For nearly 150 years, May 1st has been an international day to celebrate and defend the rights of the working class. While the immigrant rights movement and the Occupy movement have helped bring it back to the United States in recent years, May Day originated in the American labor movement in the 19th century.

The first mass labor protest on May Day was held in 1867 to celebrate an Illinois law mandating an eight-hour workday. When employers refused to abide by the law, the celebration turned into a rebellion. Chicago police, “long used as if [they] were a private force in the service of the employers,” as one author would later declare, were called on to break the strike wave. The movement was crushed and the law went unenforced."

On May 1st 2012 Oakland along with cities all across the globe went on strike.

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