May Day 1919 was an important day in Cleveland’s history. During the year before, labor leader and presidential candidate Eugene Debs had been jailed for speaking out against war and the draft. On May Day, unionists, anarchists, socialists and communists took to the streets in protest, where they were met with brutal repression at the hands of the military, police, and local right-wing groups. Hundreds were arrested, local socialist offices were destroyed, and two people were killed.
The issues being protested 100 years ago are still deeply relevant today; for justice in immigration, in opposition to war and police brutality, and against capitalism.Local groups, working on these same fights, are coming together to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of those 100 years before us, while continuing to push these struggles forward. Join us in a May Day march followed by a rally in Public Square with speakers from across the labor movement.