The City Committee of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) has endorsed the May Day Rally and Family Celebration which will be held at the Elmwood Park Labor Monument in Southwest Philadelphia on the afternoon of Saturday, May 3. GPOP has traditionally endorsed and actively participated in this celebration since it began in 2007.
Originally, May Day (also known as International Workers' Day) was a commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in 1886 in Chicago. During the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s, celebrations on the first day of May were suppressed, especially because of May Day’s international appeal.
Kristin Combs, the GPOP recording secretary from Kensington, pointed out that “this event will be a great opportunity to acknowledge the struggles on the road to achieve the labor conditions that we are accustom to today."
“The energy from May Day will energize us because we still have work to do,” said Glenn Davis, GPOP chair from Hestonville in West Philadelphia. “We need a minimum wage that is a living wage, universal single-payer healthcare and more green jobs.”
Beginning in this century, the modern May Day has renewed appeal because its organizers – from the labor movement to the Occupy Movement – have united the “green root” (environment) and “red root” (labor) traditions. “This is why the Green Party supports May Day,” explained Chris Robinson, a member of the GPOP City Committee from Germantown. “We are the political expression of both the green root and red root traditions.”
To sum up the Green Party’s position, Eric Hamell, GPOP membership secretary from Germantown said, “We observe May Day because the only effective answer to corporate power is workers' power."
This year’s May Day Rally and Family Celebration will have live music, food, children’s activities, public speakers and the awarding of the Aggie Moran Human Rights Award to Sonia Sanchez, poet laureate of Philadelphia; Barbara Rahke of PhilaPOSH; and Alice Hoffman of the Restaurant Opportunities Center.
For more information on the May Day Rally and Family Celebration in Elmwood Park, please visit, www.maydayusa.org. For more information about the Green Party of Philadelphia, please contact 215-243-7103 and [email protected].