Warehouse Workers for Justice: Ten Days of Art for Earth Day to May Day
In Chicago, Warehouse Workers for Justice, invited artist Aaron Hughes to create graphics as part of the Earth Day to May Day (EDMD) actions for the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020. Public actions planned by The Earth Day to May Day Chicago coalition, however, were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to WWJ Associate Director and organizer Roberto Clack, in an interview with Hughes for Justseeds.org, the ongoing health crisis meant they had to pivot,
"When we originally planned both the art show and original series of events for the coalition, this was all to be in person, which included people being on the streets. Our efforts were born out of the global climate strikes, a world-wide, youth led movement which was one of the largest protests in human history. We expected the 50 year anniversary of Earth Day to surpass the massive events last fall and our goal was to agitate the labor movement to support the student strikers’ call to overhaul our economy to be more sustainable and more just for workers. With COVID-19 we had to entirely change our plans, including the Earth Day to May Day Chicago art show, which became a virtual series.
Our overall plans were severely affected but the art show allowed us to uplift our cause in a spirited way. People loved it and we were able to use the medium of art to draw the needed connections between labor, immigrant and environmental justice.
...People loved lifting up the Green New Deal, while paying homage to local fights in Joliet and Elwood and the 2012 Walmart strike. The fight at Amazon is more important than ever and there are also ongoing local fights at smaller companies like Cushioneer that we were grateful were featured.
Together, the different graphics helped make the connection that the fight for labor and environmental justice are a fight that’s one and the same. We can’t have one without the other and art helps connect our struggles."
Read the full interview here along with links to download all artwork: Art for the Warehouse Workers for Justice & Earth Day to May Day Chicago Coalition by Aaron Hughes
Learn more about the issues warehouse workers face: Witnessing the Slow Violence of the Supply Chain
Learn more about environmental justice issues happening in Chicago: Resisting Cycles of Environmental Injustice in La Villita