by Gerye Proletari
(April 27, 2015)
May Day is coming upon us! Known as International Workers Day around the world, it’s a historic day commemorating the struggles of the international working class, and to honor the autonomous workers of Haymarket Chicago who were viciously terrorized and murdered by the bourgeoisie and its repressive forces as they were organizing for an 8-hour day and better working conditions.
In their brutality, the capitalists and their forces fired live rounds into crowds full of workers, their families and children. May 4, 1886 was the culmination of struggles, marked by another bloody massacre and arrests of labor leaders who were subsequently hung, committed suicide or faced prison sentences.
The working classes of the world refused to let these events fade into a forgotten history, and every year hold parades and marches commemorating the memory of workers and their struggles against the capitalists. In the US, we have been betrayed by the capitalist unions—to the extent that the bourgeoisie invented “labor day” as a holiday months after International Workers Day. More recently, bourgeois unions and NGOs have started orchestrating their own reformist May Day demonstrations financed by capitalists (by one faction or another—remember, they have their own contradictions). Though they might use fiery language and invoke serious issues affecting the working class and the masses (like attacks on immigrants and police brutality), they make sure to channel the rage into demands for a nicer-appearing capitalism, like they always do.