Anti-capitalist and anarchist demonstrators rally around a fire at the Pine and Broadway intersection in downtown Seattle during their annual May Day celebration. Anarchists and labor activists alike have celebrated May Day for over a century in commemoration of the 1887 travesty of justice in Chicago that resulted in the hanging of 4 anarchists, known as the Haymarket Martyrs, because of their political beliefs. Traditionally, people march on May 1st to act in solidarity with the Haymarket Martyrs as well as honor the labor struggles that won the 8-hour workday, but recently the holiday has seen a people in immigration struggles marching for farmworker justice and immigrant rights.
Galen Herz, 20, took part in the anti-capitalist march on Thursday, and has celebrated Mayday for several years. “I’m out here today because capitalism treats workers like they are tools,” Herz said. “We are not disposable, we are human. Wealth inequality is out of control, and this is due to collusion between the state and capitalists. This incessant economic growth will lead to more in poverty and the destruction of our planet’s climate and resources. We anarchists critique these unjustified hierarchies of power and will fight the status quo.”
The anti-capitalist march in Seattle was preceded by an immigrant rights march, in which an estimated 7 to 10,000 people took part. Although past years have seen intense political violence and heavy-handed police repression in response, this year’s anti-capitalist march was relatively peaceful, with 10 arrests and minimal attacks from the police.