Many do not know Labor Day was concocted by President Cleveland, with an insidious, but not official intent to diffuse support for May Day (International Workers Day), with it’s Anarchist and Socialist roots. To add even more insult to injury, american patriots re-branded Mayday as ‘loyalty day.’
Mayday has it’s roots in two different themes. First, it was a pagan celebration of the spring, which was opposed and suppressed by the church. Second, it commemorates the labor movement and the Chicago Haymarket Affair of 1886. The latter was a sequence of events that started as a large rally. There was a bomb blast, with several cops and citizens killed. Afterwards, government, business and the press perpetuated the red scare. Eight Anarchists were arrested and tried for the bombing, with four of them executed by the state. Historic analysis of the trial revealed the proceedings to be anything but a fair trial. Labor continued it’s fight for the 40 hour work week and benefits and an end to child labor, for years to come. The labor movement achieved much, but many of the hard earned gains, are under threat.
If you are one of the lucky ones who’s boss gave you today off, enjoy your day. Lastly, remember all of those who fought against the cogs of capitalism, with risk to their livelihood and lives, for many of the benefits we enjoy today, and don’t forget to celebrate the real labor day next spring on May 1st International Worker’s Day.