Why May Day and What is it?


When we talk about May Day we don’t mean the spring festival that features a maypole. We are talking about International Workers Day. Ironically many people in the US don’t know May Day as this, even though Workers Day was first celebrated here in the US. It first was created after the US state framed eight labor organizers, which led to their execution. The US state did this on the basis of the Haymarket affair after an explosive was thrown into a crowd that resulted in the death of workers and Chicago police who were attacking the peaceful workers as they went on strike for the eight-hour work day.

Ever since this event in 1886 the workers of the world have been celebrating, marching, and striking across the globe in solidarity for working class power and in honor of working class peoples who’ve sacrificed for the final victory of abolishing the wage system.

Some people might be wondering that “if this version of May Day has been celebrated for so long around the world why am I just now hearing about it?” This is a complicated issue, the US state hasn’t exactly been friendly to the working class as we fight for power.  We all know that the US state is in service of the US ruling class, and because of this all the various institutions under the state carry out the interest of the ruling class, including public school administration. We do not learn about our history of working class struggle against oppression by those in power, such as the Coal Wars, which had and continue to have a strong impact on the Appalachian working class. Those in power want to detach us from our history of resistance, rebellion, and liberation.

They have been very effective for decades controlling and manipulating Appalachian workers, from the decline and corruption of the unions meant to fight for workers to the automation of the coal industry and depletion of local natural resources, have all had devastating effects on Appalachian communities that have left our region no living wage jobs, and which suffer some of the highest drug addiction and overdose levels in the country. This is a war of the rich waged upon us and we have been losing for some time.

These are the reasons we call for a REDNECK SPRING! By reclaiming May Day we begin reclaiming our heritage of resistance, rebellion, and liberation for the working class. We all come in many shapes and sizes, Black, Latino, Native, Melungeon, White, gay, straight, women, men, transgender, or two-spirit, we all have a place in our collective struggle for liberation in Appalachia and throughout the world. We are friends as workers first and foremost, our allegiance isn’t to the elites who rule over us, even if they are Americans. Our enemies are not those in foreign lands who face the same or even worse living conditions than us, we are united internationally as workers and must fight our common enemy, the international ruling class.


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