An evening of education and solidarity with all workers. There will be music, speakers, information and opportunities to plug into continued pro-immigrant and pro-labor organising in the Utica Area!
May Day is both a holiday celebrating spring and is also known as International Workers’ Day, a tradition beginning on May Day, 1886, when some 200,000 workers in the US engineered a nationwide strike for the eight-hour day.
This year, a general strike has been called to bring attention to the plight of immigrants and refugees! This strike means we call people to do the following:
Don’t go to work!
Don’t go to school!
Don’t spend money!
Let’s demonstrate how vital immigrants, refugees and workers are to our daily lives, and join us in the evening for a celebration!
May Day is celebrated around the world as International Workers’ Day – a day of labor solidarity, protest and celebration. In 2012 people in Utica started to celebrate May Day again to bring awareness to worker and immigrant rights. This year, community groups are hosting a May Day celebration at the DeSales Center at 309 Genesee Street that will include live music, public speaking, networking and a screening of a short film.
This year, we are joining with calls from various organizations such as Cosecha and social movements to join a general strike. We invite workers to leave the fields, the factories, the restaurants, and hotels to paralyze the economy and demonstrate the millions of dollars that immigrants contribute daily.
The origins of the holiday are actually from the Gaelic celebration of Bealtaine in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man to mark the coming of spring. The modern roots of May Day are in Chicago when a general strike was called to enact the eight hour workday in 1886. Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike but the peaceful demonstration deteriorated into violence when the police started a riot in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. An unknown number of workers and police were killed. The authorities rounded up strike leaders who were later executed, not for any crime they committed, but because they were union organizers and anarchists. May Day is celebrated the world over and has long been a day of protest in the US.
Again in 2006, the largest single day strike in US history, also dubbed “A Day Without Immigrants,” was launched to push for immigration reform and expanded rights for immigrants. That strike was successful in killing the anti-immigrant Sensenbrenner Bill and showed the power and effectiveness of striking as a tactic.