May 1 is an international holiday, which today is celebrated by workers and workers in many countries of the world. Moreover, it is a symbol of action, unity and solidarity. For this very reason, it is celebrated with the official name “Day of Unity, Struggle and International Solidarity” around the world. However, May 1, the common holiday of all workers in the world, is full of resolute struggle of the working class, tragic losses and sad memories. Well, let’s take a look at how May 1 became a working day.
May 1 has an important place in the struggle for the rights of the working class.
The Industrial Revolution and the Industrial Age that followed marked the beginning of an important change, first in Europe and then throughout the world. After these developments in Europe, the world entered a completely new era with changes and transformations in the social, economic, cultural and political fields.
Workers worked in broad daylight in the nineteenth century.
In other words, 19th century workers worked more than 15 hours a day. In the summer, this time exceeded 18 hours, and the combination of arduous working conditions and long working hours lowered the workers’ quality of life. However, it will be necessary to engage in a difficult struggle to improve the unbearable working conditions and reduce working hours to humane limits.
By the middle of the nineteenth century, workers’ demands for shorter working hours were being raised by trade unions in many different countries.
The workers were expressing their demands to work 8 hours a day, but it could not be said that this demand received a serious response. Finally, the workers’ loudest voice, organized around a demand for a reduction in working hours, was heard in Melbourne, Australia in 1856.
Melbourne stone and masonry workers are holding a demonstration demanding an 8-hour day
A year after these demonstrations, which had a very important place in the struggle for workers’ rights, a decision was made at the Geneva Conference of the International Workers’ Confederation, or better known as the First International, formed by political parties along the lines of socialism, that no worker can work more From 8 hours a day.
The rising voice of the working class from Melbourne soon reached the United States
At that time, the city of Chicago was the most important industrial center in the United States, where many different production centers were located, mainly textiles.
The demands of Chicago workers were not different from those of workers around the world, they wanted to work under humane conditions. For this reason, they demanded that working hours be reduced to 8 hours.
The struggle of Chicago workers for rights turned into a historic demonstration on May 1, 1886, attended by half a million workers.
Chicago labor demonstrations were met in different parts of the United States. Workers living in cities outside of Chicago also began staging protest marches and demonstrations and even going on strike. However, the established system did not intend to back down in the face of the workers’ demands.
6 workers lost their lives in the demonstrations of May 3, 1886.
Many workers were injured in the demonstrations that took place on the same day due to the disproportionate intervention of the US police forces and even their open attack on the workers. The workers, determined not to give up the struggle, decided to organize a new demonstration on May 4 to fulfill their demands and to commemorate their friends who lost their lives.
The May 4 demonstrations witnessed an unsolved act of terrorism
A bomb, unknown or unknown, was detonated in a heavily policed area. As a result of the explosion, 6 police officers working for the Chicago Police Department were killed and a large number of police officers were injured.
Of course, there were also workers who lost their lives and were injured by the explosion. Moreover, after the explosion, dozens of workers died on May 4, 1886, as the police opened fire on the workers in the demonstration area.
This terrorist attack, the perpetrator of which was never found, turned into black propaganda against the workers. Some of the workers responsible for the attack were executed
The demonstrations that began in Chicago, USA on May 1, 1886, and in which thousands of workers lost their lives, were among the most important steps taken to improve the working conditions of workers all over the world and to shorten their working hours.
May 1, the day the Chicago protests began, was declared the “International Day of Unity, Struggle, and Solidarity” at the Second International Congress in 1899.
Thus, May 1, which is a very important date for the labor movement in the world, has become a holiday of work, unity, solidarity and workers all over the world.
May 1 is celebrated in many countries of the world today.
However, there are some countries where it is forbidden to celebrate this significant day. However, May 1 is still one of the most important symbols of the search for rights and freedom due to its historical significance.
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