May Day is tomorrow.
May Day is an ancient holiday of spring, fertility, and the creative impulse. In the last century, it also became a day for workers’ rights. Although many of the events which inspired this modern version of May Day occurred in the United States — namely, the execution of 4 Chicago activists who were campaigning for the 8 hour work day — very few people in the United States learn about either history of this day. Contrast this with people in Europe, or Mexico where the holiday is frequently still celebrated in one of its meanings.
This year may be changing that, or at least bringing new awareness. Occupy groups have formed coalitions of activists in cities all around the globe who will take the streets this May Day. If you happen to be in or near Austin, you can see a whole schedule of events here. Many cities are calling for a general strike and huge acts of civil disobedience for workers’ rights, though you may see little coverage of it on the mainstream news.
But I’m not really writing this to ask you to take the streets, though I hope some might be inspired to do so. I’m asking you to take the day, somehow, and celebrate yourself and what it means to work, to create, to inspire and be inspired, to be alive and to depend on others for that well being.
Even if you can’t take the day off tomorrow do something: Have a picnic lunch or dinner in the park. Find a way to thank some workers who help you. Have sex outside. Learn about your history. Be with your friends. Share love, ideas, creativity, and hope instead of money tomorrow.
Celebrate your existence & your freedom tomorrow. Make May Day about the pleasure of being alive, of having free will, of being free.
Join me, won’t you, wherever you are?
I’ll be covering May Day in Austin as a gonzo journalist. I will liveblog during the day here, and have continuous updates on my Twitter.