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Chicago, birthplace of May Day, marches for workers

Ramin Mazaheri 
Press TV, Chicago 


Protesters have staged rallies to commemorate International Workers’ Day across the United States. 

The turbulent 2020 saw America reverse 50 years of political apathy. Marchers say the time for the lower and middles classes to unite is now, because the 1% is already united and profiting from soaring post-lockdown inequalities every day.

Given the status of Chicago as the ideological centre of neoliberal thought, many may be surprised that the epicentre of the very first May Day ever was Chicago. In 1886, 100,000 Chicagoan leftists peacefully took to the streets to demand an 8-hour working day, and were met with deadly police violence.

The US government failed to replace May Day with an attempt at “Law and Order Day”, but by 1890 the first International Workers Day for Unity and Solidarity was declared.The holiday is celebrated in scores of countries, and often called Labor Day, but most English-language countries celebrate their own Labor Day in autumn.

Many 19th century struggles are still being fought today, such as against the privileges and parasitism created by monarchies. 

New US President Joe Biden just rejected a $15 dollar per hour minimum wage, even though wages haven’t been hiked since 2009 and non-governmental estimates of inflation are 10% annually. Businesses like Amazon are dubbed innovation heroes in the mainstream media yet are notorious for gruelling working conditions. 

Many marching on May Day also oppose Western liberal democracy, which is often accused of creating and protecting a new aristocracy on the backs of average worker. 

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