May Day, 2011, Chicago: A Time To Remember, A Time To Dream A New World

[On this, the 125th Anniversary of Haymarket, it is appropriate and exciting to find all the work being done to rededicate the monuments where the martyrs are buried.  We are delighted to share the list of activities shown below.  May Day is the time of year when workers celebrate, “the only truly universal day of all humanity,” as Eduardo Galeano wrote in The Book of Embraces.  It is also the time of year when the workers movement comes together to evaluate where we are, and what are the tasks that face us.  It should be transparently clear that corporations, in the name of defending their private property, are slicing away all the gains made in this country since the first general strikes of 1876, the legacy of the end of the Civil War and the precursor to Haymarket.  Every great movement for human liberation in the United States can be traced back to these two fundamental processes:  the movement to overturn slavery and the workers’ movement.  It is the singular characteristic of our time to see these two great torrents of liberation fuse in a desperate awakening of a new class ejected from public as well as private employment by bloodless, robotic technology. The end of the American Civil War was indeed a nodal point in our history, marked by a change from an agricultural to and industrial economy and reflected by a shift in political parties to the domination of the industrial and financial sectors in those parties.  It took another 70 years and two World Wars for the financial sector’s domination to establish itself and another political party shift to take place.  Now, 150 years after the end of the Civil War, another nodal shift is taking place.  It has been a long, difficult process of technological innovation.  Many times before the utopian cry of productivity reducing the need for labor has been raised, only to be lost in the expansion of capitalism and new markets.  But what to do when the global market has been saturated and “demand” — expressed in money available for purchase of commodities — has dried up? When the electronic manifestations of workers that we call “robots” do not need clothes, housing or food?  These are the trenchant May Day 2011 discussions that need to be held as we evaluate the legislative attacks on workers throughout the country, emanating from what has become known as the rust belt.  May Day is time to think strategically! — Lew Rosenbaum]

Schedule of May Day Activities

April 7 3:00 PM Gage Gallery 18 s. Michigan. Forum on 100th anniversary of Triangle Shirtwast Fire in New York. Textile organizing and unionization grow out of Chicago Struggle.

April 9th 3:00 Pm. Chicago Temple Washington and Clark. New New Deal Forum with John Conyers on Full employment legislation.

April 12 7:00pm Oak Park Public Library Forum on meaning of restoration of Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Forest Park.

April 27th 6:00pm. Haymarket Brewery and Pub at Randolph and Halsted . Film Screening of Sacco and Vanzetti

April 28th 5:30 pm Newberry library. Forum and debate and reception with labor movement lawyers the American Constitution Society and others discussing Haymarket to the present.

April 29th 5:30 pm Gage Gallery Reception for International Trade unionists and public and release of new publication of The Day Will Come by Mark Rogovin and viewing of his fathers photos, Milton Rogovin.

April 30th, 2pm. Plaque dedication at Haymarket Square at Randolph and DesPlaines by Illinois Labor History Society and re enactment of the Haymarket Tragedy at the site followed by gathering of all who wish to come to Haymarket Brewery at Halsted and Randolph.

May 1, 1 pm, World wide gathering to celebrate 125th anniversary of the Haymarket and the restoration of the Monument in Forest Park featuring AFL-CIO secretary Treasurer Liz Shuler and other dignitaries.

May 1, 7PM  Old Town School of Folk Music concert titled Music and Rebellion with Bucky Halker, his band, and some international groups. Tickets are 15 dollars.


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