May Day Highlights Labor Concerns

By Jarin Piyana’ 18                                                                                                                                                                

Protesters came out to support immigrants, workers, and women on May Day.  On May 1, people came out to celebrate International Worker’s Day.    

This celebration originated in Ancient times when people celebrated the start of summer. Americans often celebrate the day with dancing and flower crowns, but this year it was more than just that.

May 1, 2017, marked 127 years since the Chicago Haymarket protest. On May 1886, about 35,000 workers walked off their jobs and demanded standardization of 8 days’ work.  Since then, it was also known as International Worker’s Day.

This year the protesters in New York were fighting for immigrants, refugees, and all workers’ rights.  There was a teach-in at 2:30 and march at 5PM at Union Square. The protesters were criticizing Trump’s detention and deportation of immigrants. The protesters were saying there are a lot of immigrants who have jobs, and own farm, and stores. If they are removed from their system, it will affect the businesses. According to, a lot of the US’ profits come from immigrants and refugees that come to the US. Throughout history, the massive wealth of the nation has been built on Black slave labor and the cheap immigrant labor.

President Trump called May Day to be “Loyalty Day” a time for people to reassure their commitment to “individual liberties, to limited government and to the inherent dignity of every human being”.  However, the protesters had different ideas in their minds. According to CNN, dozens of people were arrested in New York for civil disobedience. There were targeting companies who has a relationship with President Donald Trump administration.

According to The New York Times, protesters in NY were holding signs in Spanish like, “Workers united will never be defeated.” There were about 30 arrests for their outrageous behavior. Mayor Bill de Blasio was present at the protest as well. He told the people, “Everything Donald Trump wants to do, I have a simple message: no, you can’t no se puede.”

“It’s nice to see that the Mayor has our back and that he is doing what is right for the people,” Said Naila Mirza’18

Similar actions occurred around the states as well. In Portland Oregon, the police officer canceled the permit after anarchist began throwing devices that were harming the protestors. They threw fireworks smoke bombs and Molotov cocktails.  In Portland, they rest in about 25 people for the act of vandalism.  In Seattle, officers reported several fights at the Westlake Park who were throwing rocks and holding unlawful weapons.

“You should always fight for what you believe in, but violence is never the answer,” said Namiea Amin’ 18

May Day is celebrated around the world as well. According to, May Day around the world was celebrated the same way as here. They were protesting for workers’ rights but it got violent. Some protesters were aggressive and fought with the police. In France, police officers were surrounded with fire. It was mostly the youth who used firebombs at the officers.


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