May Day

The Green Party stands with those fighting for worker and immigrant rights

May 1st is International Workers Day, a global holiday recognizing the historic struggle of working people throughout the world.  It is interconnected with the struggles being led by immigrants, climate justice activists, the Black Lives Matter movement, young people and the LGBTQ+ community.

Below is a collection of essays written by Green Party activists in celebration of May Day.

My great grandfather died as a result of injuries from a white supremacist's bomb. From Reconstruction up to the Civil Rights Era bombings and lynchings took thousands of black lives. Yet, for almost 100 years from 1877-1966 only one Southern white man, John S. Williams, was ever convicted of killing a black person in the USA. This glaring fact is indicative of the institutionalization of white supremacy. It is an example of structural violence. 

Happy May Day and International Workers Day! We hope you have a chance to gather with people in your community to celebrate movements of working people and the fight for Eco-Socialism.

Green Party of New York members are welcome to join our Statewide Meeting on Saturday, May 11 in Rensselaer for an afternoon of workshops and the renewal of our state platform. Please RSVP online if you are interested in attending.

"May Day" or International Workers' Day commands a worldwide celebration of massive marches and events but it is hardly noticed in its country of origin, the United States. I am proud to be a member and a staff member of the Green Party of United States because the Green Party celebrates workers on this special day.

In October 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions met in Chicago for its annual convention. The delegates approved a resolution stating “eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labor from and after May 1, 1886”. The resolution continued that if the federal government did not enact legislation enforcing the 8-hour day by May 1, 1888, the Federation would call a general strike.

Join Minneapolis councilmember Cam Gordon, Commissioner LaTrisha Vetaw, and Minneapolis Greens in the 45th annual May Day Parade! The Green Party will march in the Free Speech section of the parade. 

We will meet at Cedar Field near 25th street and 18th Avenue S. The parade starts at noon, so make sure to get there in time to join us for the full parade. For more information, you can check out the Facebook event here.

By The Santa Clara County Green Party

We began this month by honoring those who have fought for labor rights and whose sacrifices led to the international May Day observances for workers! Who knew that what they fought for, such as the 40-hour work week, would be threatened today, by the wealth gap and income crisis many families face. 

By Brendan Phillips

As May Day approaches, I reflect on great on labor heroes. People like Mary Harris Jones, Big Bill Haywood, and Joe Hill. Those who helped bring us the eight hour workday, sick time, maternal leave, and other worker protections. They showed us the power of unionization, solidarity, and direct action. We saw what lengths the ruling class will go to protect their power at Haymarket Square, when they went so far as to murder labor activists.

By Howie Hawkins, May 1, 2018

May Day, or International Workers Day, is celebrated with marches and rallies every May 1 to lift up the working people and their demands for freedom, equality, and justice. That is the Red tradition of May Day. But there is also an older Green tradition that cultures the world over celebrate as Spring arrives in temperate and arctic climates and the wet season arrives in tropical climates. This Green tradition of May Day celebrates all that is free and life-giving on the green Earth that is our common wealth and heritage. These Red and Green May Day traditions are complementary.

By The Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts

Over the last year we have seen a massive assault from the Federal government on every kind of program and protection. From the lackluster response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, to the opening of the Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, it seems we can take nothing for granted anymore.

By Ajamu Baraka

On this day, known as International Workers’ Day, the Green Party Power Project (GPPP) expresses its solidarity with workers in the United States and abroad and re-commits itself to the historic task of building an independent political formation that centers the values, needs and aspirations of the working class and poor.

We also say without any equivocation that any political party that is serious must center an unrelenting attack on the four interrelated issues that confront humanity in general, but specifically workers and the poor in the United States and abroad: White supremacy, neoliberal capitalist exploitation, war and ecological devastation.

By Kevin Zeese & Margaret Flowers

Seventy years of attacks on the right to unionize have left the union movement representing only 10 percent of workers. The investor class has concentrated its power and uses its power in an abusive way, not only against unions but also to create economic insecurity for workers.

At the same time, workers, both union and nonunion, are mobilizing more aggressively and protesting a wide range of economic, racial and environmental issues.