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Upstream


May 1, 2024

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Militant workers, strikes, murder, dynamite, massacres—working class history is stained with the blood of martyrs and the atrocities of the ruling classes—a centuries-long struggle of class war that began at the dawn of capitalism itself.

On today’s episode we're recognizing and celebrating International Workers’ Day, held every year on this day—May 1st. The history of this day goes all the way back to the late 1800s, and yes, it includes massacres and strikes and dynamite. It's a story about class war—quite literally. And we’ve brought on the perfect guest to tell us about it.

John is a researcher at Working Class History—an online people's history project that includes a daily calendar of working class historical events, a longform and a daily podcast, a stories app, a map app, and much more. 

In this episode John recounts the harrowing, violent, and sometimes humorous stories of how International Workers’ Day came to be what it is today. We explore this day’s legacy from the 1880s to the present, what working conditions were like in the late 19th century and how they resemble our current conditions, and why it's important to keep the legacy and lessons from this important day in our hearts, minds—and in our actions.

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