Monday, May 1, 2006

May Day 2006: The annual celebration of slave labour

The modern celebration of May Day began as a working class holiday in the late 19th century. It was the culmination of a struggle of the common man for better working conditions and a demand for greater dignity. In the 20th century, various governments gave their official endorsement to the holiday with celebrations consisting of displays of military and political might. With trumpets blaring, tanks rolled through public squares and square-jawed soldiers marched in lockstep, saluting flags while the Premier reveled in the exhibition of power.

Such parades were largely a facade that hid a harsh underlying reality. While the regimes played up an image of strength and vigor to the outside world, the societies they ruled over were decaying on the inside. And the same power on display in the parades was used in carte blanche fashion to create terror, repression, brutality, and crimes against humanity. The unfortunate irony is that the common man bore the brunt of the hardship. The victims of these totalitarian states were privy to human nature at its darkest depths.

Catallarchy, May Day 2005
The annual May Day Rememberance continues at Catallarchy. Read the 2006 edition here.