Repressed IV: May Day-Posters, Prints, Parades and Proactivity

by | Apr 29, 2009 | ART

May 1st, International Worker’s Day, celebrates an ongoing, worldwide workers’ struggle. Originally, the international holiday was in remembrance of the 1880s fight for an eight-hour workday during a time when workers were forced to work inhumanly long hours. Nationally, we fail to recognize this holiday, which marks the famous strikes for the right to a reasonable workday by an estimated 500,000 workers.  Originating in Chicago, the strikes soon spread nationally.



May 1st, International Worker’s Day, celebrates an ongoing, worldwide workers’ struggle. Originally, the international holiday was in remembrance of the 1880s fight for an eight-hour workday during a time when workers were forced to work inhumanly long hours. Nationally, we fail to recognize this holiday, which marks the famous strikes for the right to a reasonable workday by an estimated 500,000 workers.  Originating in Chicago, the strikes soon spread nationally.


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The resilient Chicago workers’ rights leaders – Albert Parsons, August Spies, Adolph Fischer and George Engel – were executed by the United States Government in response to a bomb being thrown at a rally on May 3rd. The bombing was in retaliation to acts of police brutality, leading to the deaths of six workers and several wounded during the Chicago May 1st strikes. Their lives are celebrated through International Worker’s Day. 

This struggle is still relevant today with issues such as migrant workers’ rights, women’s equal pay for equal work, sweatshop labor, economic hit men, economic imperialism and outsourcing. People travel to places far from home and their comfort zone to show solidarity with an international struggle for the right to be treated humanly in a collapsing system. We invite all artists who are involved in this struggle to exhibit your work in our upcoming exhibition, “Repressed IV: May Day”.


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May’s First Fridays Art Walk happens to be on May Day. So in light of this fortuitous coincidence the May exhibition at Gallery5 will be a celebration of workers’ rights through art, education and action!

“There will come a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!” – Spies, August, upon his execution.


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For the full details on Repressed IV: May Day, Power To the Poster, and All The Saints Theater Company’s May Day Parade go to www.gallery5arts.org

Matt Ringer

Matt Ringer

A meat popsicle.




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