May Day メーデーについて。

The Brief Origins of May Day


industrial workers of the world

インダストリアル ワーカーズ オブ ザ ワールド
国際工業労働者組合 のサイトより。

by Eric Chase  エリック チェイス著

Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers' Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as "American" as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.


Beltane ベルティンのお祭りはアイルランド人やスコットランド人等が含まれるケルト人の夏の到来をお祝いする日、5月に行われた。

In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Jack London's The Iron Heel. As early as the 1860's, working people agitated to shorten the workday without a cut in pay, but it wasn't until the late 1880's that organized labor was able to garner enough strength to declare the 8-hour workday. This proclamation was without consent of employers, yet demanded by many of the working class.

19世紀の末期、労働者階級は常に一日8時間労働を得る為格闘していました。労働条件は厳しく危険な条件で一日10~16時間労働は良くある事でした。死や怪我はどの職場でも普通の事でアップトン シンクレアーの“ジャングル”やジャック ロンドンの“ザアイアン ヒール“等の著書を発表させる原因となりました。早くは1860年代に労働者達は賃金の引き下げ無しに労働時間の短縮を要求し騒ぎ立てていましたが組合労働者達が一日8時間労働を宣言するだけの勢力を集結できたのは1880年代になってからでした。この声明は雇用主達の同意は得ていませんだしたが多くの労働者階級によって要求されました。

At this time, socialism was a new and attractive idea to working people, many of whom were drawn to its ideology of working class control over the production and distribution of all goods and services. Workers had seen first-hand that Capitalism benefited only their bosses, trading workers' lives for profit. Thousands of men, women and children were dying needlessly every year in the workplace, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some industries, and little hope but death of rising out of their destitution. Socialism offered another option.


A variety of socialist organizations sprung up throughout the later half of the 19th century, ranging from political parties to choir groups. In fact, many socialists were elected into governmental office by their constituency. But again, many of these socialists were ham-strung by the political process which was so evidently controlled by big business and the bi-partisan political machine. Tens of thousands of socialists broke ranks from their parties, rebuffed the entire political process, which was seen as nothing more than protection for the wealthy, and created anarchist groups throughout the country. Literally thousands of working people embraced the ideals of anarchism, which sought to put an end to all hierarchical structures (including government), emphasized worker controlled industry, and valued direct action over the bureaucratic political process. It is inaccurate to say that labor unions were "taken over" by anarchists and socialists, but rather anarchists and socialist made up the labor unions.


At its national convention in Chicago, held in 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (which later became the American Federation of Labor), proclaimed that "eight hours shall constitute a legal day's labor from and after May 1, 1886." The following year, the FOTLU, backed by many Knights of Labor locals, reiterated their proclamation stating that it would be supported by strikes and demonstrations. At first, most radicals and anarchists regarded this demand as too reformist, failing to strike "at the root of the evil." A year before the Haymarket Massacre, Samuel Fielden pointed out in the anarchist newspaper, The Alarm, that "whether a man works eight hours a day or ten hours a day, he is still a slave."

1884年にシカゴで開催された全国大会で“組織化された職業と労働者組合連合”(後に米労働組合連合となる)は“一日8時間労働は1886年5月1日から合法となるべきだ!”と宣言しました。翌年、各地の会員制労働者グループによって支持されたFOTLU(組織化された職業と労働者組合連合)はストライクスやデモによって(一日8時間労働宣言は)支持されるだろうと述べ同じ宣言(1884年シカゴ)を繰り返しました。最初殆どの急進派とアナキスト達はこの(8時間労働)宣言を余りにもリフォーミスト(改革論者的----実際には無力な左派インタレクチュアル)と捉え“悪の根源”としてストライクを行う事を怠りました。ヘイマーケットの虐殺の前年サミュエル フィールデンは“警報”と言うアナキストの新聞で“人が一日8時間働こうとも10時間働こうとも彼は奴隷である(事に変わりは無い)!”と指摘しています。

Reformist リフォーミスト 改革論者は Eduard Bernstein エドワード バーンスタイン等が提唱した社会を徐々に改革していった方が結果的には革命的に社会を改革するよりも完全に出来るという思想。アナキズムやレーニンのボルシェビッキ的革命的社会主義と対立した。

Despite the misgivings of many of the anarchists, an estimated quarter million workers in the Chicago area became directly involved in the crusade to implement the eight hour work day, including the Trades and Labor Assembly, the Socialistic Labor Party and local Knights of Labor. As more and more of the workforce mobilized against the employers, these radicals conceded to fight for the 8-hour day, realizing that "the tide of opinion and determination of most wage-workers was set in this direction." With the involvement of the anarchists, there seemed to be an infusion of greater issues than the 8-hour day. There grew a sense of a greater social revolution beyond the more immediate gains of shortened hours, but a drastic change in the economic structure of capitalism.


proclamation printed just before May 1, 1886, one publisher appealed to working people with this plea:

Workingmen to Arms!
War to the Palace, Peace to the Cottage, and Death to LUXURIOUS IDLENESS.
The wage system is the only cause of the World's misery. It is supported by the rich classes, and to destroy it, they must be either made to work or DIE.
One pound of DYNAMITE is better than a bushel of BALLOTS!
MAKE YOUR DEMAND FOR EIGHT HOURS with weapons in your hands to meet the capitalistic bloodhounds, police, and militia in proper manner.

Not surprisingly the entire city was prepared for mass bloodshed, reminiscent of the railroad strike a decade earlier when police and soldiers gunned down hundreds of striking workers. On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public's eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.


The names of many - Albert Parsons, Johann Most, August Spies and Louis Lingg - became household words in Chicago and throughout the country. Parades, bands and tens of thousands of demonstrators in the streets exemplified the workers' strength and unity, yet didn't become violent as the newspapers and authorities predicted.

アルバート パーソン、ジョン モスト、オーガスト スパイス、そしてルイス リグ等の多くの名前はシカゴとそして全国で御馴染みの言葉となったのです。パレード、バンド、街頭の何万人ものデモ参加者達は労働者の力と結束を代表し、しかも新聞や権威の予測とは反対に暴力的はなりませんでした。

More and more workers continued to walk off their jobs until the numbers swelled to nearly 100,000, yet peace prevailed. It was not until two days later, May 3, 1886, that violence broke out at the McCormick Reaper Works between police and strikers.


For six months, armed Pinkerton agents and the police harassed and beat locked-out steelworkers as they picketed. Most of these workers belonged to the "anarchist-dominated" Metal Workers' Union. During a speech near the McCormick plant, some two hundred demonstrators joined the steelworkers on the picket line. Beatings with police clubs escalated into rock throwing by the strikers which the police responded to with gunfire. At least two strikers were killed and an unknown number were wounded.


Pinkerton ピンカートン (Pinkerton National Detective Agency)俗にPinkertonsピンカートンズはピンカートン探偵事務所の事。合衆国の悪名高いセキュリティーガード会社、エイブラハムリンカーンのセキュリティーガードとしても有名。ピンカートンは最盛期米合衆国の軍隊よりも多くの傭兵を抱えていた。労働運動が盛んだった時期カーネギー等の資本家に雇われ労働者と対立した事で映画や小説では悪役として現れるのが普通。現在も存在する会社。
Full of rage, a public meeting was called by some of the anarchists for the following day in Haymarket Square to discuss the police brutality. Due to bad weather and short notice, only about 3000 of the tens of thousands of people showed up from the day before. This affair included families with children and the mayor of Chicago himself. Later, the mayor would testify that the crowd remained calm and orderly and that speaker August Spies made "no suggestion... for immediate use of force or violence toward any person..."


As the speech wound down, two detectives rushed to the main body of police, reporting that a speaker was using inflammatory language, inciting the police to march on the speakers' wagon. As the police began to disperse the already thinning crowd, a bomb was thrown into the police ranks. No one knows who threw the bomb, but speculations varied from blaming any one of the anarchists, to an agent provocateur working for the police.


Enraged, the police fired into the crowd. The exact number of civilians killed or wounded was never determined, but an estimated seven or eight civilians died, and up to forty were wounded. One officer died immediately and another seven died in the following weeks. Later evidence indicated that only one of the police deaths could be attributed to the bomb and that all the other police fatalities had or could have had been due to their own indiscriminate gun fire. Aside from the bomb thrower, who was never identified, it was the police, not the anarchists, who perpetrated the violence.


Eight anarchists - Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer and Louis Lingg - were arrested and convicted of murder, though only three were even present at Haymarket and those three were in full view of all when the bombing occurred. The jury in their trial was comprised of business leaders in a gross mockery of justice similar to the Sacco-Vanzetti case thirty years later, or the trials of AIM and Black Panther members in the seventies. The entire world watched as these eight organizers were convicted, not for their actions, of which all of were innocent, but for their political and social beliefs. On November 11, 1887, after many failed appeals, Parsons, Spies, Engel and Fisher were hung to death. Louis Lingg, in his final protest of the state's claim of authority and punishment, took his own life the night before with an explosive device in his mouth.

8人のアナキスト達---アルバート パーソンズ、オーガスト スパイス、サミュエル フィールデン、オスカー ニービ、マイケル シュワッブ、ジョージ エンゲル、エイドルフ フィシャー、そしてルイス リグ、は爆弾が爆破した時彼等の3人だけがヘイマーケットにいて其の3人は群集から完全に見える所に居たにも拘らず逮捕され殺人罪で有罪となりました。彼等の裁判の陪審員は30年後のサッコとヴァンゼッティの件、若しくは1970年代のAIMとブラックパンサーのメンバーの裁判と同じ様に、司法を甚だしく馬鹿にし、ビジネスの指導者達で構成されていました。この8人のオーガナイザーが彼等全員が無罪である彼等の行為の為ではなく、彼等の政治的そして社会的信条の為有罪判決を受けるのを全世界が見守っていました。1887年11月11日、何度もの不成功な上訴の後パーソンズ、スパイス、エンゲル、そしてフィシャーは絞首刑になりました。ルイスリグは政府の権威と刑罰に対する彼の最後の抗議として死刑の前夜口の中の爆発装置で自殺したのです。

AIM American Indian Movement (AIM),アメリカンインデアンムーブメント、合衆国のインデアンアクティビストの組織。

Black Panther  (Black Panther Party)ブラックパンサー合衆国の黒人の自己防衛組織。

The remaining organizers, Fielden, Neebe and Schwab, were pardoned six years later by Governor Altgeld, who publicly lambasted the judge on a travesty of justice. Immediately after the Haymarket Massacre, big business and government conducted what some say was the very first "Red Scare" in this country. Spun by mainstream media, anarchism became synonymous with bomb throwing and socialism became un-American. The common image of an anarchist became a bearded, eastern European immigrant with a bomb in one hand and a dagger in the other.


"Red Scare" レッド スケアー。 “赤に対する恐怖”と言う意味で1917~1920年と1947~1957年代のアメリカで吹き荒れた日本で言われる“赤狩り”が有名。1917~1920年の“レッド スケアー”はロシアのボルシェビッキ革命により勇気づけられた社会改革運動に対するヒステリー的政府の反応。1947~1957年の“レッド スケアー”では当時特にハリウッドの映画監督、作家等は社会主義者、共産党員等が多く、彼等の多くが映画業界から追放処分を受けた。マッカシー議員により扇動されたが最終的には彼の没落によって終焉する。

Today we see tens of thousands of activists embracing the ideals of the Haymarket Martyrs and those who established May Day as an International Workers' Day. Ironically, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but rarely is it recognized in this country where it began.


Over one hundred years have passed since that first May Day. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the US government tried to curb the celebration and further wipe it from the public's memory by establishing "Law and Order Day" on May 1. We can draw many parallels between the events of 1886 and today. We still have locked out steelworkers struggling for justice. We still have voices of freedom behind bars as in the cases of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier. We still had the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the streets of a major city to proclaim "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!" at the WTO and FTAA demonstrations.

最初のメーデーから100年以上が経ちました。20世紀の前半アメリカ合衆国政府はこの御祝いを制限し、そして其れ以上に“法律と秩序の日”を5月1日に制定し民衆のメーデーの記憶を消し去ろうと企みました。我々は1886年の事件と現在の事件の間に多くの類似点を見る事ができます。我々は未だに正義の為に戦うスティール工業労働者達を工場から締め出しています。我々は未だにムミア アブ ジャマルや レオナードペルティアーの例の様な鉄格子の内側からの自由の声の存在を知っています。我々は“此れが民主主義がどの様に見えるかと言う事だ!(此れが民主主義の姿だ!)』と宣言してWTOやFTAAに対してのデモで何万人もの人々を主要都市の街角に動員出来る能力を持っているのです。

Mumia Abu Jamal  ムミア アブ ジャマル  黒人のジャーナリスト。警官の殺人罪で死刑を宣告されたが不公平な裁判だった為彼の有罪は疑われている。刑務所よりラジオ番組を制作、其のLive from Death Row(ライヴ フロム デス ロー)はパシフィカレイディオでも放送されている。世界中で彼の死刑について反対運動が起こっている。

Leonard Peltier  レオナードペルティアー  AIMのメンバーだったアメリカインデアン、連邦警察官殺人で有罪判決を受けるが此れも不公平な裁判だった為彼の有罪判決についての反対運動が続けられてる。

Words stronger than any I could write are engraved on the Haymarket Monument:



OUR SILENCE “我々の沈黙”政府によるテロで殉教した、若しくは無実の罪により絞首刑で沈黙させられたヘイマーケットのアナキスト達の存在、思想、祈り。

Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted - people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we'll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.



ejnews: 今日はメーデー(メイデイの方が英語の発音に近い)のお話でした。翻訳した記事の或るサイトは日本でも有名なヘレン ケラーも組合員だったindustrial workers of the world(インダストリアル ワーカーズ オブ ザ ワールド国際工業労働者組合)と言う労働組合のサイトのメーデーについてでした。
 この組合は全ての労働者が職種に拘りなく協力して一つのゴールを目指すと言う考えにより他の組合の参加者もメンバーとして参加出来る国際的な組織です。現在では有名なノム チョムスキーが組合員カードを持っている或る特定の労働運動の反骨精神のシンボル的な存在ですが、労働運動を通して現在我々が享受している(派遣社員等の状況を考えると我々は彼等が戦い取った権利を資本家層に又手渡してしまった様ですが)権利だけでなく彼等の主張を通して現在の民主主義のスタンダードが確立されていった当時の重要な労働組合の一つなのです。

Aristotle アリストテレス曰く。

In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.”



にほんブログ村 海外生活ブログ アメリカ情報へ にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 時事英語へ にほんブログ村 英語ブログへ にほんブログ村 ニュースブログ 海外ニュースへ


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和久希世さん、コメントありがとうございます。日本とアメリカの近年の政治情勢や労働条件の悪化を見ているとジェームス マディソンの言った『自殺しない民主主義は無い!』と言うのは本当のようですね。

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先日ejnewsさんが「官僚が悪いのは政治家の怠慢が原因なのではないだろうか」に下さったコメントに触発されて、下記のようなコメントを書いたのですが、お目に触れにくいコメント欄ですので、ちょっと表に出したくなりました。 日本人がエコノミックアニマルと言われるよ