Learn where the 8 hour workday came from, and whose blood was shed for it
May 1st Organizing Committe plans weekend of events
April 2000

The May 1st Committee invites all working people, students, and people of conscience to come out and join us for a statewide celebration of May Day, International Working People's Day, this May 1st, here in Gainesville. This celebration will be the culmination of a 3-day May Day Gathering which will be held in the Ocala National Forest April 28-30. The Gathering will feature camping, workshops on a variety of political and lifestyle subjects from labor history to women's health, and acoustic music and partying around the campfire.

May Day is traditionally a celebration of spring, a time of rebirth and renewal known as Beltane in the earth-based religions of Old Europe. In the 1890's it became an international political holiday that was organized by workers all around the world in solidarity with the militant U.S. labor movement's struggle for the 8-hour work day, and in memory of the labor activists who were framed and murdered by the State of Illinois in the infamous Haymarket Affair. Despite being squelched here in the States by the reactionary U.S. government, May Day has been an important people's holiday elsewhere in the world for most of the 20th Century, and was adopted as an important state holiday in socialist countries all over the globe.

In recent years activists in the anarchist, labor, and radical ecology movements in Europe and the U.S. have started trying to revive the international celebration of May Day in the so-called 'First World' and use it as an opportunity for expressions of solidarity between workers', environmental, anti-fascist, and human rights movements worldwide. With the strength of international solidarity expressed in the successful shutdown of last year's WTO meetings in Seattle, this year's May Day promises to be quite a worldwide party.

The Ocala May Day Gathering and the festivities here in Gainesville are being organized by activists from the Florida Radical Activist Network in solidarity with marches, rallies, teach-ins, and militant direct actions that will be held all over the world on May Day this year. Organizers in a number of cities in Europe, North America, and other regions including Nigeria, South Africa, India and Indonesia are calling for school walkouts and general strikes, Reclaim the Streets actions and a general atmosphere of "Carnival Against Capitalism" to celebrate the rising tide of global resistance to corporate domination. Join us and let's all get together to put Florida on the map as part of the revival of this internationally celebrated day of solidarity.Join our Forest Gathering in the Ocala National Forest and then join the events in Gainesville on May 1st:

From 12pm to 5pm, the Civic Media Center, 1021 W University Ave;will host an open house on labor history featuring films, a Haymarket photo-essay and posters. At 4:30 there will be a march starting at Univ. and 13th St., led by 12ft puppets of labor organizers Joe Hill, Mother Jones and A. Phillip Randolf, to the downtown plaza. Hear speakers from labor struggles around the state,acoustic musicians, and be a part of the community carnival and Beltane celebration.Come to the May Day planning meetings Sundays at 2pm at the Civic Media Center, or call Jimmy at 468-2609, or write us:

P.O. Box 2671
Gainesville, FL 32601


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