May Day 2012

International Workers’ Day (May Day) is the commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when Chicago police fired on workers during a general strike for the eight hour workday, after an unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they dispersed a public meeting. Several demonstrators and several police officers were killed. May Day was formally recognized as an annual event in 1891.

Since then, May Day has evolved into a day of commemoration and active civic engagement that takes place on International Labour Day, when we remember the struggles of workers across the world who have fought and continue to fight for fairer wages, better working conditions, and equal economic opportunities.

This year, an Ottawa-based group called “Solidarity Against Austerity” is organizing a rally to protest the federal government cuts at 12:00 p.m. on May 1 at the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa. Follow their efforts on Twitter at @MayDayOttawa and join the Facebook page: Solidarity Against Austerity.

You can also participate in May Day activities in your community:

Winnipeg: May Day March

Lethbridge: March of Unions & Picnic in the Park

Edmonton: May Day March