May Day comes but once a year, and the folks trying to oust Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker from office are taking full advantage. Building on the national outcry against Walker's moves this year to destroy public unions and eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers, they're calling on Americans to turn the 1st of May into a national boycott of companies that have provided political funding to Walker.
It's going to be a controversial move, no doubt. May Day is also International Workers Day, and the incensed right will tell you its unfair to take the anger out on poor defenseless companies. In one sense, they're right. The Stick It To Scott Walker movement has called for protesters to print out stickers bashing the companies that support Walker and post them on products at stores in the state.
It SOUNDS like a great idea at the outset, but it's both illegal and unfair to the little mom and pop grocery store owner who now has to go walking around the store removing these little stickers rather than say, helping customers. Even a straight boycott of the companies, while seemingly effective (we all vote with our pocketbooks) falls hollow when you realize it's the little guy running the lawnmower shop around the corner who is losing out when you refuse to buy Briggs & Stratton engines (one of Walker's donors) or the convenience store owner who can't get you to buy some Coors Beer (MillerCoors is also on the Scott Walker Watch boycott list).
If the May Day protesters want to make a difference, they'll be the "bigger people" so to speak. They'll rise above the fray, keep their stickers to themselves (post them on your fridge -- they're funny after all, and we could all use a laugh on a daily basis), and spend their Sunday writing letters to the companies instead. That's the true sacrifice for the worker on a spring day, spending it inside over the computer. Just as Target learned Americans aren't happy with their donations to anti-gay candidates, these companies can learn that supporting a guy who doesn't value the American worker is not OK whether it's in Wisconsin or outside. And it CAN be done while holding to the integrity of the support of the International worker.
Will you be joining the boycotts? Or would you prefer to write a letter?
Image via egovsevo/Flickr