There’s May Day , and there’s May Day. This one on May 1st , 2017 isn’t about flowers and flagpoles. It’s a march on International Workers’ Day to commemorate the Haymarket Square Affair in Chicago on May 1, 1886 when 40,000 workers in newly-formed trade and labor unions and another 300,000 workers nation-wide went on strike demanding an eight-hour work day. Violence ensued during the next three days, and several policemen and union workers were killed in the “Haymarket Massacre.”
Labor groups persevered and finally in 1916 railroad workers won the the right to an eight hour work day. Most Americans didn’t obtain that shorter work day until the 1950s.
In more than 66 countries, May First is celebrated as a national public holiday as a tribute to the struggles and successes of the labor movement. Ironically,the U.S. does not recognize May Day as an official holiday.
But we will be marching on May Day to honor all workers,past and present, and to celebrate the heritage of Lynn. Let’s Rise, Resist, and Organize!