We’re happy to share another past episode, this time from May Day 2016, about 4 months before the start of our rss feed for our podcast. I feel it’s notable that this show approaches it’s 13th birthday on the May 9th of this year.
In this show, you’ll hear an interview with autonomous Marxist historian, Peter Linebaugh on essay collection The Incomplete, True, Authentic and Wonderful History of May [Day]https://firestorm.coop/products/6468-the-incomplete-true-authentic-and-wonderful-history-of-may-day.html?referral=finalstrawl) plus some music we curated at the time.
_To friends we’ve met, and to those we have yet to meet, I’d like to wish everyone a happy May Day. As we’ll hear in the following hour, this day has a long celebrated history. From its many European pagan roots as a celebration of fertility as the fruits of the spring planting season began to… uh, spring forth. Then on to the repressive winter that fell early on May 3rd and 4th of 1886 in Illinois with, first, the killing of workers striking for an 8 hour work day at the McCormick Works and then the repression of anarchist and socialist workers and organizers following the bombing at Haymarket Square in Chicago of that same year. From there to the taking up of May 1st as International Workers Day by struggling groups around the world and the U.S. adoption of a sanctioned Labor Day in September of the year.
To divide an international working class, The U.S. government, oppressors of that May Day 1886 sanctioned a Labor Day to be celebrated in September, declared the first of May both Law Day (an obvious testament to Irony in respect to the Haymarket 8, all jailed and 4 executed) and, for some, it’s celebration as Americanism Day. Whatever that means. In 2006 & 2007, immigrants rights marches were seen on and around May Days that, for many, re-sparked the importance of this day. The protests and festivals swelled to numbers nearly unmatched in the history of protest on Turtle Island, and were accompanied by school and work walkouts and boycott days.
Whether you’re out there today taking direct action, in repose from the horrors of wage slavery, resisting the carceral state, gardening, dancing around a May Pole or otherwise celebrating the possibilities of this year to come when, hell, we might as well end this system of exclusion and extraction: We wish you a fire on your tongue, love in your heart and free land beneath you._
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