Learning Resources & Tools for May Day

It’s almost May 1st! Have you made your plans for this year’s International Workers Day? We love May Day because it’s a celebration and recognition of our movement’s long fight for fundamental dignity and respect. So we thought we’d put together a few interesting resources to help you learn more about May Day or build popular education into your May Day program. Enjoy!

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Winning Debates About Unions & Workers’ Rights: Free TESA Curriculum

Maybe your organization is training spokespeople for your May Day march and you want to be prepared for hardball questions from journalists. Or maybe your frustrating uncle is bound to drop some anti-worker rhetoric at a summer family gathering. There are lots of good reasons to learn the anti-union, anti-worker claims that dominate so much of our political discourse today, and arm yourself to make clear, compelling counterarguments.

To that end, check out TESA’s free workers’ rights workshop curriculum! The workshop can last 2.5–4.5 hours, needs little more than a room and chairs, and is perfect for the pre-May Day week ahead.

“More Dangerous than a Thousand Rioters” — A video by Kelly Gallagher

Arguably, the radical roots of May Day have often been overlooked or forgotten. The famous day that we now commemorate each year actually took place in Chicago—and the incredible Lucy Parsons was a leader in it. Watch this beautiful, creative video by Kelly Gallagher to learn more about Lucy’s life, the seminal May Day strike and the Haymarket Affair, and her fearless dedication to working class struggle. You can also read an article in The Nation by Kelly explaining the piece.

The Power in Our Hands: A Classic Workers’ Rights Curriculum

While developed for high school students, this book full of curriculum is likely found in many union offices and workers’ centers today. The Power in Our Hands includes 5 units on labor issues ranging from strikes to systemic racism, and uses cultural material from Charlie Chaplin’s iconic Modern Times to labor songs. Each unit can be adapted to a range of workshops and settings, and is available as a free, separate download at the Zinn Education Project.

Finally, Rise Up: The Game of People & Power is coming out a few weeks after May Day! Pre-order your copy of the cooperative board game about building movements and beating oppressive systems.

Board game card with image of massive march. Text says: A general strike is declared!

A card from the upcoming Rise Up: The Game of People & Power

Looking for rallies, marches, and other actions to join on May 1st this year?

Poster available for download on the May 1st Shut It Down website

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