World labor protestors unite in May

May Day, the workers holiday celebrated around the world has been purposely ignored by the American ruling-class, hoping we?ll forget America?s rich labor movement. Today, it?s more important than ever to remember how May Day originated in the U.S. in the struggle for the 8-hour work day. Amid a massive labor movement, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, the precursor to the American Federation of Labor, called for a nation wide strike on May 1, 1886 to forever establish that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day?s labor.” 200,000 workers around the country responded to the call, creating massive work stoppage in the demand of “Eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will.” The success of the strike enraged employers, who were determined to get their revenge. A protest had been called on May 3 in Haymarket Square in support of the eight hour work day, amid rain most workers left but the remaining were approached by armed police. Amid the confusion, someone, still unknown to this day, threw a bomb into the crowd of cops, killing seven. In revenge, the authorities hunted down the leaders of Chicago?s labor movement; many who weren’t even at the rally and all who couldn’t have possibly thrown the bomb. Eight labor leaders were arrested and all but one were sentenced to die. On November 11, 1887 five of the eight Haymarket Martyrs were hung. August Spies, an anarchist and labor leader, shouted on his way to the gallows, “There will come a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!” May Day has risen once more as immigrants rights protesters have organized a nationwide protest for immigrant rights this May Day, labeling it the ‘Great American Boycott.’ Organizers are asking everyone to stay away from work, school and shopping. This new civil rights movement has rallied the immigrants all over the country, one million in Los Angeles, half a million in New York City and Dallas, in response to the anti-immigrant bill sponsored by Republican James Sensenbrenner. Its time workers all over the country take back May Day and rise up for livable wages on UVM and rights for all!In honor of international worker’s day and part of the el gran paro/the great boycott, join us for a talk by Sharon Smith, author of Subterranean Fire. Monday May 1, 7 PM in Billings North Lounge, sponsored by Haymarket books and the Center for Economic Research and Social Change.