For workers and for all inhabitants of Mother Earth

Photo: Langelle

Photo: Langelle

Earth First! and the Industrial Workers of the World ( IWW) join autoworkers in a Fenton, MO protest against Chrysler (1989)

This photos is from my exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights Exhibit Late 80s to Late 90s  now on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. More on the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery.

More on May Day

Workers

Words engraved on the Haymarket Martyr’s Monument in Chicago. This monument was erected in 1893 after workers’ demonstrations were answered with police repression and unjust trials resulting in the conviction of workers on trumped up charges, with four (the Haymarket Martyrs) being executed [notice the original meaning of “thug”]:

THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.
Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we’ll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

Please read the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument for more information and a fairly thorough historical explanation of the events that led to the monument’s existence. Many radical people from the labor movement at the time are buried next to the Haymarket Martyrs,  including Joe Hill, who was murdered by the state of Utah 100 years ago this year.

The Earth

From Ancient Origins:

The 1st of May is an ancient Northern Hemisphere festival, now known as ‘May Day’, which traditionally marked the return of spring. It is believed that the celebrations originated in agricultural rituals intended to ensure fertility for crops, held by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Later developments included the Celtic festival of Beltane…

For a more thorough explanation see May Day History: An Invitation From the Sun:

The First of May sounds a clarion call announcing the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The sun is in its ascendancy, pouring light and warmth onto the Earth, whose creatures bask in the joyous tide of burgeoning life, sensuality, fertility, and abundance. From Scandinavia to Scotland, from Hawaii to China, people come together to celebrate the irresistible rising of the life-force as they are touched by the warmth and light of the sun. There is a promise of love and a reminder of the constant greening and renewal of life.

For those who follow an Earth-based spiritual tradition, this is a sacred time of the year, celebrated in ways that promote a joyful communion both with each other and with the Green World of nature. Although the practices of modern pagans, Wiccans, Druids, and other groups may differ, in general Beltaine is a time of connection, of honoring the “three Ls:” life, light, and love. (“Beltaine” is the Gaelic spelling; it’s also known as “Beltane.”) Read More