May Day is a day upon which radical social justice action has been taken to support the needs and goals of the 99 percent. The holiday began as a day for coordinated celebration and agitation for the struggles of workers for quality living and working conditions, as well as a just workplace system. Many subsequent May Day movements further advocate for universal peace and equality. Some incorporate Anglo May Day spring rituals, and thus tie labor struggles to the celebration of birth, nature, and the environment. In the last decade in the United States May Day has become a site for recognition and support for the struggles of undocumented immigrant workers.
The origin of May Day comes from 19th century popular movements supporting an eight-hour work day in the United States. It was commonplace throughout 19th century for workers in industry and trades to organize for better working conditions, pay, and humane hours, and they formed various unions, federations, and other groups to work together for common goals. While workers in most major U.S. Cities were organizing, Chicago was the center of the movement. The groups decided that May 1st 1886 would be the first day of a declared eight hour workday, and organized a non-violent general strike to support the decree. More then 500,000 across the U.S. Became a strong, unified body on this day, and the world paid heed.
May Day was formalized as an international holiday in 1891 in Paris. It has since become an official holiday in many countries where governments respect the will of working people. In all places where May Day is celebrated, it is common for people to come together in the streets at rallies, marches, and demonstrations. While the tactics and aims of May Day change in response to the ever-shifting labor, social, environmental, and political problems created by market and finance capitalism, the general spirit of militant support for working people remains the same from the 1800s until today.
More to come soon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contribute to this page.