity we need to build against the concerted attack on workers’ rights from coast to coast. Education is a right, which those pushing for austerity seek to erode in Quebec and across Canada, despite outrageously high unemployment rates of young workers.
PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
On May 1, we will march to protect the environment from austerity. We will challenge the gutting of environmental assessments and regulations, the massive subsidies to Big Oil, the sabotaging of international climate agreements, and the undermining of the UN-recognized human right to water and sanitation. All of these are being rationalized by the false claim that a safe, clean environment is a barrier to “jobs and growth”, while shamelessly cutting jobs that protect the environment in the name of austerity. Meanwhile those who stand up to this war on nature are labelled as “radicals” and enemies of the state.
INSIST ON PEACE & PROSPERITY NOT WAR & AUSTERITY
On May 1, we will march to demand military spending be redirected to human needs and the environment. Stopping the gravy planes is an important way we can defend, sustain, and reinvigorate our cherished public services. But the fighter jet fiasco is just the tip of the iceberg. The Harper government’s “Canada First Defence Strategy” is their roadmap to spend half a trillion dollars on war and militarism between now and 2028. All of this is bolstered by systemic discrimination against Arab and Muslim communities, in the name of the discredited “war on terror”. War, racism, and increasing economic inequality go hand in hand. And making these connections will build a stronger movement with a powerful vision of how to make another world possible.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Donate: support the organizing efforts financially or with an in kind contribution (including devoting organizational staff time)
- Help promote the day of action: get your organization to endorse the May Day mobilization; spread the word to your organization’s members, supporters and networks; copy and distribute the poster and handbill.
- Help build the day of action: organize a contingent and/or feeder march for the rally; organize a solidarity action on May 1 at or outside your school or workplace; join us at upcoming organizing meetings (visit maydayottawa.ca for times and locations).
The May Day action is the next step in building a growing movement of resistance to austerity. Our message is one of solidarity and hope. Our goal is to bring the Maple Spring to Ottawa. We are the 99%. And together on May 1, we can begin to stop the cuts in their tracks.
Solidarity Against Austerity