Let’s not have ‘successful’ protests: May Day should be for real dissent

Let’s bring May Day back to its roots. Bury Loyalty Day and revive the day of honouring the working class.


On Friday, May 1, the United States officially celebrates Loyalty Day. On this day, we are supposed to reaffirm loyalty to the nation and thank our lucky stars and stripes for our American freedom.

Elsewhere, May 1 marks International Workers Day–May Day, a time for solidarity, dissent, and protest. But during the Red Scare, Loyalty Day was made an official holiday with the explicit anti-Communist, labor crushing intent. Workers Day had originated as a commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre, a riot in Chicago following the police killing of several workers.

So this May 1 is no Loyalty Day. Major demonstrations planned for Friday dig up May Day’s historic roots–furious protest against police violence.

May Day is a time for dissent, not merely demonstration. A number of labor marches, as is typical on this day, will proceed within the barricaded confines of police-permitted protest. So be it. But it will…

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