May Day Celebration on the New Haven Green

by Melinda Tuhus, CT Climate Crisis Mobilization

This year’s May Day on the Green in New Haven marked International Workers Day with a new generation of activists. That was the view of Paula and Frank Panzarella, who initiated and organized May Days in New Haven for 25 years.

“It was nice to see others pick up the banner,” said Frank, complimenting the work done by Unidad Latina en Acción. “I was glad to see the Latino community come out, and it was great to see new young political activists with a variety of leftist parties. I think John Lugo and Megan Fountain did a really good job of putting it together. It’s hard to do on such a short time frame.”

Frank’s band, the Eclektics, played a long set geared more to the older crowd, joined for some songs by vocalist Renee Luna. A rock band of young musicians expressed their own political views in song. Several Latino bands played on the Green and during the march.

There was a table with literature highlighting the history of May Day, when workers in the U.S. – mostly immigrants – fought to establish the 8-hour workday in 1886. Violence erupted at the Chicago protest and police arrested the organizers; several were hanged. Those workers’ struggles for decent wages, working conditions, and dignity sparked the workers’ movement celebrated around the world on May Day.

“There was a reason why May 1 was picked to be the day to push for immigrant rights starting in 2006,” said Paula.

Speakers mentioned current fights for workers’ rights; the need for socialism; the connection between immigration and the climate crisis and why groups espousing immigrant rights and action on climate must work together to achieve their goals; and the fight for universal health care, among other issues. A member of ULA demanded “hero pay” for essential workers who risked their lives during the pandemic. Rep. Robyn Porter, co-chair of the state legislature’s Labor Committee, said the General Assembly has expanded health care for undocumented children to 12 and under from 8 and under, but she is fighting to extend it to age 18. She added that those under 12 who sign up will be covered until age 18.

The Haven free clinic offered free COVID test kits and masks, and Griffin Hospital had a tent nearby offering COVID vaccines.

Young children ran around the Green sporting creative face paint. “It was perfect weather to be out and about, joining in a community event, meeting old friends and new people, a relaxed atmosphere for sharing ideas and philosophy, and enjoying fun performances,” Paula said.

“We need to keep the ‘social’ in socialism to work together to figure things out,” Frank added. “I think it’s getting stronger. I’m glad they did the march because the issues for immigrants are still out there.”

After the four-hour celebration on the Green, complete with an endless supply of pizza (“the workers’ food,” John quipped), young and older set off on a march around downtown, stopping at points of protest or celebration – like recent moves to unionize at the College Street Music Hall and at a hotel on Chapel Street. The march ended on the campus of Yale University, where marchers demanded that Yale – with an endowment that ballooned to $42.3 billion during the pandemic – contribute more to its impoverished host city, especially when low-income residents are being pushed out due to rapidly rising rents.

May Day, International Workers’ Day Events

Saturday, May 1, New Haven, noon – 4 p.m. rally and march
May 1 is a critical time to take to the streets in a broad coalition for migrant justice and worker justice. Unidad Latina en Acción is convening a “Day Without Immigrants” massive rally on the New Haven Green, and a march at 4 p.m. For information go to ULA’s Facebook page or call (475) 323-9413.

March & Rally to Demand a Long Term Caregivers Bill of Rights at 12 p.m. Event at the Governor’s Mansion, by SEIU District 1199 New England, 15 Trinity St, Hartford. They call us heroes, but on the job – Home Care, Group Home, and Nursing Home workers – we are treated like we’re expendable. May 1st is International Workers’ Day – and we’re calling on Governor Lamont to CARE FOR CAREGIVERS by ending the cycle of structural racism that devalues the work of predominantly Black, Brown, and working class white women who work in long term care.

We are gathering in the northwest corner of Elizabeth Park in West Hartford and marching the half-mile up Asylum Ave. and turning onto Prospect St. to rally in front of the Governor’s mansion.

Free parking and socially distanced shuttle bus beginning at 11:15 from the 1199 office at 77 Huyshope Ave, Hartford. More info: www.facebook.com/events/466564707915332

Workers of the World Unite for an Equitable RECOVERY FOR ALL Sunday, May 2, at 4 p.m. EDT (US & Canada) via Zoom. Host Contact Info: ct-pww@pobox.com.

May Day 2021, International Workers’ Day, comes one year into the COVID-19 crisis, as workers resist racial and economic inequalities and demand fundamental change and a Recovery for All. Come together in unity & solidarity for a special rally hosted by CT People’s World.
Spanish language interpretation will be provided.

Rally Program:

  • Special Guest: RECOVERY FOR ALL Coalition Members;
  • Panel discussion with 1199 workers, Husky For Immigrants, Yale Union workers, also public workers from AFT on the front lines of the fight for essential workers and all workers;
  • Slide show of resistance and victories by workers on all continents, including in CT during COVID-19, challenging giant corporate profits from the impoverishment of working people;
  • Solidarity actions and demands.

Register now using the link below. After registering, you will get a confirmation email with information about joining the rally.

PeoplesWorld.org has extensive coverage of the COVID-19 crisis and struggles for racial, economic and climate justice on the side of the multi-racial working class. Contributions are welcomed to help People’s World get over economic problems due to the pandemic, and continue to contribute to the labor and people’s movements and thrive. Please mail donations to CT People’s World Committee, 37 Howe St., New Haven, CT 06511.

For more visit https://tinyurl.com/FB654654may-day-2021

May 1 Connecticut – Día de Trabajadores

by Unidad Latina en Acción and CT Workers Crisis Response

Friday, May 1, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hartford.

From every corner of Connecticut, we will take to the streets of Hartford in a car rally on May Day, International Workers’ Day. At the same time, an online rally will amplify the demands of CT workers. In this crisis, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; and black people, Latinx people, and working people are the majority of the ones dying. The rich and powerful are demonstrating that they value their profits more than our lives. Workers and unemployed people are fed up. We are compelled to build a more just society that values our lives over their profits. Call us for rally details.

If you want to endorse… If you want to get involved… please sign up here: https://ulanewhaven.org/may-day-2020 Telephone: (203) 606-3484.

May Day 2020: International Worker Solidarity: COVID-19 and Beyond, Sunday, May 3, 3 p.m.

This year May Day, International Workers Day, comes in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Come together in solidarity and unity for a special one-hour May Day 2020 Rally hosted by CT People’s World:

INTERNATIONAL WORKER SOLIDARITY: COVID-19 AND BEYOND

Sunday, May 3 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. via Zoom and phone.

Register here: us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uEEDPXkeS4ybRusFhWFR9g

See on Facebook at May Day 2020: International Worker Solidarity: COVID and Beyond
Rally Program:
* Special Guest: Steve Noffke, UAW Local 600, Dearborn, Michigan
* Panel of Connecticut workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 and for workers rights
* Special slide show presentation of working-class struggles around the world
* Solidarity actions and demands
* Staying physically distant, but socially organized to put

People and Planet before Profits!
Register in advance:
us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uEEDPXkeS4ybRusFhWFR9g
After registering, you will get a confirmation email with information about joining the rally.

Happy May Day! Continue the Struggle for Justice!

by the PAR Planning Committee

Since the nationwide strike for the 8-hour workday in 1886, the first of May has become a historic day for the struggles of working people, and for over a hundred years May 1 has been celebrated as International Workers’ Day. Locally, in 1970, the May Day protests on the New Haven Green demanded freedom for Bobby Seale, justice for the Black Panthers, and the end of the Vietnam War. Starting in 1987 and continuing for thirty years on the Green, the annual May Day celebration each year brought together dozens of organizations to promote their work for labor rights, peace, human rights, and economic rights to the broader New Haven community. And since 2006, city-wide marches for immigrants’ rights are held on May 1. Peace, racism, police brutality, union struggles, fair wages, anti-war, immigration, a safe environment, criminal justice issues, labor history, welfare rights organizing, the right to healthcare — these are some of the struggles and issues in the celebration of international solidarity.

April was a month full of upsurge. From April 11-21, Stop & Shop workers from Connecticut, Rhode Island and

Massachusetts (31,000 workers) were on strike. The union considers the new contract a victory, preserving healthcare and retirement benefits and providing wage increases. The next strike in Connecticut will be unionized workers in nursing homes. They are scheduled to strike on May 1.

For days there have been massive protests and marches in New Haven and Hamden condemning the thoroughly unjustified Hamden and Yale police shooting in New Haven of two African-Americans in their early twenties on April 16. Thankfully, Stephanie Washington is recovering from her bullet wounds, and Paul Witherspoon was not hit. Video from the police body cameras has not yet been released. As of this writing, people will gather at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 6 at the Hamden Town Hall for the Legislative Council Meeting. We urge our readers to join in the many rallies for justice around these and other issues and be inspired by the many people at the forefront of these struggles for their lives and their livelihoods.

May Day/International Workers’ Day and Immigrants’ Rights Rally and March

Dozens of area organizations endorsed the day-long May Day and immigrants’ rights rally on the New Haven Green where many hundreds enjoyed entertainment, speakers and exhibits. The day ended with a march from downtown through Grand Avenue, a great example of networking and building a local coalition of resistance. In addition to the sponsors listed on the flyers, there were many more that helped build this day of action, such as Progressive Action Roundtable, People Against Injustice, May Day Celebration Committee, Food Not Bombs, the Shoreline Green Party and GNH Labor History Association.

The support and solidarity for this year’s May Day was broad. Among the speakers prior to the march was Mayor Toni Harp, who declared that New Haven will remain a city welcoming to immigrants.
RESIST Foundation, which awarded a generous grant for the event, wants more people to know about their work so potential applicants and donors will be aware of Radical Philanthropy. Contact them at 259 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144. Telephone: (617) 623-5110.

Website: resist.org.
Local TV station WTNH posted a video on its website with its news story: wtnh.com/2017/05/01/ new-haven-may-day-protests-take-on-new-urgency-under-trump/

Celebrate May Day May 1 with International Workers’ Day Rally and General Strike

Call for General Strike on May 1!

For full video coverage of the May Day festivities, visit http://www.thestruggle.org/Mayday%202017%20in%20New%20Haven.htm.

The rally begins with speakers and performers on the New Haven Green from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, May 1, and will be followed by a Solidarity March starting at 5 p.m.

New Haven joins a call for a nationwide strike to demonstrate our economic power by not going to work, not going to school and stopping business as usual. We aim to highlight the economic power of workers: immigrants, women, Muslims, LGBTQ folks, Native Americans and African Americans and every other marginalized group that is currently under attack by the Trump administration.

We are asking you to join us and show solidarity: close your business on May 1; don’t go to work; don’t go to school.

Join the rally on the New Haven Green from 12 to 5 p.m. Speakers, live music, children’s activities, and a May pole! Join local justice, peace, equality, and labor groups as well as social service organizations, educators, students, healthcare workers, artists and ALL people on the Green.

Join the international workers’ march from the Green through Fair Haven at 5 p.m.

Funded in part by a grant from RESIST, Somerville, MA; web: http://resist.org; phone: (617) 623-5110.

Plans for May Day 2016 Have Started! Help Bring this World-Wide Holiday to the New Haven Green

by Jeff Spalter, May Day Celebration Committee

It’s time to start planning May Day again. This will be our 30th May Day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful year and in the midst of melting snow you are ready to bring on Spring by focusing on our important event. The peace and social justice struggles at home and around the world bring hope and comfort and make life meaningful. It’s time again to wake up the Green with our demands, our solidarity and a magnificent multi-cultural festival.

maypole-smallThe 2016 May Day celebration will be on Sunday, May 1, from 12-5 p.m. on the New Haven Green. Please come to our meetings or contact me directly about what you would like to see at May Day or what you can do to help. This is a free space for expression where the people will be heard!

By the time you receive this newsletter, we will have had our second meeting. Please call or e-mail me about our next meetings and join us. If you are unable to attend meetings there are still lots of ways to participate. We need help fundraising, ideas for performers, help contacting area activists and groups, help to publicize May Day and lots of volunteers on the day to set up, staff tables and clean up.
Thank you!

Jeff Spalter (203) 843-3069 jeffreyspalter@netzero.net, http://www.maydaynewhaven.org

May Day’s mission statement is to organize a multi-cultural festival that honors and celebrates our labor history and the labor, peace, social service and social justice groups that today continue the struggle for peace and human rights.

May Day 2015 Celebration Saturday, May 2

by Jeff Spalter, May Day Celebration Committee

poster-jpg-small

Our first meeting was well-attended and lively. We decided May Day will be Saturday May 2 from 12-5 p.m. on the New Haven Green with a rain date for the following day. We decided that the best part of last year’s event was the emphasis on kid-friendly entertainment. We also talked about how May Day was different because anyone is welcome to talk from the stage or set up any art project.

Download the registration form here (pdf) or,

download it here in Word format, fill it out on your computer and email it to jeffreyspalter@netzero.net.

Download the poster here to put up where people might see it and become interested in this event.

Please tell all your creative friends to contact me and participate in our festival. Please write me with ideas for entertainment and organizations or businesses that might help us out financially. We talked about how May Day this year will proclaim that while labor is under attack across this country we know that labor unions are a worker’s only friend and best hope.

Our next meeting to plan May Day 2015 will be Saturday, March 28 at noon at Books and Co., 1235 Whitney Ave, Hamden.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please email or call me because there are lots of ways to participate without attending meetings. We need help fundraising, ideas for performers, help contacting area activists and groups, help to publicize May Day and volunteers on the day to set up, run and clean up.

Thank you.

Jeff Spalter (203) 843-3069 www.maydaynewhaven.org.

May Day mission statement: to organize a multi-cultural festival that honors and celebrates our labor history and the labor, peace, social service and social justice groups that today continue the struggle for peace and human rights.