FOREST PARK – BloNo residents traveled to the Chicago metro area to celebrate Mayday, or International Workers Day, with a celebratory unveiling of the newly restored Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument in the Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park, IL.
Mayday is celebrated by the labor movement in most countries around the world. But U.S. government propaganda during the Cold War effectively associated the holiday with the Soviet Union, cutting off the U.S. labor movement from the rest of the world in recognizing the day as Labor Day.
This propaganda continues until today, as evidenced by the reactionary Pantagraph editorial (5/1/2011) lauding Law Day, a rival holiday to Mayday established by the U.S. government. The article fails to mention that Mayday is an international celebration, recognized in over 80 countries, and that it received its inspiration from the 8-hour day movement and the unjust execution of 5 worker activists framed in Chicago for an act they did not commit.
Labor leaders from around the world spoke at the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument. Laborers International president, Terence O’Sullivan gave a fiery speech calling for the revitalization of the labor movement and the honoring of Mayday every year. Everyone spoke of Wisconsin as the turning-point for labor’s struggle for economic and social justice.
The first video below documents the unveiling of the monument and the second is the concluding song of “Solidarity Forever.” A video montage of the entire event will be released later in the week by Just BloNo.