Building on the galloping momentum of immigrant rights protests around the country, advocates have called for May 1 -- celebrated world-wide as International Worker's Day -- for a general strike:

U.S. immigrant rights advocates called Thursday for a nationwide boycott of work, school and commerce on May 1, seeking to capitalize on the momentum of recent mass demonstrations across the country.

As we reported earlier, the South has been a leader in this movement, and I doubt May 1 will be any exception. The U.S. public is getting a crash course in how our economy runs in this country, and how much it depends on immigrant workers.

Last Monday, I went to the 4,000-strong demonstration in tiny Siler City, North Carolina, and the dominant view of white locals came through in one fellow I interviewed, who said, "I knew there were a lot of Hispanics here, but not this many!"

Whatever happens on May 1, this movement isn't going away any time soon. And much of its consciousness-raising work is already done: waking American to the economic -- and cultural/racial -- realities of our current caste system.