May Day Anti-Capitalist March (05/01/13)
Don’t let this FBI buffoonery get you down. Let’s get it up together again and make our voices heard. We have that right.
Spring has sprung! This is a call for everyone who wants to celebrate May 1st by honoring the history and struggle of May Day. We will converge together in solidarity with our comrades facing repression from last year’s May 1st demonstrations and also to continue to stand against the oppression of our everyday lives in all forms, from the borders to the prisons and from bosses to the police. May Day is a day of tradition, a day to remember all our comrades that can’t be here with us and to remind each other that our struggle is global!
Meet on Wednesday May 1st at the corner of Pine & Broadway (SCCC) at 6pm. There will be a rally and a march.
A Very Brief History of the Anarchist Origins of May Day
On May 1st, 1886, 40,000 workers in Chicago–and half a million across the United States–participated in a three-day general strike in favor of the limitation of the work day to eight hours. Chicago police responded by shooting and killing four strikers. In response, demonstrators organized a rally on May 4th at Haymarket Square. When police moved to attack the crowd, a bomb was thrown at them. In response, the police fired indiscriminately at the crowd. When the smoke cleared, and at least four demonstrators and eight cops lay dead. One cop died from the blast of the bomb and seven from friendly fire, and 60 were wounded.
The State used Haymarket as an opportunity to repress the radical worker’s movement. Eight anarchists–five of whom were immigrants–were arrested and charged with murder. The prosecution could not demonstrate that any of the arrested had any role in the bombing, and instead openly tried the defendants for their political beliefs, which were also sensationally villainized in the national media.
Despite the hollowness of the case against them, all eight defendants were found guilty. Neebe was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Samuel Fielden and Michael Schwab were sentenced to death, although their sentences were later commuted to life in prison. Louis Lingg, August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer, and George Engels were all sentenced to death. The night before the scheduled execution, Lingg committed suicide in his jail cell. Spies, Parsons, Fischer, and Engels were all publicly hanged. Their executions are widely regarded as some of the most overt political assassinations of radicals carried out by the United States government, and May 1st was chosen in their honor as a day to celebrate internationally all workers’ resistance to capitalist domination.