Happy May Day! Well, day-after-May-Day. I spent my May 1st installing 400 more watts of solar panels, moving my input voltage to 24v from 12v. Hopefully this will give me enough power to get back to work! It’s an odd time to try to celebrate the coming of spring and the international labor holiday, as the US considers re-opening while the pandemic continues to spread.
May Day protesters had to get creative this year, and across the country rent strikers and others put on raucous, celebratory car parades. Of course, while right-wingers storming government building with rifles is apparently encouraged, driving slowly as a leftist or progressive is criminalized and 22 people were arrested in Austin during a May Day rent strike demonstration.
Yesterday saw one of the widest and potentially-impactful strikes in living memory in the US, as workers at Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart, Target, and other companies went on strike demanding hazard pay and safer working conditions. Better to just hear it from the workers themselves why they struck. Reports haven’t yet come out about the impact the protests, but we should know soon.
On the other end of the spectrum, the re-open protests are a bizarre phenomena, easy to make fun of as one part astroturf and one part LARP. Unfortunately, the propaganda they spread is clever: someone who is unable to pay their rent or meet their basic needs could easily be swayed by the argument that it is worth risking their lives to continue to work. But perpetuating the status quo that has them one paycheck from homelessness is not the answer. Demanding and creating a better world is.
Okay I listened to a lot of doom and gloom on podcasts this week but I also spent an hour happily listening to someone explain sourdough cultures and baking and how to culture yeast from ancient artifacts, and that was absolutely worth it.
Conference Talk of the Week:
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A11y First and Everyone Wins
Ava Wroten speaks at Virtual EmberConf 2020 to tell a success story about how by focusing on accessibility, she was able to help create a better product for everyone.
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This newsletter compiled by Margaret Killjoy (@magpiekilljoy). Margaret is an author, activist, and musician based in Appalachia. Her most recent book series is the Danielle Cain novella series, which starts with The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.