A group of us are trying to bring May Day back to the Green and make it what it was meant to be, a family day, a fun day, a day to celebrate the solidarity of the working class.

May Day event at Free Wheel North. Monday May 1st. Bringing May Day back to the green. The workers day and celebration of spring, out in the open where it belongs.

It will be a day to meet up with friends and comrades and have a friendly afternoon.  May Day belongs to the people, and belongs on the Green, let’s bring it back.

Our May Day History

May Day has been a festive holiday for centuries.  As a workers’ holiday, May Day arises from events that took place in Chicago in 1886 when a bomb exploded as police charged a rally. Four of the organizers were unjustly executed although they were not responsible for the bomb. In July 1889, the Socialist International called for rallies on May 1st, 1890, out of respect for those executed and for the solidarity of the international working class.

On the first Sunday of May in 1891 the first May Day event in Glasgow took place on the Glasgow Green.

After 1891, the Left in Glasgow continued to commemorate May Day with a march to the Green.  In August 1914, John Maclean held his first anti-war protest on the Green. May Day in 1917 was huge, with 100,000 people on the Green. The next year, May Day was celebrated on May Day itself, a Wednesday, as thousands stopped working as a protest against the First World War.

The Glasgow City Council responded to this upsurge by banning rallies on the Green. Sporadic protests followed until in 1931 The United Socialist Movement, Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation and like minded groups organised civil disobedience on the Green. Their arrests led to unrest around the city and pushed the Council into revoking the by-law.

Throughout the Depression years of the 1930’s, and into the 1960s with the rallies protesting the Vietnam war, May Day on the Green remained an important focal point for dissent. To curb this, the City Council has imposed high fees on mass rallies on the Green, so May Day has not been celebrated on the Green for many years.

This May Day, as last year, we will be honouring our radical history and having fun, too. And we will be back on the Green.