Re: [OPE-L] Happy Loyalty Day, 2005!

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Sun May 01 2005 - 11:05:41 EDT

From the working-class-studies list.  Note links to stories on
May Day celebrations internationally today. / In solidarity, Jerry

May Day

>From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Labour association May Day rallies, such as this one in Mumbai, are common.

The holiday is most often associated with the commemoration of the social
and economic achievements of the labor movement. The May 1st date is used
because in 1884 the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions
demanded an eight-hour workday in the United States, to come in effect as
of May 1, 1886. This resulted in the general strike and the U.S. Haymarket
Riot of 1886, but eventually also in the official sanction of the
eight-hour workday.

May Day is designated International Workers Day. It is indeed a thoroughly
international holiday; and the United States is one of the few countries
in the world where pressure from local working classes has not led to an
official holiday. In the 20th century, the holiday received the official
endorsement of the Soviet Union; celebrations in communist countries
during the Cold War era often consisted of large military parades and
shows of common people in support of the government.

There is some suggestion that Labor Day in the United States was created
specifically to avoid commemoration of May Day. The adoption of May Day by
communists and socialists as their primary holiday cements official
resistance to Labor Day and similar non-May Day celebrations, which they
view as being controlled by the ruling class. (See Loyalty Day.)

Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands also celebrate Labour
Day on different dates; that has to do with how the holiday originated in
those countries. May Day has long been a focal point for demonstrations by
various communist, socialist, and anarchist groups.

In a separate attempt to co-opt May Day, the Roman Catholic Church added
another Saint Joseph's Day in 1955 that Christianized this holiday as the
day of "Saint Joseph, the Worker".

May Day 2005 in the News:

 French celebrate May Day with nationwide protests

 Russians Mark May Day with Protests Against Government

 Berlin Starts May Day Peacefully -- for Once,1564,1570453,00.html

 Asians mark May Day with rallies for peace, democracy and workers' ...

 Thousands flock to May Day rallies (Australia)

 Workers march on May Day as coup talk eases (Phillipines)

 Pay campaigns launched for may day (New Zealand)

 May Day march in downtown (Oregon)

 Heavy security marks May day rallies in Colombo (Sri Lanka)
 Worldwide protests mark May Day

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