International Workers Day

Because it is states which create legal holidays, there are not many which celibrate anarchists. I only know of one, which is May Day, International Workers Day.

May Day 2014 Indonesia

May Day 2014 Indonesia

What is curious about this holiday is that it is very widely recognized around the world, often officially, but it is not recognized in the US, which is it’s country of origin. According to the Industrial Workers of the World (aka the IWW and “the wobbilies”) it is a commemoration of a labor protest which happened in 1886 in Haymarket Square in Chicago.

May Day 2014 - Italy

May Day 2014 – Italy

On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public’s eye.

May Day 2014 - South Korea. The signs sat

May Day 2014 – South Korea. The signs sat “We deserve a better president”

The city was braced for violence, but the strikers did not bring it on. And so it was peacefully for two more days and the crowd in Chicago swelled to 100K protesters. After the last firey speech two detectives encouraged the police to rush the podium which they did thru a thining crowd.

May Day 2014 - Turkey

May Day 2014 – Turkey

Someone threw a bomb at the police and not surprisingly the police opened fire on the protesters. No one knows who threw the bomb, it was almost certainly not one of the eight arrested anarchists. We know his because five of them were not even at the event and the other three were in plain sight. None the less, five were sentenced to death by a jury that was composed exclusively of business leaders. Three others would serve 6 years in prison before the governor pardoned them all and went on to publicly lambasted the judge on a travesty of justice.

May Day 2014 - UK

May Day 2014 – UK

The fight for the 8 hour day and 40 hour week were won. Child labor was banned.  But as these pictures clearly show, there is much to do around the world for workers everywhere.

“Don’t Mourn, Organize”

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

2 responses to “International Workers Day”

  1. mattiereitman says :

    Similar to my post http://mattiereitman.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/the-role-of-may-day/ except you focus more on history where I discuss the present state.

  2. Ethan Tupelo says :

    It’s Industrial Workers of the World, not ‘International’, FYI. While we’ve aimed to be a global organization from the start, the idea is to rationally organize the union by industry, not nations. Nations rarely act in the interests of workers, and usually are the ones that end up tricking large numbers of people from one to shoot those of another.

    It’s ironic that the country that started May Day is one of the few where people don’t recognize it. I think the US fake labor day in September is more focused on barbecues than international solidarity.

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