01 May 2011

The May Day spirit to cure paralysis

First, I wish everyone a happy May Day! 

For those of you who don't know May Day, it is the celebration of the international workers' movement. 

We celebrate our victories. 

We make noise so that the powers that be don't forget that we are here and watching. 

And most importantly, we continue to struggle.

May Day was born in struggle.
It commemorates that Haymarket Massacre when police fired on a demonstration during a general strike in Chicago for the eight hour day.

May Day is international. 
It is a national holiday in eighty countries and celebrated unofficially in many, many more. Canada and the US tried to purposefully depoliticize May Day by making a separate 'Labour Day', but even in these two countries May Day is making its way back. 

May Day is a celebration of NOT waiting for gradual change. 
Of not going cap in hand begging for improvement. 

May Day is about direct action to change lives.

And May Day is an important lesson for us fighting to cure paralysis.

Our struggle must be international. Science is not confined to any one country and when the cure comes must be made available internationally.

We must not wait for doctors, scientists, or big pharma to cure us. We must struggle actively FOR a cure and AGAINST any barrier or person that stands in the way of the cure.

And now, before anyone accuses me of using the word struggle too often, I'll let you know that it was done on purpose, not because I don't own a thesaurus, and I'll leave you a quote from an anti slavery crusader. Frederick Douglass was born a slave, escaped to freedom, and campaigned again slavery his whole life.

The next time someone tells you that sitting and waiting for a cure for paralysis is the answer, and that we should not raise our voice too loudly or boldly, please tell them what Frederick Douglass said.

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle."

PS. The list of countries to the left is not a list of countries celebrating May Day. It is a list of countries where I have received hits from the English, Japanese, Italian, French, Russian, and Spanish versions of this blog. Curing paralysis is truly an international effort. 

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