The Importance of International Workers’ Day
The Origins of ‘May Day’
International Workers Day is also known as May Day as it is traditionally commemorated on the first day of May as a show of workers’ solidarity. The concept of an International Workers Day has it’s origins in the famous Stonemasons strike for an 8 hour working day in Australia in the mid-1800’s but the choice of date relates to the Haymarket Strike in Chicago, Illinois in 1886 and the subsequent Haymarket Martyrs.
The Haymarket Martyrs – A Brief History
During a three day General Strike four unarmed striking workers at the McCormick Machine factory were brutally gunned down by the police, who as in every capitalist country function as protectors and muscle for the Boss class. During a protest rally the next day a bomb went off, possibly detonated by police agents, which killed 12 people and one cop.
A disgraceful, racist show trial ensued which, like all Kangaroo Courts, was a travesty of justice and four Libertarian Socialists, George Engel, Adolf Fischer, Albert Parsons, and August Spies were publicly hanged. They became internationally known as the ‘Haymarket Martyrs.’
It is in memory of these Working-Class Martyrs that workers throughout the world commemorate International Workers Day annually on the first of May. The lot of the Proletariat has not progressed incrementally in the years since 1886! In the West and indeed globally, Capitalism has continuously launched one of it’s most vicious offensives against working class people, rubber-stamped by stooge politicians. In many countries trade union membership is illegal and even in the Western Hemisphere, many workers are prevented, banned and victimised for union membership.
Celebrate Workers’ Solidarity Against Capitalism!
Although many modern workers’ leaders are simply bureaucrats, there are many trade unionists who fight daily for workers’ rights against the boss class and their lackeys. More importantly, all Revolutionary Socialist parties and freedom loving individuals should take part in the International Workers Day marches due to the blood that has been shed in the struggle for workers’ rights both in history and in contemporary times. Details of marches commemorating International Workers Day in Ireland can be found here and on this link
“Workers of all countries unite ! You have nothing to lose but your chains ! There is a world to win!”
(K.Marx & F.Engels; from the Communist Manifesto)