Several progressive State College organizations plan to co-host a rally to commemorate International Workers' Day at noon on Saturday at the corner of Beaver Avenue and Allen Street, followed by an additional rally at Sidney Friedman Parklet from 12:30-3 p.m.
The two-part event will feature a rally at the People’s Corner first, then move to the park, where musicians and speakers from various organizations will perform, according to a press release from the Centre County Democratic Socialists of America.
The rallies are meant to serve as an outlet for workers across Centre County to come together to celebrate International Worker’s Day, also known as May Day. Though it is not officially recognized in the United States, the holiday holds its roots in Chicago.
Starting on May 1, 1886, workers in Chicago left their jobs and held protests across the city. After several days, police officers and protesters clashed at Haymarket Square, causing the deaths of several people. In the following years, the event would become known as the Haymarket Riots, and May 1 would soon become a day of commemoration across the world.
The organizations involved in the planning of the rallies said they want to recognize the struggles of the workers who protested, as well as those who were later prosecuted for their involvement, who became known as the Haymarket Martyrs.
According to the release, the organizations co-hosting the event include:
- Centre County Democratic Socialists of America
- Coalition of Graduate Employees
- United Socialists at Penn State
- Alleghenies Abolition
- Coalition for a Just University
- Centre County Public Health Not Punishment
- Centre County Freedom Fund
- 3/20 Coalition
- El Colectivo
“Like the Haymarket martyrs, many have given their lives for the cause of liberation,” organizers said via a press release. “In the spirit of all those who have fought for fair labour conditions and social justice, we convene this May Day rally.”
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