Federal security patrols and protesters are expected to start showing up on the streets of Chicago on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
‘May Day’ protests will begin coincidentally as security in the Loop increases in the “Red Zone” — an area bounded by Adams Street, States Street, Harrison Street and Franklin Street.
Starting Tuesday, law enforcement officers –some armed with non-lethal weapons — begin patrolling several blocks in the Loop. They will be highly visible in the so-called Red Zone, where many government offices are located.
May 1st is recognized worldwide as International Workers’ Day, a day that marks a celebration of the labor movement and left-wing orientation in response to the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 in Chicago. In Chicago in 1886 workers fought for the establishment of worker protection measures — especially the eight hour workday. An unknown person threw dynamite at police as they dispersed a public assembly. In response, the Chicago police fired on the workers. Dozens of demonstrators and several police officers were killed in crossfire.
Anarchists were suspected of murdering Chicago police officer Mathias J. Degan, who was killed by the bomb blast. Eventually seven anarchists were sentenced to death and one anarchist was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Two sentences were commuted and one of the convicted men committed suicide the night before the execution by blowing his face off with a dynamite cap that was smuggled into jail. Four were hanged on November 11, 1887.
In the United States Labor Day is designated in September to avoid association with International Workers’ Day and Anarchist movements.
On Tuesday tens of thousands of people across America are expected to hit the streets to join in on a general strike. Over 125 cities are gearing up to participate in what, according to RT America, could be the largest demonstration in America in decades. Andrew Blake, RT web producer, explains.
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