International Workers' Day or Labour Day is celebrated on May 1st around the world and in Catalonia, where it is known as Dia Internacional dels Treballadors is a public holiday, is no exception.
May 1st was established as the day dedicated to the fight for workers' rights at the Socialist Workers Congress held in Paris in 1889 in commemoration of the anarchists, known as the Martyrs of Chicago, who were executed accused of the Haymarket massacre.
It was decided that workers would strike on May 1st in order to force the bosses to accept the 8-hour working day, which was ultimately successful and so May 1st gradually became accepted as International Workers' Day around the world.
Although the atmosphere is more festive these days, in Catalonia there are still demonstrations in major towns and cities, including Barcelona, Lleida, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Girona, and Tarragona, normally led by unions such as Comissions Obreres and Unió General de Treballadors as well as Confederació Nacional del Treball, la Coordinadora Obrera Sindical and la Intersindical-CSC.
There are also more militant anti-capitalist demonstrations organised by Confederació General del Treball, Esquerra Independentista (COS, SEPC, CUP, Endavant, Arran), Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya, Partit Comunista del Poble de Catalunya, Revolta Global, Coordinadora Repartim el Treball i la Riquesa and neighbourhood assemblies that came out of 15-M.
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