Magazine article The New American

History of May Day: May 1st, or May Day, Has for over a Century Been the Most Important Holiday of the Year for Communists, Socialists, and Anarchists

Magazine article The New American

History of May Day: May 1st, or May Day, Has for over a Century Been the Most Important Holiday of the Year for Communists, Socialists, and Anarchists

Article excerpt

Most Americans associate May Day with the hanging of flower baskets or the National Day of Prayer. With the Cold War now a distant memory, we seem to have forgotten that May 1st, or May Day, has been for over a century the most important calendar day of the year for communists, socialists, and anarchists. This was the traditional day in the Soviet Union and the communist bloc countries for massive parades, replete with missiles, tanks, rank upon rank of goose-stepping troops, red flags, and huge posters of Marx and Lenin. This has not changed in countries that are still officially communist, such as China, North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam. In non-communist countries of the world, the communist and socialist parties have continued to hold May Day celebrations, usually under the banner of International Workers Solidarity Day.

According to The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, communist countries and communist parties celebrate May Day "by mobilizing the working people in the struggle to build socialism and communism." The same source goes on to report: "On May Day the working people of the Soviet Union show their solidarity with the revolutionary struggles of the working people in capitalist countries and with national liberation movements. They express their determination to use all their power for the struggle for peace and building of a communist society."

Andy McInerney, a staff member of the communist Workers World Party and a leader of the ANSWER Coalition's illegal alien organizing effort, extolled the glories of May Day in the Spring 1996 edition of Liberation & Marxism. McInerney wrote:

   Every year, the ruling classes around
   the world are again reminded of their
   vulnerability and of the power of their
   gravediggers. On May 1, the world
   working class displays its strength
   in demonstrations and strikes. … 
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