May-Day is never allowed to pass in this community without profuse lamentations over the tardiness of our spring as compared with that of England and the poets. – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “April Days,” 1861
In many countries, May first is a national holiday. May Day is a day for a festival and a saint’s feast day.
These days we celebrate May Day by enjoying our surroundings. Just like clockwork, the tree in our front yard is blooming and seasonal allergies have a firm grip on a percentage of my friends and neighbors.
Part of the history of May Day includes a degree of protest and radicalism. History has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. Did you know that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day? Did you know that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend? Victims of industrial accidents marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor – some as young as 8 years old.
The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today. – Engraved on the Haymarket Monument
The rights we enjoy today were fought for and some gave their lives to ensure them for the rest of us. We should not take these sacrifices for granted. The dignities we enjoy today came at a high price. If we take these advancements for granted, we will end up fighting for the same gains all over again.
So what is going on today – in 2015?
On May 1 — May Day — we will launch a platform to support the biggest citizen lobbying campaign we possibly can. Together, we are strong enough to create the political incentive for our elected officials to do the right thing and support reform. Ending the systemic corruption in Washington, D.C., will create space for fair, honest, and productive debate on the issues that matter most.
Citizens are launching a lobbying campaign against systemic corruption in Washington, D.C. Wanna know more and get involved?
Sometimes protesting and standing up for rights is a good idea. What if people had not stood up for child labor and fought for 8 hour work days on a May Day long ago? The American people deserve to have a smaller government that serves them without deceit and corruption. 🙂