Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day 2012

Labor Day Weekend traditionally marks the end of summer in the USA. Millions of Americans flocked to the shore, lakes, mountains, parks, and backyards for a last gasp of enjoyment before going back to work. Few realise that the holiday was inaugerated by President Grover Cleveland as a peace offering after his ordering in troops and federal marshals to break up the 1894 Pullman Strike. The first weekend in September was chosen rather than International Workers Day in May, because that workers' holiday was associated with communists, anarchists, and socialists. I asked twenty people at the farmers' market in Fort Greene, "Why do we have Labor Day?" Most said to celebrate the end of summer, a few replied that they didn't know, and two answered to honor the working man without any mention of the struggle to win an 8-hour day, a minimum wage, health care, social security, and many other commonly accepted entitlements for the working classes. The Republicans with their Tea Party adherents know exactly what was won by those strikers and the GOP is poised to roll back time to the age of the robber barons when workers had no rights other than to work or die. 13 workers were killed by the troops. Many more were wounded. They fought for our rights. Do not give them up without a fight. Photo below was taken outside the GOP convention. The police are workers working for the bosses. They are not our friends when in uniform. Workers of the world unite.

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