Wednesday, May 02, 2007

May Day

Worldwide - Demonstrations were held in cities across the globe to commemorate the International Worker's Day. Traditionally, the holiday was celebrated as part of the pagan festival of Beltane, but became a day for workers in 1886 when mostly immigrant anarchist labor leaders in the United States organized a series of strikes and protests in support of an eight-hour work day for ten hours worth of pay.

Although the movement was successful, a number of the leaders were executed by the state after a sham trial on conspiracy charges. Many organizers had been rounded up following a May 4th incident in which a bomb was thrown among a group of policemen in Chicago's Haymarket Square. Five unionists who were convicted and executed, or who died in prison, became know as the Haymarket Martyrs.