The History of May Day and Why/Where we can March in Solidarity with our Local Immigrants

We take our collective hats off to anyone that learns English as a second language…

Let’s consider the phrase “May Day”: If the space between the words were to become lost, it becomes an expression of distress.

maypole
How one thing is NOT like the other: Children with a Maypole…

If you were a child of the 60’s, May Day was the strange yearly ritual that required your whole class being assembled around a May pole, each of you clutching an attached ribbon, ready to find out which one of your classmates didn’t understand the concept of weaving in and out.

However, the “May Day” we’re interested in this Monday is the one known as “International Worker’s Day”, to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Riot in Chicago.  You can read about the Haymarket Riot here.

haymarket
… and the announcement for the Haymarket Rally

Its story started with thousands of overworked and underappreciated immigrants (in this case, Germans and Bohemians) unionizing and striking for an eight hour workday.

What started as peaceful protests ended in disaster, with a massacre of both police and workers and a trial that ended with four innocent men being executed.

The story marks the subsequent growth of labor unions and May 1, 1886, as the date the eight hour work day we take for granted became standard, an improvement paid for by the deaths of over a dozen people.

Now as we live in a time of diminishing unions and workdays that never seem to end, we still will march for our immigrants.

All of us. Todos Nosotros.

Here are some places to go to support our local immigrants on May 1…

Oxnard: “Day Without An Immigrant/Dia Sin Inmigrantes” Shut It Down 
March and Rally starting at Plaza Park, 500 S. “C” St., at 12 noon.

Santa Barbara: “Day Without an Immigrant” 

Los Angeles: “May Day March and Rally” 

Here’s the May Day call to action from California Teacher Association for Ventura County. The school board had declared Hueneme School District as a sanctuary district in December:

dreamers

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