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Atlanta ends busy week with May Day panel

By Fern

Participants in Atlanta May Day event

Atlanta, GA – Two dozen activists from Florida and Georgia gathered here, May 2, where panelists gave a presentation about activism and May Day, followed by a group discussion.

The speakers included Dave Schnieder, a newly elected Teamster shop-steward, and Marisol Marquez, an activist with immigrant rights group Raices en Tampa and member of AFSCME. Schnieder and Marquez spoke about the activism they are doing, both on the shop floor of a UPS warehouse and in the Latino community, and the importance of celebrating May Day. The speakers agreed that it's important to place the working class at the front of movements for peace and justice. They urged fighting with the working class against the rich exploiters in this country who make money off the labor of working people and other abuses, such as police crimes.

Leila Ali was one of the local organizers of the event. “The May Day celebration was super invigorating for me. I especially liked Marisol's talk on their mobilization of undocumented folks and how they are becoming part of the community by setting up tables in local stores that everyone frequents. That builds trust. It instantly made me think of ways to connect to the broader East African refugee community where I live and how to rebuild Black determination in our Black immigrant communities as well,” she said.

Earlier in the week, Atlanta activists held an important protest against a Coca-Cola shareholders meeting along with the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN). The protest urged people to boycott Coke and speak out against a company that is abusing Palestine. Several of the activists who participated in the protest were present to hear the May Day panel speak. Caitlin Oreilly-Green was a central organizer of the protest and participated the in group discussion about the importance of the working class in the fight against capitalism.

“ It was great to convene with folks and have time for that kind of unity. Specifically I found Marisol's discussion about tabling to be really helpful. I plan on implementing and reworking many of the tactics she spoke about for our own purposes in Atlanta. I was also pretty inspired by Dave's experiences organizing on the shop floor,” said Oreilly-Green.

Several left groups were represented at the event including Workers World Party, Democratic Socialists of America and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. After the discussion was concluded, activists had dinner together and attended a large social along with many other progressive minded youth. Everyone who came out to celebrate May Day vowed to increase ties between activists in Florida and Georgia in the struggle for a better world.

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