International Worker’s Day

Mark & Val celebrate International Worker’s Day, honoring the Second International and the establishment of May Day with themes of the policy statements: the 8-hour day, general causes of the proletariat, and universal peace.

The first meetings of the Second International were held in Paris, beginning on July 14, 1889, on the centenary of the storming of the Bastille. Internecine conflicts within the French socialist movement had prompted the “possibilist” and Marxist factions to hold their own congresses at the same time.

The Marxist congress passed resolutions on international labor legislation (the eight-hour workday, night work, labor conditions for women and children), the abolition of permanent armies, and the various means to attain these goals. It also passed a resolution calling for an international demonstration for the eight-hour working day on May 1.

  1. The 8-hour day:
    1. Cotton Mill Girls – the Poozies
    2. Eight Hour Day – Keith and Rusty McNeil
  2. Achieving the 8-hour day left some problems unsolved:
    1. 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton
    2. Five O’Clock World – the Vogues
  3. Erosion of the 8-hour day:
    1. Whatever Happened to the 8-Hour Day? – Anne Feeney
    2. In Tall Buildings – John Hartford (oblique, will need some explanation)
  4. The need for available work:
    1. All I Want – the Almanac Singers
    2. Aragon Mill – Hazel Dickens
    3. Banks of Marble – the Weavers
  5. The need for work that pays a living wage in the face of inflation:
    1. 11 Cent Cotton, 40 Cent Meat – Bobby Miller
    2. 16 Tons – Tom Morello
    3. A Dollar Ain’t a Dollar Anymore – Union Boys
    4. Working Man Blues – Guitar Slim and Jelly Belly
  6. The need for safe working conditions:
    1. Chemical Worker’s Song – Crucible
    2. More than a Paycheck – Sweet Honey in the Rock
    3. Poverty Knock – Chumbawamba
  7. The need for the right and ability to organize:
    1. Joe Hill – Paul Robeson
    2. Solidarity Forever – the Union Boys and Burl Ives
    3. Talking Union – the Almanac Singers
    4. Which Side Are you On? – Tom Morello
    5. Union Song (live in Madison, WI) – Tom Morello
  8. The need for roses:
    1. Bread and Roses – the Unthanks
  9. What Can We Do About It (Besides Organizing)?
    1. Fare Ye Well, Bad Congressman – Lee Hays, Pete Seeger, Joe Glazer, Wood
    2. Be a Pain – Alastair Moock
    3. Workers’ Song – Dick Gaughan
    4. Guantanamera – Playing for Change
  10. Peace
    1. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
    2. Imagine – John Lennon
    3. Peace Train – Cat Stevens
    4. One Love/People Get Ready – Bob Marley
    5. Turn! Turn! Turn! – Roger McGuinn

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