Tuesday, May 1, 2012

WIN: The People's History of International Workers' Day

Many countries around the world will be taking part in the International Workers’ Holiday today.

This is a day that commemorates Chicago’s Haymarket Massacre by acknowledging the importance of workers in society.

However, the United States hasn't joined those countries in solidarity in decades.

Historian Anthony Arnove explains why the US celebrates Labor Day in September and not on May 1.

For many years we, in the United States, also celebrated Labor Day on May Day. And that was actually very consciously changed and Labor Day was established as a federal holiday and turned into a kind of picnic, a patriotic version that had the teeth taken out of it, had the history taken out of it, had the meaning, really, drained out of it in order to turn Labor Day into a day that celebrated work in the most meaningless sense. It didn’t celebrate the struggles of workers, which have been very long and rich in this country for basic rights: rights for an eight hour day, rights to eliminate child slavery, and rights to even form a union.

Republicans love symbolic issues like this and use them effectively.

Of course, It would be s simple matter for Democrats to change Labor Day to May 1 like the rest of the world, but do they have the cojones to fix a historical wrong.

source: Workers Independent News

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