International Workers’ Day

May 1st — May Day — is just two days away. In addi­tion to mark­ing the Celtic fes­ti­val of Beltane, it’s also known as Inter­na­tion­al Work­ers’ Day, a cel­e­bra­tion of the inter­na­tion­al labour move­ment.

May Day is often marked by orga­nized street demon­stra­tions and march­es by work­ing peo­ple and their labour unions through­out much of the world. It’s a nation­al hol­i­day in more than 80 coun­tries, and is also cel­e­brat­ed unof­fi­cial­ly in many oth­er coun­tries. Today’s pro­gramme cel­e­brates the work­ing peo­ple of the world with a col­lec­tion of folk songs from the labour move­ment, work songs and songs of protest, par­tic­u­lar­ly from Britain and the Unit­ed States.

Wal­ter Crane’s illus­tra­tion shown above, from 1895, cel­e­brates both the tra­di­tion­al May Day and the labour move­ment. Inter­na­tion­al Work­ers’ Day itself is the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 1886 Hay­mar­ket affair in Chica­go, which occurred after an unknown per­son threw a dyna­mite bomb at police as they dis­persed a pub­lic assem­bly dur­ing a gen­er­al strike for the eight-hour work­day. In response, the Chica­go police fired on the work­ers killing dozens of demon­stra­tors and sev­er­al of their own offi­cers.

For more about Inter­na­tion­al Work­ers’ Day, see this Wikipedia arti­cle.


Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. If you are in the Unit­ed States, please click here to launch the Stream Licens­ing play­er. 

To lis­ten inter­na­tion­al­ly, click here to start your play­er if your brows­er is set up to pass streams to an exter­nal play­er or play streams direct­ly. 

You can also lis­ten via TuneIn, either with their web site or via the TuneIn App.

This pro­gramme is also avail­able in enhanced-qual­i­ty AAC. Tune in here: http://streams.radioriel.org:8090/stream

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