Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Day

Yesterday, my friend, Mahasti Shahrokhi, a writer and poet  from Paris called me and with a certain exciting tone of voice said: "Happy Workers Day!"
-"Thank you, Same to you", I said.
-"Today is our day. The workers day! Aren't we workers without pay? We work so hard as writers...
-"...And we're being severely exploited as writers!" I continued.
-"France celebrates May Day beautifully and it's a public holiday in Europe. All the shops, offices, banks are  closed right now!"
And I thought to myself, May Day historically originated in Chicago in 1886, but American public doesn't know much about it!

"Outside the U.S., May 1 is International Workers' Day, observed with speeches, rallies, and demonstrations. Ironically, this celebration of working-class solidarity originated in the U.S labor movement in the United States and soon spread around the world, but it never earned official recognition in this country."

 “It was mostly immigrants who led the first May Day movement for the 8 hour day. Now a new generation of immigrant workers have revitalized and brought May Day back to life,” observed María Elena Durazo, the feisty head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor who enthusiastically embraced the Occupy movement in her city.

Watch or read the interviews on Occupy Everywhere in May Day in Democracy Now!
Watch another interview with Tariq Ali and Ann Wright in Democracy Now.
Some of the voices of of organized labor at the May Day rally in New York.

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