May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers' Rights
In U.S. " there’s manufactured ignorance that prevents us from knowing about May Day," says historian
May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers' Rights
Foreign laborers in Taiwan shout slogans during a May Day rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, May 1, 2016. (Photo: AP/Chiang Ying-ying)
By Andrea Germanos / commondreams.org
May 2, 2016

Workers on Sunday marked May Day across the globe with rallies in cities from Paris, to Istanbul, to Manila.

Some of the protesters faced violence from police. According to reporting by Reuters,"Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon and detained more than 200 people after scuffles broke out at May Day celebrations in Istanbul and some anti-government protesters tried to breach a ban on access to the main Taksim square."

As France's parliament is weighing a bill that would erode worker protections, "hundreds of angry youths on the sidelines of a May Day labor rally hurled stones and wood at police in Paris, receiving repeated bursts of tear gas in response," the Associated Press reports.

"Similar fears about erosion of rights," according to Agence France-Presse, sent "tens of thousands on to the streets of South Korea."

Calls for justice from crowds were far-reaching, as in Germany, where, according to Euronews, "unions called on people to oppose xenophobia, right-wing extremism, and a divided society."

And in London, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked the politics of austerity, criticizing at a rally "a government that is more interested in tax relief for corporations, and tax relief at the top end of the scale," and saying, "We're here today to defend the national health service free at the point of service as a human right for all."

In the U.S., despite the holiday's origins in Chicago, many may not even know about the day.

Historian Peter Linebaugh, author of the new book The Incomplete, True, Authentic, and Wonderful History of May Dayexplained to Democracy Now! recently, "In a way, there’s manufactured ignorance that prevents us from knowing about May Day. The rest of the world celebrates it, but here at the center, where May Day was created as a workers' holiday...we're in ignorance. And this ignorance has been caused."

Asked by host Amy Goodman why it isn't celebrated in the U.S., Linebaugh replied, "It's a contest. It's a confrontation. The rulers of the United States, the 1 percent, the slavocrats, the Gilded Age capitalists, the billionaires and the police forces behind them—this is at the end of the 19th century—they leagued together in order to separate May Day and that workers' struggle from the rest of the world. And Grover Cleveland in 1894 said—was forced by labor unions; he wanted their vote—he said, 'OK, you can have a Labor Day. It's going to be the 1st of September.'"

"And what you’re supposed to do on the 1st of September is not march, but go shopping. Go ... get some sales at the new department stores. That's Labor Day," Linebaugh said.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 10,614 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 3,203 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 2,507 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 2,355 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 2,016 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 1,502 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
What Is a Gift Economy? - Alex Gendler
4 min · 1,387 views today · What if, this holiday season, instead of saying "thank you" to your aunt for her gift of a knitted sweater, the polite response expected from you was to show up at her house in...
Why I Think This World Should End
4 min · 1,126 views today · Sorry if this offends you. - Prince Ea
Union Co-Operatives: What They Are and Why We Need Them
Simon Taylor · 1,080 views today · Neoliberal policies contribute to alienation, disempowerment and non-unionised jobs, but a new model for unions could break the vicious circle, argues Simon Taylor.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 947 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 663 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Prophecy Delivered! Martin Luther King Jr. and the Death of Democracy
Reverend Osagyefo Sekou · 658 views today · “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Democracy is dead. It...
The Myth of Romantic Love May Be Ruining Your Health
Susanne Vosmer · 569 views today · Romantic love in Western societies is often portrayed in a stereotypical way: two yearning halves, who search for each other to find their complete, original state. Few find...
Trump: The Illusion of Change
Helena Norberg-Hodge · 536 views today · “Only by restoring the broken connections can we be healed.” — Wendell Berry
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 339 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 331 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 315 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 297 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: Bracing for Trump's Anti-Worker, Corporate Agenda
Colin Jenkins · 293 views today · Rich people don’t have to have a life-and-death relationship with the truth and its questions; they can ignore the truth and still thrive materially. I am not surprised many...
Trump Is a Symptom of a Sickness That Is Raging All Across The World
1 min · 278 views today · This is why we are here. And this is what we need to remember. 
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers' Rights