Remains of the ‘May Day’

with 2 comments

May Day – the day of the working class. This first day of May is marked as a victory of the world proletariat in their fight for eight hour a day work system. This is what thought in history classes all over the world. Let’s see what May Day means in the land where the May Day Sun raised 125 years ago.

The history of May Day is very wide, Lets have shortened version before we dive into the Remains of the ‘May Day’.

In United States of America, an organization named Federation of Organized Trades and Labour Unions (a union of Labour unions) was pressing the American capitalist for 8 hours of wok a day. It was the time when working classes were forced to spend 10 to 16 hours of work a day all over world under miserable working conditions. In October 1884 the Federation of Organized Trades and Labour Unions unanimously set May 1, 1886, as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become a standard. And they started spreading this news to all Trade Unions in America and started to organize the proletariat to make it a reality. When the date came closer the working class of the America went on massive strikes. Tens and thousand of workers were on strike in New York, Chicago, Detroit and other industrialized American cities. The centre of the protest was in Chicago where more than 100,000 workers marched demanding eight-hour work a day.

Hay Market meeting pamphlet. (courtesy :

Hay Market meeting pamphlet, 1886. (courtesy :

On May 4, 1886 the protesting workers assembled in the Hay Market Square, in Chicago. Labour leaders were addressing the huge gathering. Towards the end of the meeting some miscreants who received bribe from the American capitalist threw bomb on the police to create unrest, and the police started firing at the gathered labours. Several labours were killed and one police man died in the bomb blast. There was a riot scene in Chicago. The police arrested eight labours as suspects and seven were sentenced to death and one for 15 years imprisonment. The arrested labours were hanged to death in November 11, 1887.

The May day trial portrayed the degree of justice in the capitalist American empire. In 1893 the Illinois governor accepted that the eight workers were innocent and never had hand in the bombing. He himself accepted that the judiciary had failed and he also signed a pardon for the remaining in the prison. He also said the bomb event was a plot of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a private agency hired by the Chicago capitalist to crack down the labour unions.

A May day Rally.

Seven hanged, several killed and wounded, and 100,000 marched … All this to sow the seeds for 8-hour work a day. Long live their martyrdom.

That is history; you can ask why to raise those stories now?

The answer is… the American capitalist took enough efforts to erase all the evidences of May Day from the Chicago terrain so that it should not symbolize the working class unity in America and the world. Yes they succeeded in it. When the entire world celebrates the International Labour Day on May 1, the USA & Canada celebrates it on first Monday of September every year. Interesting fact is that the people in the land of the historic May Day protest don’t know the history behind it. The Europe, Asia and Latin America observes May 1 as the Labour Day to mark the victory of the working class against the capitalist to grab the right to work only eight hours a day, but the American public were never been thought what is the reason behind this.

The US government coined its own version of Labour day in 1887 and announced the Labour day will be celebrated in September, This is just an attempt to disassociate the Labour day from the radical left and organized trade unions. This was not accepted by the urban working class of those days who pressed for a May-1 Labour day, but still the federal government succeeded in it. This is a classic scientific evidence that how Americans capitalist avoided the working class unity for several decades.

Job Cuts

Job cuts are very common in the US. Yeah... Hire & Fire is a proud American Culture.

During the Great Depression of 1929 which lasted for almost a decade, millions of people lost jobs in all industrial nations. But the scene was different in different regions. In Europe and Asia the working class protested against their governments and business houses. But the American working classes were not doing the same. There was less organized protest in American cities when compared to the industrialized centers of Europe. In the 80’s and 90’s when most of the American manufacturing units were closed and shifted to the south east Asia for cheap labour, again thousand of a Americans lost their jobs. And they never rose against the money minded industrialists. Look at the recent history like the Dot-Com bubble (1998-2001) and the recent recession in 2008, millions of US citizens lost jobs, but no mass protest, No street marches. Things would have been very different if the same thing happens in the third world. And due to the globalization the Americans successfully exported this culture to other countries. For example the Indian IT industry fired thousands of employee’s in the name of global recession without a single protest from the affected. It seems when they outsourced the jobs, the Americans also sent this coward labour culture to India.

At the same time, in the same recession the Truck drivers in the France stud strong, the pilots of India won their battle against mass pink slips, The Indian farmers are fighting strongly against the SEZ. The working class of US has a lesson to be learned from the Truck drivers of France or from the Farmers of India.

Economic Recession and depression are the terms widely used instead of  “Failure of Capitalism. These terms Recession and Depression are invented by the US Capitalist to divert the anger of the common man towards the actual money greedy capitalist to some confusing calculations.

…The American capitalist learned the lessons from the May Day… but the American working class failed.


Written by palindia

October 3, 2009 at 9:54 AM

Posted in Capitalism

2 Responses

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  1. Nice article


    October 5, 2009 at 9:29 PM

  2. Real truth.


    October 10, 2009 at 7:31 PM

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