May Day 2013: The World’s Labor Day

Filed under: Features,International,Labor |

May Day 2013: The World’s Labor Day

International Workers’ Day (also known as May Day) celebrates the international labor movement. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries and celebrated unofficially in many other countries.

The event that created May Day - The Haymarket Riot, Harpers Weekly Engraving

The event that created May Day – The Haymarket Riot, Harpers Weekly Engraving

While most of the world celebrates May Day as a day honoring labor and workers, American May Day will focus on immigration law reform rallies. Rallies are planned for most major U.S. cities.

May Day rallies to bring crowds, street closures to downtown L.A.,0,481802.story

However, Seattle, Wash., is apparently extra on edge in advance of this year’s May Day demonstrations in the city. Last year’s May Day demonstration in Seattle turned into a melee with police, shop windows smashed and bad time all-around.

Police: ‘A lot of chatter’ ahead of May Day 2013

Seattle Police prepared for May Day 2013 protest on Capitol Hill

A scene from the 2012 May Day festivities in downtown Seattle, Wash. hoto Trevor Dykstra via flickr CC

A scene from the 2012 May Day festivities in downtown Seattle, Wash. Photo Trevor Dykstra via flickr CC

They’re even nervous over in the state capital, Olympia, Wash.—

Police, downtown Olympia preparing for May Day activities

Of course there is some discrepancy among Seattle media reports about just how bad May Day 2013 could be, especially compared with 2012—

Cops See No ‘Precursor Activity” For May Day Mayhem

May Day, May Day: No need to panic in 2013

Lots has happened since last year’s (window) smashing May Day celebration. But a new police chief, a chastened SPD and a mayoral election promise peaceful marches this time around.

Here’s to hoping this year’s May Day in Seattle is a little nicer for everyone:

May Day report slams police

An independent review of the violence that rocked Seattle’s business core during last year’s May Day protests found that officers were confused over who was in charge and when they could use force to stop the violence.

But whatever protest goes down in Seattle that will be nothing compared with what’s planning in Jakarta, Indonesia, where 80,000 workers are expected to really in front of the government headquarters. Authorities have promised to send 25,000 police officers to join the celebration.

In economically devastated Greece a general strike is planned with transit and shipping workers leading the way.

The nation of Myanmar, sometimes known by its world stage name of Burma, played host to its first international trade union conference, one year after the nation passed laws granting its citizens the right of association.

Seattle should be a walk in park by comparison.


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