DC's Mayday march winds from Malcolm X Park to White House

Video-the 2021 Mayday march in DC

On Saturday, May 1, DC's annual Mayday march began at its traditional Malcolm X Park gathering point and marched to the White House, ending on H st due to the fence still blocking off most of Lafayette Square. It was the 2013 iteration of this same march that so famously stormed the GOP over the Rana Plaza sweatshop building collapse in Bangladesh.

One of the chants was the usual "if we don't get it shut it down!" In and only in the past year, it has not been unusual in more militant protests to instead hear "if we don't get it BURN it down!"

Speaking of shutdowns: what a difference one year makes! In 2020, the Mayday march in solidarity with striking Amazon and other delivery workers and a truck driver's protest against unfair rate-setting by brokers were seemingly all that was in the streets due to the pandemic. Amazon and other delivery workers were on strike because reckless demands from the bosses were exposing workers to the deadly COVID 19 virus.

Politicians had responded to the pandemic by grabbing for power, with curfews in some places, stay at home orders in most places, and globally with press crackdowns and attempts to weaponize the pandemic to benefit the government in power. India's Modi became infamous for using the pandemic to suppress dissent, and his reckless now leaves India with the worst covid surge ever in the entire world. In the US, Trump quickly waffled from similar bluster and threats of martial law to pushing early business reopening as GOP bosses demanded their profits. Stay at home orders and police-enforced covid curfews in the US may have been prevented from returning Geoerge Floyd uprising that put policing in general on trial. The Black Lives Matter protests of Summer 2020 proved to the world that outdoor and masked events could be safe even if they were crowded. Trump and his fools turned around and promoted anti-masking and later anti-vaccine theories, and covid did spread at the Nov-Jan Trump/MAGAt riots in DC due to unmasked crowds.

Now with the spread of vaccines (and what could have been a 4th covid surge in the US sputtering out) street traffic is nearly back to normal though rush-hour traffic remains light. Mayday 2021 looked a lot like pre-pandemic Mayday marches except for the universal use of masks. Amazon no doubt remains a covid trap for workers, as speed of delivery is prioritized over safety and all else.

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