We should thank the million foreigners who took to the streets on May 1st: they remember what we’ve forgotten. On May 1 1886 Chicago labor unions went on strike for the eight-hour work day. This strike precipitated the Haymarket Massacre.
Every May 1st there are demonstrations and marches all around the world. They celebrate and memorialize this seminal event in American history. Some even remember that five of the seven activists executed for organizing the Haymarket demonstration were immigrants. Such was the cost of the 40-hour week.
Back home, unions hide from a May Day wildcat strike by unorganized workers and the PT advocates arrest and deportation of marchers. The editors say “Nationalists we are not.” Nor patriots, evidently.
I give the students an ‘A’ for making history and the rest of us an ‘F’ for forgetting it.