Workers on the Olympic Peninsula, led by members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, and Clallam Grower’s Collective, came together to honor the tradition of May Day with a social event at Rainshadow Lavender Farms. The event honored the community’s food workers: aquaculture laborers, ranch workers, dairy farm workers, foragers, fishmongers, dishwashers, chefs, cooks, bartenders, servers and all those who are involved in food production, access and security.
These workers are always on duty when holidays, weekends and celebrations are in effect. They work hard with a smile on their face while barely making ends meet in what is all too often a harshly exploitative industry. In the words of one volunteer: “Hospitality and food resource workers are vital to the Olympic Peninsula’s economy and sustainability. Especially when we are beginning to hopefully emerge from this pandemic, we would like to celebrate these workers that the government has deemed essential, but has done very little to support or thank in a real way.” More than just a party, the entire day was filled with a spirit of struggle and awareness around the issues that are important to our working-class community.
The event raised funds for several programs designed to help all manner of working-class people in the community. Among these programs was the Olympic Peninsula PSL’s “People’s Library” — a project with the goal to provide education and a safe space for people to gather, build, learn and teach new radical ideas that help us to understand and transform our society. Many in the crowd signed up to learn more about the PSL, bought or borrowed a book and even reached out to form a study group. There was also a focus on education around the holiday and a push for community members to network and become engaged in and lead local struggles.
Funds raised at the party also supported the Clallam Growers’ Collective Hand Tool Library of equipment available to any local grower so they can host work parties, school groups and other functions centered around farming. Small businesses and solitary volunteers alike from across the whole Olympic Peninsula — Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, Sequim, Port Angeles and Forks — donated to the event both what they had and what they loved: food, drink, equipment, expertise, time and care.