Arise, ye wretched of the earth!

In the US, today is Law Day. So the President reminds us to “celebrate the Constitution and the laws that protect our rights and liberties.” For the rest of the world it’s May Day, which actually followed, not preceded, the September Labor Day. But it remains the international day of labor, or labour. The irony is that its origins are thoroughly American. It was chosen as the day to celebrate labor by the anti-socialist US labor leader Samuel Gompers and has come to mark the Haymarket massacre of 1886 in Chicago. It still inspires occassions for pushing workers’ rights, especially in the world’s South. In Daily News and Analysis:

KOLKATA: Thousands of sex workers from different parts of West Bengal on Tuesday took out a May Day torch rally from the Sonagachi red light area, demanding social rights and the status of a regular worker.

Over 3,000 sex workers participated in the rally that started from Sonagachi at midnight and ended at College Square in north Kolkata on Tuesday.

Sonagachi is the largest red light district in West Bengal and one of the biggest in Asia with more than 10,000 sex workers living in the same area.

“We organised the torch rally involving all the sex workers of Sonagachi and many other districts with the hope to bring them under one roof of equality. Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), the apex body of sex workers in Bengal, has been fighting for the rights of sex workers since the inception of the organisation in 1995,” Mahasweta Mukherjee, a spokesperson of DMSC said.

Happy May Day!