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Happy May Day. In America, today is really just the first of May & most Americans will associate today with some long forgotten pagan holiday, if they associate it with anything. In Europe, Russia, Australia, most of the rest of the world, today is celebrated for an event that took place…that’s right, it took place right here in Chicago.

Around the world today, they are celebrating an event that took place here in Chicago. They are celebrating the victory of the labor movement. Today is called “International Worker’s Day” & it is commemorating the events of the Haymarket in Chicago.

They are celebrating it above us in Canada (in September). Below us, in Mexico, it is a federal holiday called “Día del Trabajo,” the Day of Labor. In the UK it is celebrated as an anti-capitalist movement on the first Monday of the month. In Egypt it is a paid holiday. In South Africa it is a national public holiday. In Iraq today is a national public Holiday, in India it is a national public holiday, in North Korea it is a national public holiday. It is a national holiday in France, in Ireland, & in Italy it has been celebrated almost from the start.

All over the world today, there are celebrations for an event that took place in Chicago. All over the world there are celebrations for the labor rights that Chicago gained for the world. Our nations enemies & friends are celebrating the events that took place in Chicago. Nazi Germany celebrated what happened in Chicago. The former Soviet Union celebrated what happened in Chicago. When we were at war with Vietnam, the North & South Vietnamese would celebrate what happened in Chicago, there it is called “Ngày Quốc tế Lao động” & it has been celebrated since 1913.

There are exceptions. Iran, Saudi Arabia, & the United States do not recognize the holiday. In Japan it is recognized, but not celebrated.

The United States is one of the few nations that doesn’t recognize what happened in Chicago, which is located in Illinois, which is one of the 50 states that make up the United States of America.

Now we do celebrate a labor day, but unlike the rest of the world, the world that is celebrating today, labor does not get labor day off. In America Labor Day is a holiday observed by management, it’s only labor that doesn’t get to celebrate it. On Labor Day, factory workers are still working in the factories, retail workers are still working in the shops, truck drivers are still driving their trucks.

I’ve worked on many Labor Days. When I had a temp job at a factory, I worked on Labor Day while the management took it off. When I had a temp job as a security guard at a high school, I worked on Labor Day when the school was closed. When I was a lab manager for Ritz Camera, I worked open-to-close on Labor Day, by myself, in the lab, so the employees could have it off.

That last part, well that was fair. That, I think, is how it should work. If the owners thought the store should be open on Labor Day, than it should only be the store managers that work.

In the Soviet Union, nearly everything shut down on May 1st. In Ireland it’s the same & like in the UK, there are massive protests, protests against capitalism, protests that the states let their workers off in order to attend. Last year, 2013 May Day, the people in the UK, Australia, & Ireland protested outside of McDonalds in solidarity with the people here in the US working there for part-time minimum wage. In the UK, that made the news, in the US, the striking workers here really only made Democracy Now!

Most American’s don’t even know the significance of today & the ones that do, they associate it with some long forgotten pagan holiday in recognition of the planting season for some long forgotten god or goddess. Possibly something to do with fertility & chocolate eggs. Who knows.

The point is, that today we are celebrating the fighting Spirit of Chicago, everywhere but the City, State, & Country that the day is remembering.

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