||Issue No. 137||24 May 2002|
An Aussie Icon
Interview: Just Done It?
Tribute: Lest We Forget
History: Solidarity Forever
Technology: Unblocking the Superhighway
International: Gloves Off
Unions: Out Of Work
Review: Strange Business
Poetry: The Lawyer's Lament
Satire: Government Mourns Loss Of Last Anzac
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Your Tools Page is Down
Big Dave Foster
Give Us a Click!
Will the Real Mark Latham Please Stand Up?
The Last Survivor
Not Hate Mail
Letters to the Editor
Not Hate Mail
Below is a reference to the history of the establishment of Mayday.
The police killing of 6 workers on May 1 1886 is a reminder that the cops breaking our Workers Comp picket of Parliament House last year and their assault on M1 2002 protestors is no historical anomaly. John Robertson - the cops are traitors to the working class, sure they are union members under Labor Council coverage but their job at the end of the day is to oppose us upsetting the bosses' applecart.
PS Dear Editor - I hope you don't caption this letter as "hate mail". It was patronising and not in the spirit of solidarity when you did this to the recent AMWU and CFMEU members letters re mayday.
"The History of May Day
May 1st or May Day has been International Workers' Day since the late Nineteenth Century, when the International Working Men's Association (the First International) declared the day to be a holiday to commemorate those people who became known as the Haymarket Martyrs. Haymarket Martyrs
The modern celebration of May Day evolved from the campaign by the Knights of Labour for the eight hour day in the United States and Canada in the mid-188O's. At that time, workers were being forced to work anywhere from 10 to 14 hours per day. On May 1st, 1886, national strikes took place in both countries involving over 250,000 workers in support of this campaign, however, in Chicago, police attacked and killed six striking workers.
The next day, at a demonstration against this police brutality in the city's Haymarket Square, a bomb exploded among the police cordon killing eight officers. Eight striking trade unionists were arrested and tried for murder. The trial focused as much on their politics as it did on the allegation of murder and four were eventually convicted and executed in November 1887. They became known as the Haymarket Martyrs.
Declaration of Holiday
In Paris in 1889 the First International met and declared May 1st as an international working-class holiday in commemoration of the Haymarket Martyrs. Ironically, given its origins, it is now recognised in nearly every country in the world, with the exception of the United States and Canada.
In Ireland, the first Monday of May was declared a Bank Holiday by the then Minister for Public Enterprise, Ruairi Quinn TD, in 1994, in honour of May Day and those people who have campaigned and continue to campaign for workers' rights."
Teacher, Sir Joseph Banks High
NSWTF Councillor for Canterbury-Bankstown
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