Inspired by the Haymarket massacre in 1886, May Day has become a day for workers to rally for the principles instilled by the labor movement. Things like: fair pay, safe working conditions, and equality in the workplace. It has since expanded to include themes like corporate corruption, money in politics, and immigrant rights.
Ironically, the United States does not officially recognize May Day as a holiday; rather, President Glover Cleveland backed a national labor holiday in September, which would become Labor Day. Nevertheless, Americans still take to the streets on May 1st — in solidarity with other workers around the world — to protect workers’ rights, and other issues of regional and national importance.
In Baltimore, we are joining the national movement to hold corporations, members of the 1%, and our own government accountable. Foreclosures, mass unemployment, a lack of regulation in the banking industry, unfair development projects (like the EBDI), and the focus on youth jails over educational spending, have caused Baltimoreans to awaken from a slumber. We need policies that will help support a strong and vibrant middle class in our city.
Baltimore is and has been ground zero for many of these economic troubles. We all see the vacant buildings and lots, the crumbling schools and the lack of job opportunities and understand how they contribute to a general sense of despair. However, when we give in to these feelings of despair, corporations and other entrenched interests win. Our power lies in collective unity. By standing together and not giving up, we have the chance to win real change. This May Day, we fought for what we believe in.
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