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
7 Signs of Tyranny
2 min · 5,149 views today · Consider yourself warned.
How Comedy Can Disarm Bullies
3 min · 4,402 views today · As long as you're funny, it can get you out of almost anything - even getting mugged, as co-founder of Between Two Ferns Scott Aukerman recounts. Unfortunately, not everyone...
How Independent is Hollywood?
4 min · 3,156 views today · A huge number of big-budget Hollywood films, especially those featuring war, conflict or terrorism, are influenced by Hollywood's close relationship with the United States...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 2,151 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 1,645 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Immigrants For Sale (2015)
33 min · 1,497 views today · The detention of migrants has become a multi-billion dollar industry in which immigrants are sold to the highest bidder and traded like mere products. The Corrections...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 1,275 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 1,169 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,046 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,043 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...
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 738 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 681 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Why Would Any of Us Want to Live like a Savage?
Juan Pablo Quinonez · 565 views today · Let’s not be romantic. Industrial civilization is no utopia. For every creature comfort we have, something or someone pays the price. The wilderness is no fairy tale either...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 527 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 493 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 481 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 374 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
Compassion, the Antidote
Martin Doblmeier · 365 views today · Thich Nhat Hanh has published nearly 100 books and is one of the best-known teachers of Zen Buddhism in the world today. In the early 1960s his practice of what he termed...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 252 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 243 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers' Rights