Published at 20:05 on 1 May 2012
Twenty years ago, May Day tended to pass unnoticed in most major American cities. There would be the odd small gathering or event here or there, many of them sponsored by creepy Stalinist cult groups aping the politics of the thoroughly disgusting Soviet bloc nations who had stolen the label of the radical Left and cloaked their tyranny in it.
It was but a dream that there would be enough people upset at what the capitalist hierarchy was doing to people and the planet to make a newsworthy disruption or two. That only happened in Europe, and served to reinforce that May Day as a political day of action was a European concept that was foreign to the United States.
Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. That meaning of May Day got its start in the heart of America, in Chicago in 1886. But I digress.
It was but a wish that anything close to that level of political consciousness could ever arise in the seemingly terminally passive and class-unconscious United States. Yet it has. Exaggerated and misreported though today’s events may be, it’s become a big enough thing in Seattle and a number of other cities that the one thing the Establishment media cannot do anymore is simply ignore it.
It’s a painfully slow process, and a messy one as well, but it’s underway at least. May it continue so that by the time I’m old and dying I can at least say I’ve lived through and participated in one of history’s more hopeful eras.