Celebrating Today May Day Washington Square 2014! Immigrant Workers Justice (IWJ) March and “Tour” started in the park and made its way to other locales across the city.
Some history of May Day:
International Workers’ Day is the commemoration of the May 4, 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. The police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at the police. The police responded by firing on the workers, killing four demonstrators. “Reliable witnesses testified that all the pistol flashes came from the center of the street, where the police were standing, and none from the crowd. Moreover, initial newspaper reports made no mention of firing by civilians. A telegraph pole at the scene was filled with bullet holes, all coming from the direction of the police.”
Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to region and many unite both the holidays “Green Root” (pagan) and “Red Root” (labor) traditions. In 2006, after the passing of an “Illegal Immigration Control Act,” May Day was celebrated largely around the issue of immigration reform. After the financial collapse of 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession, May Day demonstrations grew in popularity and the holiday was widely observed and coordinated by the Occupy Movement in 2012.
Photo: Stan Williams via Twitter
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