When: Monday May 2nd at 4:30
Where: City Hall in Manchester, NH
On this day, every year for more than a century, workers across the world gather for International Workers Day, also known as May Day.
A coalition of Immigrants and workers rights organizations and supporters are planning a May Day event at the Manchester City Hall. Sponsors include: NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees, AFSC, Rights & Democracy NH, NH Faith & Labor, NH Conference UCC Economic Justice Mission Group, GSOP, Granite State Interfaith Action Fund, NH Progressive Caucus, Raise Up NH, NH Immigrant Solidarity Network, NH Voices of Faith, NH Council of Churches and more.
In addition to supporting Immigrants and workers overall we want to bring attention to the current resolution Raise Up NH is working on to raise the minimum wage the City will pay municipal workers to $15.
Workers take the streets in honor of labor. After the egregious assaults on the lives of workers and immigrants, showing up for a day that asserts the dignity of workers from all backgrounds is more important than ever.
May Day was born in Chicago in 1886. motivated by their dismal conditions 40,000 workers went on strike in Chicago, and over 300,000 workers across the United States walked off their jobs. For two days, rallies and demonstrations ensued without violence, but on May 3, police attacked and killed picketing workers. Labor leaders called to protest the deaths, set for the evening of May 4 in Haymarket Square. The events that ensued at Haymarket are fuzzy: A chaotic scene of protesters and police became the site of a bomb explosion followed by gunshots. When things were quiet, the scene left nearly a dozen dead.
Police placed blame on eight people These charges were rooted in not only anti-anarchist and communist sentiment of the time, but also deeply-entrenched xenophobia. Much of the labor force was made up of immigrants, and so anarchists, communists, immigrants and workers became easy scapegoats.
Six of the eight defendants were immigrants, and seven of the eight men were found guilty and sentenced to death. Two of the men’s sentences were changed to life in prison, one was exonerated and five remained to be hanged. Louis Lingg was found dead in his jail cell before the execution. And so, on November 11, 1887, Adolph Fischer, George Engel, Albert Parsons and August Spies were hanged. May Day celebrations are meant to honor the lives of these people and the movements from which they emerged.
May Day is also a strike. Most marches ask us to walk off work, in honor of the 1886 history, and as a reminder of the necessity of keeping this labor tactic alive.