May Day

Posted by sepoy on May 01, 2004 · 3 mins read

First of May is designated as International Workers Day, in commemoration of Chicago's Haymarket riots in 1886. The riots happened after labor unrest provoked a strike where the police and rioters went at it. The unrest spread and bombs went off and police officers and many laborers lost their lives. Here are pictures of the anarchists being dragged and quartered. It was the Paris Congress of the Socialist International Party, in 1889, that selected May 1st as a day to celebrate the working man. The date was chosen specifically to remember the Haymarket massacre.

The new holiday was, also, a co-opting of the banned Beltane (Day of Fire), or May Day, traditionally celebrated by encircling a phallic maypole with delicious fertile virgins which sounds a lot more fun than parades in rain.

Now remember that US does not celebrate May Day (commies do) but, we do have the Labor Day in September. That also has an Illinois connection. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland declared a holiday to appease the working folks after the brutal putdown of the Pullman company labor strike in Pullman, Illinois. September 5th was that day.

Anyways. Glorious May Day. Go celebrate by reading our Carl Sandburg:

Glorious May Day!

I am the People, the Mob

I am the peopleãthe mobãthe crowdãthe mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the worldπs food and clothes.
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. ThenãI forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a foolãthen there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mobãthe crowdãthe massãwill arrive then.
Carl Sandburg (from the Chicago Poems, 1916)


COMMENTS


Shakir | May 02, 2004

Yes the Labour Day! Ill celebrate it by remembering my favourite politician/leader/revolutionist, Late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (Shaheed), who not only gave voice to many million labourers in PK, but made them understand their rights and declared the 1st May as the official/national holiday in the country.Geeyah Bhutto, Ek jiyala!


s¯nee | May 03, 2004

:) shakeer reminds me of this 'mussaddas'(six stanzas)when bhutto was hanged (1979); ''Kahbi tu shochna yeh aaj kya kiya logo yeh aaj kis ko sar-e-daar kho diya logo haway-e-bughzo- khabasat chalee thee sath apnay insaf kee quba bee oda kay lay gee logo subha-e-musrat nay diya tha ek chiragh humein aaj usee ko sare shaam kho diya logo '' Yes he did a remarkable job by telling the labourers to 'form' labour unions and stand up for themselves, so much so, he gave them power to kill their own bosses, burn the same factories they work in, block roads etc etc, and in the end start looking for another job. thanks to him '(until mussaraf banned them all)'every state owned dept in the country was literally controlled by these unions.. However We do need to educate ourselves about labour rights especially child labour issues in developing countries; who are forced to become beggars,factory workers etc and exposed to conditions extremely harmful to their physical and mental well-being.


Sophia | April 30, 2011

Lucy! Parsons! Lu! Cy! Par! Sons! Lucy Parsons! That's all I've got. Happy May Day you pinko bastards!