Celebrating May Day
A Brief History of May Day
May 1st, or May Day, is International Workers’ Day. The first May Day mobilization took place 131 years ago, when workers rose up in the late 1800s to demand an eight-hour work day, and end to police brutality, and other rights for workers. In 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (the predecessor of the American Federation of Labor-AFL) called a nationwide movement for the eight-hour work day.
The FOTLU announced May 1, 1886 as the beginning of this movement. In Chicago, a massive, peaceful, multi-day mobilization began on May 1, 1886. Violence erupted on May 3, and police officers killed four workers and wounded 200. The Haymarket Affair became justification for anti-labor and anti-union government crackdowns across the country. In July 1889, May 1 became designated as International Labor Day in memory of the injustice of the Haymarket Affair.
May Day Mobilizations
We are happy to be participating in two actions for May Day this year. Details below.
Here to Stay: Rally in Support of the Safe Communities Act
When: Monday, May 1 | 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Where: Massachusetts State House Steps
Join labor and immigrants’ groups on International Workers’ Day for a rally as we speak out against unfair deportations and call for the passage of the Safe Communities Act. The Safe Communities Act would Massachusetts state support for a Muslim registry and protect immigrants in the Commonwealth through a number of provision, including barring state, local, and campus police from participation in federal immigration enforcement activities. Click here to learn more about the Safe Communities Act and what you can do to support it.
East Boston, Chelsea, and Everett March
When: Monday, May 1 | 4:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Where: March from Lo Presti Park in East Boston, to Chelsea City Hall
The immigrant communities of East Boston, Chelsea, and Everett will join forces once again to marches on Monday, May 1 in honor of International Workers’ Day.
Logisitics: The NE JLC will be joining this coalition at Lo Presti Park at 4:00 p.m. Please get off at the Maverick stop on the Blue Line; there will be marshalls at Maverick Square to direct you to Lo Presti Park (a 5 minute walk). Please email us if you would like to carry a Jewish Labor Committee sign.
This year’s event is symbolically being held in the City of Chelsea, which became a sanctuary city in June of 2007. The resolution that was approved by Chelsea’s City Council states that the City of Chelsea respects all people irrespective of their race, ethnicity or immigration status. It also establishes that all Chelsea residents have the right to work without fear, receive fair wages, and access secure working conditions. The resolution concludes that unwarranted raids and consequential family separations will not be tolerated in Chelsea.
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