OPINION: May Day rallies might waste time

Every year on May 1 people gather in streets to rally and protest about immigration, work labor, celebration of spring or equal rights across the world.

Every year on May 1 people gather in streets to rally and protest about immigration, work labor, celebration of spring or equal rights across the world. (Wiki Commons Images cc-by-2.5 )


Across the world protestors gathered on May 1 and marched through streets to protest labor rights, immigration, education or the celebration of spring. Often stores, restaurants or transportation services close for the day while everyone rallies in the streets.

In earlier centuries, laborers had 10-16 hour work days that consisted of unsafe conditions and injuries and death became more common than not. Starting in the 1860s people started to get fed up with the way they were treated and sparks were ignited.

It wasn’t until the 1880s that the demands for shorter days with no cut in pay from the working class started organizing groups without consent or knowledge.

These workers saw first hand their employers making more money and they [the workers] were making the same amount as when they first started with no benefits. So a variety of socialists sprung up and started rallying against big businesses.

In Chicago a national convention was held in 1884, where the Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions proclaimed that eight hours a day will legally be the only amount of hours worked in one day. It was then put into law on May 1, 1886.

Since then, the tradition of May Day has stayed alive. Millions of people around the world gather to rally or celebrate, even here in Orange County. In Anaheim a group of activists have rallied the streets protesting about keeping families together and workers rights. The march even happened in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The protests were small and peaceful.

In other places like Seattle, there were riots, arrests, deaths, pepper spray was being used and flash bangs were going off. Officers were struck by rocks, bitten or had Molotov cocktails thrown at them. Buildings were being vandalized as anti-capitalist demonstrators carried signs and chanted down the streets.

In France, workers fear for their protection when on the job and constantly under threat. Trade unions, teenagers, families and pensioners had nearly 300 largely peaceful marches in Paris and other cities around the country. In other places like Germany or Taiwan pepper spray was being used or there was violence in the streets.

May Day has given people the chance to stand up for what they believe in and protest it. In America they are able to use the first amendment to support their cause, in other places people get thrown in jail for standing up for what they believe in.

This international holiday has become a part of history and will continue to be part an important day of the year. This day shows that people can unite for a common goal. May Day has become an important part in history and will play a role for future generations, giving them the chance to have a pathway to secure their rights as humans.

Knowledge of history has also played an important part in the future. Knowing what others have been through and how they over come a situation has help future generations to learn and grow.

In my opinion if people feel that rallying in the streets can make a change then I would say go for it. As long as there is no harm being done then why not. This holiday can make a difference in people’s lives and hopefully one day have an impact on how others are treated.