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
Featured Pay Per View Films
Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective (2015)
92 min
Within Reach (2013)
87 min
The Economics of Happiness (2011)
65 min
Trending Today
Why Does Our Culture Focus So Much on Childbirth and So Little on The Time After?
Dr. Kathleen Kendall-Tackett6,709 views today ·
Born Sexy Yesterday: Another Gendered Hollywood Movie Trope That Needs to Die
18 min2,873 views today ·
Through Abdullah's Eyes (2017)
42 min2,114 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min969 views today ·
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad665 views today ·
Predatory Romance in Harrison Ford Movies
17 min598 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick569 views today ·
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley554 views today ·
Lao Tzu's Four Rules for Living
Azriel ReShel360 views today ·
Load More


Love Films For Action? 

Films For Action empowers citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

If you feel like you get some value from this library, consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps.

Join us on Facebook
May Day Rallies Worldwide Demand Workers' Rights