Two words that evoke thoughts of panic and high alert are “may” and “day”, but there are other reasons to put them together.
One reason could be the late spring pagan festival, another the James Bond character.
May Day also happens to be another name for the International Workers’ Day.
The International Workers’ Day is a day observed worldwide that has its roots in the struggle for workers’ rights and labor equality. In fact compared to Labor Day, May Day is four years older and more widely recognized.
According to an article from the Guardian the first May Day began May 1890, attracted 300,000 protesters and took place in Hyde Park in London. This happened just as the fight for an eight-hour work day erupted in the U.S.
This tie to labor struggles carried May Day along with the growth of unions, through the Nazi attempts to co-opt it with the “national workers’ day”, and on to today.
Reports about May day on Tuesday, May 1, from USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN were updated nearly hourly about the protests that are going on around the world — including reports on Occupy May Day, the struggle for higher wages in China and Brazil, and the labor unions protesting at LAX.
For more information on May Day, visit the Industrial Workers of the World website at www.iww.org.
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