A "modest" selection:
"I'm no lady, I'm a hell-raiser!"
Labor agitator, radical.
WORLD LABOR DAY.
TRADITIONAL FERTILITY FESTIVAL.
Welcoming back the Spring.
Ancient Roman FLORALIA, Festival of the Goddess Floralia. Grand
processions in England including "Jack in the green," milkmaids,
Morris dancers, Robin Hood & his Merry Men.
Keep in mind this is:
Correct Posture Month, National Asparagus Month,
Good Carkeeping Month,
Better Sleep Month,
Fungal Infection Awareness Month,
Revise Your Work Schedule Month
First week is: National Bathroom Reading Week,
Carpet Care Improvement Week
Second week is: International Online Romance Week
Conserve Water/Detect-A-Leak Week
Third week is: Raisin Week
Fourth week is: International Pickle Week,
American Beer Week (begins Last Sunday), Poppy Week
Important movable holidays are: first Friday: International Tuba
Day; 2nd Wednesday, National Third-Shift Worker's Day
MAY DAY! MAY DAY! MAY DAY!
Hundreds of thousands of American workers, increasingly
determined to resist subjugation to capitalist power,
poured into a fledgling labor organization, the
Knights of Labor.
Beginning on May 1, 1886, they took to the streets to demand
universal adoption of the 8-hour day. Chicago was the center of
the movement. Workers there had been agitating for an 8-hour
day for months, & on the eve of May 1, 50,000 were already
on strike. 30,000 more swelled their ranks the next day,
bringing most of Chicago manufacturing to a standstill.
Fears of violent class conflict gripped the city. No violence
occurred on May 1 — a Saturday — or May 2. But on
May 3, a fight involving hundreds broke out at McCormick
Reaper between locked-out unionists & non-unionist workers
McCormick hired to replace them. The Chicago police,
swollen in number & heavily armed, quickly moved in with
clubs & guns to restore order. They left four unionists dead
& many wounded.
Angered by the deadly force of the police, a group of
anarchists, led by August Spies & Albert Parsons, called on
workers to arm themselves & participate in a massive protest
demonstration in Haymarket Square on Tuesday evening, May 4.
The demonstration appeared to be a complete bust, with only
3,000 assembling. But near the end of the evening, an individual,
whose identity is still in dispute (possibly a police agent
provocateur), threw a bomb that killed seven police &
injured 67 others.
Hysterical city & state government officials rounded up eight
anarchists, tried them for murder, & sentenced them to death.
On 11 November 1887, four, including Parsons & Spies, were
executed. All of the executed advocated armed struggle &
violence as revolutionary methods, but their prosecutors found
no evidence that any had actually thrown the Haymarket bomb.
They died for their words — not their deeds.
250,000 people lined Chicago's street during Parson's funeral
procession to express their outrage at this gross miscarriage of
For radicals & trade unionists everywhere, Haymarket became a
symbol of the stark inequality & injustice of capitalist society.
The May 1886 Chicago events figured prominently in the decision
of the founding congress of the Second International (Paris, 1889)
to make May 1, 1890 a demonstration of the solidarity & power
of the international working class movement.
May Day has been a celebration ever since.
1654 -- "Under penalty of death, no Irish man, woman, or child, is
to let himself, herself, itself be found east of the River Shannon."
An Order from the Parliament of England.
1820 -- England: Arthur Thistlewood, English revolutionary,
& four others executed for the Cato St. Conspiracy.
1830 -- Mother Jones (born Mary Harris) lives, Cork, Ireland.
Irish- American anti-war activist & labor radical.
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones was born in the year 1830.
The renowned Labor organizer, who lived to be
100-years old, said:
"I live in the United States, but I do not know exactly
where. My address is wherever there is a fight against
oppression. My address is like my shoes; it travels
with me. I abide where there is
a fight against wrong."
1868 -- US: Tom Dula, convicted of the murder of Laura Foster, is
executed in NC, after writing a song that begins
"Hang down your head, Tom Dooley".
1886 -- First nationwide General Strike for 8-hour day,
commemorated in 1889 as the first International Labor Day.
340,000 U.S. workers in Chicago, Milwaukee & other cities
strike. Four demonstrators are killed & over 200 wounded
when police attack the Chicago rally.
International Workers' Day (May Day) begins in Chicago. 340,000
U.S. workers in Chicago, Milwaukee & other cities strike for the
8-hour workday. Four demonstrators are killed & over 200
wounded when police attack the Chicago rally. U.S. later sets
another day as Labor Day to undercut world solidarity.
1890 -- May Day labor demonstrations spread to 13 other
30,000 march in Chicago as the newly prominent American
Federation of Labor throws its weight behind the 8-hour day
1891 -- France: Army test their newly designed Lebels machine gun
against a peaceful May Day rally at Fourmies where women &
children are carrying flowers & palms. Casualties numbered 14
dead & 40 wounded. (The anarchist Ravachol bombs the Lobau
Barracks in Paris in March 1892 as retribution.)
Each footstep taken in this society bristles with privileges,
& is marked with a bloodstain; each turn of the government
machinery grinds the tumbling, gasping flesh of the poor; &
tears are running from everywhere in the impenetrable night
of suffering. Facing these endless murders & continuous
tortures, what's the meaning of society, this crumbling wall,
this collapsing staircase? ...
No cry is heeded: whenever a single, louder complaint penetrates
the din of sad murmurs, the Lebels is loaded & the troops are
— Octave Mirbeau, Ravachol
1900 -- Flunk the test?: Poet Wallace Stevens, drunk at a dinner for
the Harvard junior class, recites his class ode & passes out.
1909 -- Yannis Ritsos lives, Greek Communist poet,
Nobel nominee (Tractors).
1911 -- Beginning of the End?: US: Election of Socialist
governments in over 20 cities (plus Eugene Debs
gets 900,000 votes for President).
1921 -- Japan: Japanese Workers Association clashes
with anarchist unions during the May Day gathering.
1923 -- Joseph Heller lives. American writer, gained world fame
with his satirical war novel Catch-22: to fly dangerous combat
missions is insane, but if airmen seek to be relieved for mental
reasons, the request proves their sanity.
1923 -- France: Ôsugi Sakae, the Japanese anarchist, makes
a speech at a May Day gathering in Paris. He is arrested & deported.
Osugi returned to Japan, where he was, shortly thereafter,
murdered by military police, along with his companion Ito
Noe & their 6-year old nephew.
1926 -- Baseball great, Satchel Paige, makes his pitching
debut in Negro Southern League.
1929 -- Liberal Book Friends (GfB) begins publishing the free
monthly illustrated review Meditation & Departure.
Nice mix of anarchist & contemporary & critical art-related
materials. Included Max Baginski, Karl Roche, Erich Mühsam,
Fritz Linow, Arthur Lehning, Rudolf Rocker, among many others.
Each issue includes a booklet by some anarchist or sympathetic
author (Emma Goldman & Theodor Plievier, for example).
1933 -- Christian anarchist Catholic Worker founded,
New York City.
Dorothy Day & Peter Maurin, anarchist-Catholics(!),
publish the first issue of their long-running newspaper.
1939 -- Ignazio Silone lives. Italian novelist (Bread & Wine),
"A socialist without a party, a Christian without a church".
1946 -- Australia: Beginning of the Pilbara Strike, the first
industrial strike by Aboriginal people in Australian history.
1965 -- Wales: Second Factory for Peace opens, Onllwyn,
1965 -- Canada: Radicals bomb the US consulate in Montreal.
1966 -- 500,000 Vietnamese march for the end of war.
1968 -- France: During the traditional May Day demonstrations
fights break out around a black flag as Communists try to
exclude the anarchists from the procession.
1968 -- US: Machine-gun nests protect Justice Department
corridors from protesters.
1970 - US: ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp) building
ransacked, College Park, Washington D.C. During this first
week of May 30 ROTC buildings are burned or bombed, &
the National Guard are teaching students a thing or two on 21
campuses in 16 states.
1970 -- Cambodia: 8,000 US & 2,000 South Vietnamese invade
the Fishhook area of Cambodia.
Nixon calls campus radicals who oppose his policies "bums".
Weeks of antiwar protests by buncha bums begin in
1971 -- US: Beginning of five days of anti-war May Day protests in
Washington, D.C., resulting in over 14,000 arrests — the largest
mass civil disobedience in U.S. history.
5,000 District police, 1,500 National Guard & 8,000 Federal
troops start rounding people up:
7,000 arrested [another source: "20,000 National Guard &
police, 10,000 paratroopers"]. BleedMeister, then Midwest
Field Secretary for the US Student Press Association &
reporter for College Press Service, is there. By May 5 a
total of 12,614 are arrested (record).
1977 -- The Clash start their first tour of the U.K. with a May
Day celebration at the Roxy in London.
The 40-day White Riot Tour brings a show to London's
Rainbow Theater. The audience gets wild, ripping out seats
bolted to the floor to make room for dancing. The news
media sees it as a fulfillment of the tour's billing & describe
the incident as a "riot."
1977 -- US: 24-hour occupation of Seabrook (NH) nuclear power site
results in 1,415 arrests. The action, sponsored by Clamshell
Alliance, becomes a model for anti-nuclear direct actions across
1977 -- Turkey: State-sponsored paramilitary groups open fire on
tens of thousands of May Day demonstrators in Istanbul, killing 37.
1980 -- Guatemala: 40,000 demonstrate in Guatemala City —
hundreds are kidnapped, 31 are shot to death.
Arnulfo Gomez & Ricardo Garcia, union leaders, are kidnapped,
tortured & murdered.
Conrado de la Cruz, priest, & Herlindo Cifuentes are kidnapped
1982 -- England: Day of resistance & protest against Falklands War.
1991 -- US: Charles Osborne, Iowa, dies after hiccuping
continuously for 69 years.
1993 -- Ecuador: Marchers in Quito protest "disappeared people".
1993 -- Japan: 3.4 million workers rally for May Day
(200,000 in Tokyo).
1995 -- Recollection Used Books opens it doors.
1995 -- Mexico: Hundreds of thousands of workers march to the
Mexico City Zócalo.
1996 -- Germany: Riots with Berlin police erupt after two separate
May Day marches, one of 20,000 workers protesting government
social spending cuts & one of 10,000 "radical leftists" protesting
anti-squatting raids. Ten police are injured.
1996 -- Turkey: Three killed & 69 injured when Turkish police
attack banned leftist demonstrators in a 100,000 person May Day
1998 -- Denmark: Strike wave continues. The May Day rally in
Copenhagen is a massive event marking day five of the all-out
strike by 500,000 private sector workers demanding a week extra
holidays & the 35 hour week amongst other demands. Between
350 & 500,000 workers participate in the rally.
1999 -- >Happy anniversary to Recollection Books & congratulations
to Nummer 1 son Brandon.
"28 yrs ago tonite I was in a may-day detention camp in
So you were on the outside of the Redskins football field
(named after Bobby Kennedy, I believe) those long 28 years
ago. Michael & I, east coast correspondents for the National
Catholic Reporter, were among the first arrested that morning
on the streets & on first busload of prisoners taken to
the field. It didn't matter that we had press credentials..."
— Bleedster Ruth
2002 -- England: An ancient 70-m tall hill figure in East Sussex
develops a 3-m penis overnight, in what may have been a May Day
That Viagra is some nasty stuff.
2002 -- Australia: Police clash with thousands of antiglobalization
2003 -- US:
May 1st Readings to Celebrate a
Movement of Poets Against War
2006 -- US: Nationwide protests, school walk-outs, day of rest
for many workers who fail to show up at work, against attempts
to criminalize some 12 million immigrant "illegals" & to highlight
rightwing attacks on their civil rights.
2009 -- Police & protesters battle during May Day
demonstrations in Germany, Greece, & Turkey.
2013 -- The UN Human Rights Office says that the force-feeding
of hunger-strikers at the U.S. Guantánamo Bay Prison is a violation
of international law.
Like desert flowers we learned to crouch near the earth,
fearful that we would die before the rains, cunning,
waiting the season of good growth.
— Meridel LeSueur
— Anti-WorkRite 2014