April 13, 2019 – May Day in Nevada County usually means maypoles and the coming of spring, but there’s another May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, that focuses on workers. It is this May Day that the Nevada County Left Coalition in partnership with the Nevada County Peace and Justice Center will be celebrating on Wednesday, May 1, from 3-8 p.m. at Seaman’s Lodge in Nevada City.
This will be a free, family-friendly event for all those who want to stand in solidarity with workers, waged and unwaged. It will be a potluck, so please bring a dish to share. There will be speakers, music, art and children’s activities.
The origin of this international holiday dates back to the Haymarket Affair of 1886, a brutal repression of workers agitating for an 8-hour work day that took place in Chicago. May Day commemorates this struggle and the loss of those killed at Haymarket, while celebrating the victories that would follow and all workers’ struggles.
Featured speakers at the event will include Angelica Niblock of California Solar Electric Company, a Grass Valley solar company in the process of transitioning from a single owner into a worker-owned cooperative. Such cooperatives are a form of workplace organization considered by many to be a democratic step forward, and a possible solution to some of the excesses of the current economic system.
“I’m participating in May Day because I want to stand in solidarity with our community’s labor activists,” says Niblock, Senior Project Manager at Cal-Solar. “Workers’ self-management is a principle of the labor movement and workers’ co-ops.”
Niblock says that she has been practicing democratic management in her role at California Solar for years, and is excited to be embarking on the next leg of the journey of forming a workers co-op.
“I hope that more people can see the value in self-management and will consider what cooperatives can do for them,” she says. Actions like this, she says, “can make Nevada County a better place to live, with more prosperity and peace for all its residents.”
In addition to the two co-sponsors of the event, also present will be Central Foothills Democratic Socialists of America and climate change activists Extinction Rebellion.
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What: International Workers’ Day Celebration
Date: May 1, 2019 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Seaman’s Lodge, Nevada City
Cost: Free. Food will be potluck style so bring a dish to share