Tens of thousands of people marched all over the United States and world this past Monday at a time when working people are facing the greatest challenge from neo-liberal capitalist models in modern history. May Day has its origins in the United States when on May 1st in 1886 massive protests and strikes broke out in support of the 8-hour work day in what came to be known as the Haymarket affair. Rather than celebrate May Day, Americans mark Labor Day in September.
Decades after the first May Day, President Eisenhower declared May 1st, Loyalty Day, or, “a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States of America and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.” The declaration of Loyalty Day was to undermine the working class history of the US.
Donald Trump this year reaffirmed Loyalty Day but organizers and activists instead continued the tradition of marching, protesting, and striking on May Day. From New York, to Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles where this program is based, masses of people took time off from work to affirm labor rights and the rights of immigrant workers. The Rising Up Crew was in Los Angeles on May Day and today we present part 1 of our hour-long special May Day report.