International Workers Day was first celebrated in 1904, to honor the martyrs of the Haymarket uprising with mass demonstrations for the eight-hour day, workers’ rights, and world peace.
This year, we celebrate the courage and selflessness of those workers on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic: health care workers, transit workers, mechanics, delivery drivers, sanitation, warehouse, retail, and fast-food workers, and all those who provide essential services but are too often paid and treated as if they were expendable. This includes the record number of unemployed workers.
We especially express our solidarity with undocumented workers. In addition to suffering from the Trump regime’s ongoing terror campaign, they are excluded even from the “too little, too late” relief measures passed by Congress.
This year, we can’t take to the streets with signs and banners. We can’t march and sing together, but we can still show our working-class pride and solidarity. We encourage everyone to participate in relief efforts in your neighborhood. Contribute to a solidarity fund, like those listed here. Organize a caravan with signs and music.
We’re also issuing this May Day Challenge. Make a May Day face mask to show your solidarity (instructions here). Or a sign for your window. Recite some poetry, play some music, or cook something that reflects working-class culture and values. Send a picture, recipe, or short video (2 min or less) by April 28 to email@example.com. We’ll publish them on our website and social media, and our editors will select the best mask and best other contribution for special recognition.
This May Day, remember: stay socially distant, but socialistically close.