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News :: Labor
May Day 2013 Reports
02 May 2013
This May Day, Bostonians held three separate events to mark International Workers Day. Below are reports from two of these events (the final report to come soon).
(Go to for reports with photos)

May Day March to East Boston Draws Thousands

by Jake Carman

On May 1st, 2013 at 5pm, around three thousand marchers poured into Central Square in East Cambridge, joining hundreds already gathered to welcome them on the long march from Chelsea, Everett, and Revere. Called by the May 1st Coalition, the annual march celebrates International Workers Day, and promotes immigration reform and a quick path to legalization for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrant workers (1) living in the United States.

Two feeder marches, one from Everett and one from Revere, merged at 4pm with a large rally in front of Chelsea city hall. From there, thousands paraded peacefully, chanting “Si se puede, (We can do it)” “Today we march, tomorrow we vote,” “We are a nation of immigrants,” and “Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha (Obama, we are in the struggle).” Some of the many organizations present included Chelsea United Against the Wars, Chelsea Collaborative, City Life/Vida Urbana, FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front – the ruling leftist party in El Salvador), Brazilian Mothers Group, The Industrial Workers of the World, Unite Here Local 26, Common Struggle/Lucha Común, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The marchers were workers, both documented and not, from all across the Boston area, of every age and nationality.

May Day as International Workers Day harkens back to 1886, when Chicago’s workers led a national general strike for the eight hour day on May 1st. The movement gained global renown after the May 4th Haymarket Massacre, when police and anarchists clashed over the police shooting of striking

workers on a picket line the previous day. (2) Though celebrated in over 80 countries around the world, May Day isn’t recognized in the United States where it began. The modern Immigrant Workers Movement revived May Day in the United States with the 2006 Great American Boycott. Local and International media (corporate media…that is) failed to cover this year’s mass gathering in East Boston.

“By the numbers: How America tallies its 11.1 million undocumented immigrants”
NBC News

“How Migrant Workers Won the Eight-hour Day: A History of May Day”
BAAM Newsletter

May Day Rally at Boston City Hall
By John Cleary

In the early afternoon of May 1st, 2013, about 40 or 50 people gathered in front of Boston City Hall to celebrate International Workers Day and rally for the rights of immigrants and workers. While the crowd was small, the energy of the speakers and performers attracted passers-by who stopped and listened. Representatives from groups such as the Boston Chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Pirate Party, Occupy Boston, Common Struggle/Lucha Común, and others spoke about immigrant rights, worker rights, and issues affecting our community such as opposing the casino in East Boston, stopping unfair and discriminatory layoffs at Harvard, and the Bangladesh factory collapse. The rally organizers urged people to join the march and rally taking place in East Boston once the Boston rally was concluded.
See also:

This work is in the public domain