Worldwide, May 1 is celebrated as International Workers' Day. Originally, the workers' holiday commemorated the struggle for an eight-hour work day in 1856 and later, marked the anniversary of the Haymarket affair in 1886. The Haymarket affair, also know as the Haymarket massacre, began as a rally in support of striking workers and ended in violence with the deaths of workers and police.
In Tucson, the May Day March not only promotes workers' rights, a living wage, and fair workplace practices but also the rights for other oppressed people, including immigrants.
Immigrant workers--legal and illegal--often work under substandard conditions in the fields, factories, and kitchens of America. It's understandable that their struggle would become part of this demonstration of worker solidarity. After the passage of the anti-illegal immigrant bill SB1070, this year's May Day March will most likely be large and boisterous.
The May Day March will begin Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at El Casino Ballroom and end with a rally at 11 a.m. in Armory Park. For details, check the Derechos Humanos website.
This article originally appeared in my Progressive Examiner column.