May Day Update

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I grew up in the Deep South in the 70’s and 80’s, where unions were limited in number and power by Orwellian-named “right-to-work” laws, so I thought May Day involved kids with streamers dancing around a pole. Not that I ever actually saw that either, but there were pictures in books. (I wouldn’t have participated anyway, since being a Jehovah’s Witness generally meant that any holiday was off limits.)

This is not about the May pole or a spring festival. No, this update is about the “arise, ye workers from your slumber” May Day, the international labor day. And this year, there are a number of protests taking place around the world.

Voice of America has a slideshow of rallies. Al Jazeera has more coverage.

Occupy Wall Street has rallies planned throughout New York City today and they’re streaming some of them live.

There’s concern among some in the Occupy movement that new groups will try to turn the movement into a wing of the Democratic party.

And no surprise, The Guardian is doing terrific work covering the protests.


Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →