May Day, the international workers’ holiday, began in Chicago, when 35,000 laborers struck for an eight-hour day on May 1, 1886. The commemoration is still alive here, with a day’s worth of events planned. Here’s a list.
May Day Activities in Chicago
Why do workers around the world celebrate an event that happened on the streets of Chicago. (Published Wednesday, May 4, 2011)
10 a.m. Anti-Capitalist Demonstration, City Front Plaza, 240 E. Illinois St.
Demonstrators will march to the Loop and shut down “an institution that shall remain unnamed until [this] morning.” Our guess: a bank.
1 p.m. May Day Solidarity Speak Out, Union Park, Randolph Street and Ashland Avenue
Speakers are invited to opine on “austerity, debt, joblessness, foreclosures, endless war, gun violence, climate change, the war on drugs, school closings, the two-tiered justice system, deportations, etc.”
2 p.m.-4 p.m. International Workers Day March for Immigration Reform, Union Park to Federal Plaza (Jackson and LaSalle streets)
This year’s march will be bigger than usual, because Congress is considering an immigration reform bill. In 2006, hundreds of thousands of pro-immigration demonstrators filled Grant Park, but in the last several years, only a few thousand have attended.
"The possibility of having immigration reform is pushing people to do something," said Jorge Mujica, one of the lead organizers. "They are coming out from the suburbs again, which is really something we haven't seen in the last couple of years. DuPage is organizing, Aurora is organizing, and they are coming up all the way to Chicago."
Just a few thousand people have participated in the march in recent years, compared with several hundred thousand marchers who took to the streets in 2006 and 2007.
4 p.m. Rallly for immigration reform, Federal Plaza.