AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF SPRING, dancing around a pole, crowning a queen, fertility rituals, assorted festivities—joyful community celebrations of the month of May can be traced back through the ages.

May Day or International Workers’ Day—another way of observing the first day of May throughout the world—is not quite as old, and has been much more contentious. May Day has symbolized the common struggles of workers around the globe. The day, with its own themes of renewal and change, represents a history of  protest.

Claiming May 1st as a day for political protest grew out of the particular nature of working-class activism of Europe and North America in the late nineteenth century. In May 1872, Canadian workers joined the movement to fight for the nine-hour work day and, through strikes and demonstrations, pressured John A. Macdonald to pass the Trade Unions Act. On May 1, 1886, across North America, hundreds of thousands of workers mobilized for a one-day strike to demand the eight-hour working day. In 1889, the founding congress of the Second Labour and Socialist International declared May 1 as a day in which workers around the world would take to the streets to honour the lives of the Haymarket Martyrs, fight for better working conditions, and demonstrate solidarity amongst working people of the world.

Understanding the history of this important day is the key to keeping its fiery tradition alive.

Through the creative and accessible medium of graphic novel-style comic books, Between the Lines has published a growing volume of graphic histories of labour and social movements and radical thinkers in Canada and around the world.

In celebration of May Day we're giving our readers 40% off our graphic histories of labour struggle until May 6th.

May Day: A Graphic History of Protest brings the history of worker struggle to life and illustrate the rousing story of how, for over one hundred years, workers in Canada have used May Day to mark an important day for working-class celebration and activism.

Check out our other graphic novel-style histories like Showdown: Making Modern Unions on the history of labour struggles in Hamilton, Portraits of Violence: An Illustrated History of Radical Thinking on ten of history's most compelling figures, and Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle, the award-winning compendium of Canadian labour history.
Copyright © 2018 Between the Lines, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp