May 1st is International Worker’s Day and is celebrated around the world with marches and actions. There have been many attempts to rewrite the history of May Day. In 2011 the Tories proposed moving the May Day Bank Holiday to October and replace it with “UK Day” and in America May 1st is has been “Loyalty Day” since 1921 (not that many people celebrate it mind!).
Because of this we thought it was important to repost this article, explaining as briefly as possible, the true origins of May Day or International Worker’s Day. If reading isn’t your thing then check out this talk by Bristol Radical History Group from 2012 on the history of May Day.
by Eric Chase (1993)
Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers’ Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don’t realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as “American” as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility. Continue reading
We may have been exaggerating a little with the title, but yesterday was a step in the right direction. Members of Bristol AFed visited our groups most popular destination (yes, it really is) to take part in the first ever Swindon Radical Bookfair. It was a great opportunity for radicals from the town and the wider region to meet up and share information and a chance for other Swindon locals to get involved and find out about their cities radical past, present and (fingers crossed) future.