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The Origins of May Day

Denver General Strike May 1 poster image

Click for a poster-sized image.

May 1 and a General Strike for the 8-Hour Day
The origins of May Day, Chicago, Illinois, 1886

Committee Docs and Fliers

“Nutcracker” quarter-page flier listing Occupy Denver-sponsored events in Civic Center Park on May 1 (subject to change) – PDF in English and Spanish

All-Purpose May Day Flier for Denver (PDF) in English and Spanish

Initial Call-Out (PDF) in English and Spanish; html version here

4/17/12 Committee meeting minutes

4/10/12 Committee meeting minutes

4/3/12 Committee meeting minutes

3/27/12 Committee meeting minutes

3/20/12 Committee meeting minutes

3/13/12 Committee meeting minutes

3/6/12 Committee meeting minutes

2/25/12 Consulta and 2/28/12 Committee meeting minutesupdated 3/5/12

Community/Workplace Organizing Tips


The General Strike (Haywood) cover image

IWW and the General Strike

The General Strike, a speech by “Big Bill” Haywood, March 16, 1911

The General Strike by Ralph Chaplin, a pamphlet originally published in 1933, republished in 1985; Chaplin wrote the labor anthem “Solidarity Forever”

Madison – 2011
The general strike that didn’t happen: a report on the activity of the IWW in Wisconsin, By Juan Conatz and Brendan Sawyers, December 13, 2011

Kill the Bill: The Power of a General Strike, a pamphlet published by the Madison IWW, 2011

Calls for General Strike – May 1, 2012

Note: We created the following list before finding a list of 120 U.S. Cities on Occupy Wall Street’s website.

These organizations have publicized the call for a general strike on May 1.
Feeling Sad leaflet image

New York Spring Training photo image

New Yorkers “practice” for May Day 2012.


We likely have missed some general strike calls, so here are other resources

Writing on Various General Strike

Chicago – 1886
May 1 and a General Strike for the 8-Hour Day

Seattle – 1919
Seattle General Strike Project, Pacific Northwest Labor & Civil Rights Projects, University of Washington

Winnipeg – 1919
Winnipeg General Strike, from The Canadian Encyclopedia, by J. Nolan Reilly

Women and the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, by Mary Harodyski, University of Manitoba, from Manitoba History, No. 11, Spring 1986

San Pedro – 1923
The San Pedro Strike, from Industrial Pioneer, Vol. 1, No. 2, June 1923

Britain – 1926
1926: British general strike, by

San Francisco – 1934
The General Strike of 1934, historical essay by Chris Carlsson, FoundSF; includes brief bibiography

Alabama – 1934
General Textile Strike of 1934, from Encyclopedia of Alabama, by John Salmond, La Trobe University; includes brief bibliography

Oakland – 1946
11th Grade-level History video and classroom materials, California Federation of Teachers, in response to Occupy Wall Street “Day of Action,” November 2, 2011

1946: The Oakland General Strike, by Stan Weir

Somewhat more personal accounts by Weir are given here:
Stan Weir, from Rank and File, edited by Alice Lynd and Staughton Lynd

Stan Weir, from his Singlejack Solidarity

General Strike France 1968 cover image

France – 1968
General Strike France 1968: A factory-by-factory account, by Andrée Hoyles, published by Sojourner Truth Organization

1968 : – a chronology of events in France and internationally, by

Mexico – 1968
The Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico, by Ronald L. Ecker, includes extensive references

Nigeria – June 2000
The history of the general strike of June 2000, six newspaper reports archived by Hartford Web Publishing

Oakland, California – November 2011
“What was the significance of the Oakland general strike?” from members of the Denver-Boulder Industrial Workers of the World

India – February 2012
India strike: A preliminary report – To Break their Haughty Power, by Chattopadhyay Kunal, Europe solidaire sans frontières