The origin of May Day dates back to the United States on May 1st 1886 when
a strike was launched in support of the 8 hour day. During this campaign a
bomb was thrown at a demonstration in Chicago, the police arrested a number
of anarchists who had been prominent in the struggle for the 8 hour day.
The arrested men were clearly innocent, but four were executed by the state
while another died in his cell allegedly committing suicide. The execution of
the four men, who became known as the Haymarket Martyrs, sparked a mass
working class protest across the world that lead to May 1st being declared
international workers day in commemoration of the sacrifice of the four
On this May Day let us then not just remember the sacrifice of the
Haymarket Martyrs, but also celebrate the Internationalism of the
early workers movement that led to the mass protest against the
execution of the four men.
The message of May Day is that Capitalism is a worldwide system
that has to be fought by the international working class. And that working
class struggle must go beyond national borders and confront the
capitalist enemy directly on an international scale.
And as we approach this May Day, the need for coordinated international
working class action against capitalism has never been greater. Capitalism
as a global system remains in the grip of crisis that it is seeking to
overcome by attacking the working class. In country after country governments
are driving down wages and working conditions and throws people into
unemployment in an attempt to boost the ailing capitalist system.
The capitalist rule is “expand or die”, and the crisis is used as a pretext for
slashing public services. In fact this is an expansion for opening of
markets and capital for private corporations.