Broadcasting May Day Around the Globe

ON MAY 1, 2019
Pacifica Radio Producers -headed by the First Voice Apprentices at flagship station KPFA in Berkeley, CA- will broadcast 24 hours of reporting. Visit The Pacifica Radio May Day Broadcast Page for updates on May Day organizing.
For the KPFA livestream, click here: KPFA May Day Livestream
To visit and share on our Facebook page, and see coverage from International Worker’s Day around the world, click here: Pacifica Radio May Day Broadcast
Our programming will highlight actual people and our struggles – laborers & working people combating gentrification and climate crisis, seeking healthcare and racial, gender, and migrant justice in the workplace, in our communities, and in our lives.
May 1 is the original Labor Day, also known in most countries as “International Workers’ Day,” or “May Day.”
May Day originated in the United States… but is not widely recognized here. Our official Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. In 2019, U.S. Labor Day is on September 2.
On May 1, 1886, the 8-hour workday was scheduled to be implemented. Predictably, this new law met with resistance from certain business owners. In Chicago, this resistance was met by a strike to demand the 8-hour day and other labor rights.
On May 3, 1886, Chicago police wounded and killed several strikers at the McCormick Reaper Works.
On May 4, 1886, labor organizers held a rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. Near the end of the rally, an unknown individual threw a bomb at police. Rioting ensued, ending in the deaths of 1 civilian (possibly a bystander), and 7 police officers, plus multiple injuries.
A nationwide reaction, marked by roundups of (mostly) foreign-born radicals and organizers followed.
In August 1886, 8 men were convicted for the Haymarket bombing, despite a lack of evidence.
On November 11, 1887, 4 of the men were hanged. Ultimately, 1 man received a 15-year sentence, 1 committed suicide, and the remaining 2 death sentences were commuted to life in prison.
Within a few years, the Haymarket Square Riot and aftermath became a cause célèbre among Socialists in Europe, and eventually adopted as an official holiday which, over time, spread (almost) around the world.
But in the U.S., moves toward adopting a workers’ holiday did not reach fruition until 1894, when our September “Labor Day” was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland, who had rejected a May 1 holiday because of its associations with Haymarket Square.

What are you fighting for this May Day? Join the 24-hr coverage for International Workers Day by using #KPFAMayDay2019 in your social media posts-photos, videos, live-streams, interviews, and real-time updates!

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