A pet project of mine is to try to restore Mayday to its rightful status as the International Workers Day and to celebrate accordingly. Although the celebration of May 1 as a leftist holiday seems to have begun in the U.S. (in connection with the fight for the eight-hour day), its association with Russian Communism seems to have killed it on these shores. The right has even tried to co-opt the day by re-naming it "Law Day" and holding courthouse observances!
The main thing that I have done is to work with the American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark in Haledon, N.J., so that we have now had four annual Mayday festivals featuring music associated with the labor movement. This year, my group, The Solidarity Singers of the New Jersey Industrial Union Council, will not only perform but will also release its first cd, "Solidarity Can't Be Beat!"
If you're in the area, please join us. I would also like to hear about other Mayday events and encourage people to start more of them.
Here's our announcement for the Botto House event:
Celebrate MAYDAY! The International Workers Holiday!
And the NEW CD by the SOLIDARITY SINGERS of the IUC!
SOLIDARITY CAN'T BE BEAT!
The BOTTO HOUSE/AMERICAN LABOR MUSEUM 83 Norwood Street, Haledon, NJ (973)595-7953
MAYDAY FESTIVAL! May 1, 2002 At 7 p.m.
Also appearing: ANNE FEENEY! Mother Jones a/k/a Peggy Orner! YOUNG and YOUNGER! & Paul Robeson a/k/a Marvin Kazembe Jefferson!
This will be the first time that SOLIDARITY CAN'T BE BEAT! will be offered for sale anywhere! ONLY $15.00!
For mail orders send $15.00 to: Bennet Zurofsky; 744 Broad Street, Suite 1807; Newark, N.J. 07102; (973)642-0885.
This event is FREE! Refreshments too!