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Course Code – MST 410
Md. Muzahidul Islam Lecturer Department of Management Studies Faculty of Business Administration and Management
SUBMITTED BY Shofiq Uddin Khan Roll No. 023; Reg. No. 00682 Level-IV, Semester-I Faculty of Business Administration and Management
Date of Submission: April 8, 2009
PATUAKHALI SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY
Table of Contents
MAY DAY “LABOR’S INTERNATIONAL HOLIDAY”
Name of the Topics
INTRODUCTION DOWN WITH WAR STATEMENT FROM THE WORKER PREINDUSTRIAL MAY DAY AND WORKING PEOPLE INDUSTRIAL ERA MAY DAY IWW GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD RESOLUTION THE LESSON OF MAY DAY INTERNATIONAL WORKERS' DAY IN DIFFERENT COUNTRY CONCLUSION
01 01 02 03 04 05 06 06 08
The First of May is the anniversary of working class solidarity and the international brotherhood of Labor. It is the festival of the proletariat. Millions of workingmen and women will parade the streets of European cities — marching behind the red banner of revolution. The capitalist governments of the world tremble at the approach of May Day, 1921.For May Day is the day of the Proletarian Revolution. May Day is a challenge to the Masters of Bread. May Day is the day of the oppressed and toiling masses.
DOWN WITH WAR! This is the main watchword. They will not allow their selves to be driven to slaughter in defense of a capitalist fatherland. They will not give their lives in defense of the interest of their exploiters and oppressors. Down with preparations for war! Not a cent for Imperialistic armies or navies; not a cent for armaments! Down with the oppression of weaker peoples! Down with military occupations! Long live the free-dom of the Colonial Peoples, conquered by the plundering capitalist powers! And above all: As one man the entire International working class will come to the defense of the ﬁrst Workers’ Republic in the world! Long live the Red Army, which leads in this ﬁght! We do not want to die of poverty and unemployment! We demand work for all, and as long as it cannot be had, we demand compensation equal to normal union rates of pay for all the unemployed. We will refuse to allow ourselves to be killed through overwork! Long live the maximum eight-hour working day! Down with all lengthening of the working day! Down with all wage cutting! Down with starvation wages! We will not allow the smashing of workers’ organizations! We will defend the hard fought-for rights of our Unions!
Down with all emergency laws against the workers! Long live the struggle of the workers! Long live the mobilization day of the revolutionary working class of the whole world — Long Live the First of May! Long live the Proletarian revolution! Long live Communism!
STATEMENT FROM THE WORKER In a proclamation printed just before May 1, 1886, one publisher appealed to working people with this plea: Workingmen to Arms! War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS. The wage system is the only cause of the World's misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE. One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS! MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.
PREINDUSTRIAL MAY DAY AND WORKING PEOPLE As a working peoples celebration its origins go back much further, with connections to Ancient Roman rituals. In pagan Europe it was a festive holy day
celebrating the first spring planting. The ancient Celts and Saxons celebrated May 1st as Beltane or the day of fire. Bel was the Celtic god of the sun. In the 1700s the Churches banned the pagan rituals, just as bosses today want workers to forget any traditions of solidarity and celebration of workers rights, but many peasants continued the tradition. Church and state were the butt of many jokes at May Day celebrations, and this certainly did not endear the craft guilds and others, who organized celebrations, to the authorities. The Goddess of the Hunt, Diana, and the God Herne led parades. Later, with a move to a more agrarian society, Diana became a fertility goddess, and Herne became Robin Goodfellow, a predecessor to Robin Hood. This also indicated a shift in the division of labor and perhaps to a shift in power relations, with Robin remaining a symbol of the hunter from the woods, while Diana changed from being a hunter to a symbol of the fertility of the fields. May Day was popular through to the nineteenth century, with the form of the celebration changing. The two most popular feast days for medieval craft guilds were the Feast of St. John, or the Summer Solstice and Mayday. The Diana myth was transformed into the Queen of May, who was elected from the eligible young women of the village to rule the crops until harvest. Besides the selection of the May Queen was the raising of the phallic Maypole, around which the young single men and women of the village would dance holding on to the ribbons until they became entwined, with their ( hoped for) new love. Robin Goodfellow, or the Green Man who was the Lord of Misrule for this day. Mayday was a celebration of the common people, and Robin would be the King/Priest/Fool for a day. Priests and Lords were the butt of many jokes, and the Green Man and his supporters; mummers would make jokes and poke fun of the local authorities.
INDUSTRIAL ERA MAY DAY Our modern celebration of Mayday as a working class holiday developed from the US workers struggle for the eight hour day in 1886. The working class movement in the USA began campaigning for an eight hour day in the 1860s, following the Civil War. The historic strike of May 1st, 1886 was a culmination of a concerted
struggle. Chicago was the major industrial centre of the USA. Police attacked striking workers from the McCormack Harvester Co., killing six. On May 4th at a demonstration in Haymarket Square to protest the police brutality a bomb exploded in the middle of a crowd of police killing eight of them. The police arrested eight anarchist trade unionists claiming they threw the bombs. To this day the subject is still one of controversy. The question remains whether the bomb was thrown by the workers at the police or whether one of the police's own agent provocateurs dropped it in their haste to retreat from charging workers. In what was to become one of the most infamous show trials in America in the 19th century, but certainly not to be the last of such trials against radical workers, the State of Illinois tried the anarchist workingmen for fighting for their rights as much as being the actual bomb throwers. Whether the anarchist workers were guilty or innocent was irrelevant. They were agitators, fomenting revolution and stirring up the working class, and they had to be taught a lesson. Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engle and Adolph Fischer were found guilty and executed by the State of Illinois. In Paris in 1889 the International Working Men's Association (the First International) declared May 1st an international working class holiday in commemoration of the Haymarket Martyrs. The red flag became the symbol of the blood of working class martyrs in their battle for workers rights.
IWW GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD RESOLUTION The scattered demonstrations and isolated local acts of rebellion will not be enough to defeat a well-organized opponent. The expression of moral or political outrage may have passing influence, but in the long term has little effect. In fact, the ruling
class needs riots and violent demonstrations, using them as an excuse for funding repressive police forces and further restricting our rights. In order to fight a well-organized, highly centralized enemy, worker need to transform spontaneous mass protests into reliable, democratic organizations of mutual aid and support. These structures need to emphasize the working class strengths - solidarity, economic power, and internationalism.
A poster for the 1st may organized by IWW THE LESSON OF MAY DAY But if the 1st of May demonstration has revealed the deep inherent ties between the toilers and the Soviets, and in passing, has exposed the complete powerlessness of the White socialist parties, does this not prove that repressions are unnecessary? Should we not grant legality to feebleness, even if it is a deadly enemy of the proletarian revolution? This question must be replied to with the greatest possible clearness. If the celebration of the 1st of May was the same in all countries, the
question of repressions would not arise at all. The position would be the same if Russia was the only country in the world. But the reason why the workers so unanimously came out on the streets of Moscow, Petrograd, Kharkov, and Kiev, on the 1st of May, was precisely because they, through Genoa, more clearly than ever, saw Russia as their Worker and Peasant Russia, which for four years had stood out against a score of bourgeois states. Within the limits of Russia the Mensheviks and S. R.’s are a negligible quantity but, on an international scale, the relation of forces are somewhat different, for everywhere in Europe and in the whole world, the bourgeoisie are in power and Menshevism is its political transmitting mechanism.
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS' DAY IN DIFFERENT COUNTRY Nepal May Day is celebrated in Nepal since 1963.The day became a public holiday in 2007. People's Republic of China In the People's Republic of China, May 1 marked the start of one of the country's three "Golden Weeks". Three days off work were given, and one of the surrounding weekends was, for no more than 3 days. Germany Since 1987 it has also become known for heavy riots in some districts of Berlin. May Day is a nationwide holiday in Germany. Traditionally, the day has a political connotation in most regions, and is also referred to as "Labor Day". Berlin witnesses yearly demonstrations on May Day, the largest organized by labor unions, political parties and others by the radical left and Autonomen. Brazil In Brazil, the Workers' Day is an official holiday, and unions commemorate it with day-long public events. It is also when salaries for most professional categories and the minimum wage are traditionally readjusted.
United States The United States has its own Labor Day holiday, celebrated on the first Monday in September instead of on May Day. The U.S. version of Labor Day was a creation of the Knights of Labor, and was adopted officially in 1887 in an effort to disassociate labor activism from the radical left. Subsequent efforts to officially switch Labor Day to the international date of May 1 have failed. In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 both as Loyalty Day and as Law Day. Canada While celebrations by more radical socialist, anarchist and anti-globalization activists may occur on May 1, the government of Prime Minister John Sparrow David Thompson declared the first Monday in September as Canada's official Labor Day in 1894. New Zealand and Australia In New Zealand, Labor Day is a public holiday held on the fourth Monday in October — but the traditions of this October day are borne of International Workers' Day and are not the situation of Canada or the United States. Nordic Countries In Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland, Labor Day is a public holiday, celebrated by many different socialist parties and groups with political demonstrations and speeches. In Sweden and Finland, however, it merges with Walpurgis Night, a carnival-type festivity. In Denmark Labor Day is not regarded a public holiday. Hungary May Day was officially celebrated under the Communist regime, and remains a public holiday. Traditionally, the day was marked by the dancing of May trees, which were danced around.
By covering up the history of May Day, the state, business, mainstream unions and the media have covered up an entire legacy of dissent in this country. They are terrified of what a similarly militant and organized movement could accomplish today, and they suppress the seeds of such organization whenever and wherever they can. As workers, we must recognize and commemorate May Day not only for its historical significance, but also as a time to organize around issues of vital importance to working-class people today.
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