(A mid-May) May Day

Saturday, May 11
4:00pm Rally and Celebration

Watson Williams Park in Utica
(on the corner of James and Steuben Streets)

Worldwide, May Day is traditionally Workers’ Day – a day of labor solidarity, and a public holiday. It’s a day to celebrate and rally in support of worker and immigrant rights. In protest of the corruption of the worldwide marketplace, which has led to illegal foreclosures and evictions, mass unemployment, low wages, high taxes, and a penalization of all those who do not own the world’s wealth, come out to voice your concerns and to envision a world built on social and economic justice.

This year, Utica is celebrating May Day on May 11th, a Saturday, to allow more people to come out who would have been at work on May first. Please come and listen to speakers, music, eat food, play games and celebrate with the community.

For more information, please call 732-2382 or contact

The roots of May Day are in Chicago when a general strike was called to enact the eight hour workday in 1886. Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike but the peaceful demonstration deteriorated into violence when the police started a riot in Chicago’s Haymarket Square. An unknown number of workers and police were killed. The authorities rounded up strike leaders who were later executed, not for any crime they committed, but because they were union organizers and anarchists. May Day is celebrated the world over and has long been a day of protest in the US. In 2006, the largest strike in US history occurred when undocumented immigrants, workers, and many others went on strike for immigration reform.

“If you think that by hanging us you can stomp out the labor movement, then hang us. Here you will tread upon a spark, but here, and there, and behind you, and in front of you, the flames will blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out. The ground is on fire upon which you stand.” – August Spies, Haymarket Martyr

For a history on the origins of May Day, read historian and IWW member Eric Chase’s article: