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robertogreco : mayday   2

May Day — The Message — Medium
"The American May Day comes to us cleaned of its fiery and bloody history, proclaimed by every president including Obama as Loyalty Day, It’s been Loyalty Day, Law Day, Americanization Day, whatever. The point is it’s not May Day. It’s never to be May Day. Even though the eight were vindicated by history, and even eventually honored by the same government that had killed them, it will never, ever, be May Day in America.

***

Five men were set to hang in November of 1887. Louis Lingg committed suicide the night before by eating a blasting cap rather than die on the gallows.

The next day, the four remaining men were dressed in white robes and taken to stand side by side on the platform of the gallows. August Spies shouted to the crowd that had come to watch them die, “There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today.”

And then they all hanged by the neck until they choked to death.

May Day, Labor Day, in truth the sense of the day starts long before 19th century Chicago. It goes back hundreds and maybe thousands of years before its contemporary history of protest and riot. It has existed as Beltane with its bonfires and sex, as Walpurgis Night, full of drunk students and mayhem and pranks. May Day has been the rites of spring and the erecting of the maypole, and observed by latter day pagans with their modern forms of ritual and debauchery. However you see it, it’s a day of fire and hot blood. It may even be Outdoor Fucking day.

It is the spring, and whether at its most violent or most debauched, it is about the coming summer. May Day anticipates a future wholly different from the now.

What it is not, what it never will be, is Loyal."
labor  work  mayday  quinnnorton  2014  losangeles  1992  history  riots  poverty  class  loyalty  barackobama 
may 2014 by robertogreco
A Civilizing Mission
"In 1968 Ahmad spoke of his search for the Haymarket monument....how shocked he had been that historical memory of workers' resistance, recognized and celebrated throughout the world, had not been honored in its own place of origin."
mayday  us  politics  history  memory  labor  society 
may 2008 by robertogreco

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