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Tallahassee braves storm to celebrate May Day

By Chudi Oraedu and Isabela Casanova |
May 5, 2022
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Speakers at Tallahassee May Day rally.
Speakers at Tallahassee May Day rally. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Tallahassee, FL – On Sunday, May 1, Tallahassee’s Freedom Road Socialist Organization hosted a rally at the Florida Capitol to celebrate International Workers’ Day. More than 30 people from various organizations met at Cascades Park in the rain and thunder with the intention of marching to the capitol - protesters reconvened at the historic capitol due to inclement weather. 

Activists in attendance spoke about the conditions of the working class, such as the power of unions and solidarity among leftists. Jonah Mundy, a leader of Tallahassee IWW, spoke of how workers of different industries and fields coming together as a coalition makes us stronger: “Working people are realizing that their enemies aren’t other working people in developing nations or even here in the U.S., but our true enemies are the 1% who use their power and money to maintain their dominance over the working class.”

Many students from around Tallahassee joined in and showed their support for the May Day event. Dennis Houlihan, a member of the FSU Graduate Assistants Union, stated, “Many people come to graduate school taking the long hours and low pay as a given or a way of ‘paying your dues.’ Students are workers too - having a union that not only recognizes unfairness but fights for better pay and working conditions is invaluable. It really makes people realize that we can and deserve to be treated better.”

Despite the rain and thunder, workers from all over Tallahassee gathered to celebrate this historic holiday, making it the biggest May Day celebration the Florida capitol has seen in years. 

International Workers’ Day is a global celebration of the international labor movement. Despite the continuous attacks on the international labor movement, the working class perseveres, nonetheless. Nearly 20 corporate Starbucks locations have voted to unionize since the first location did so in Buffalo, New York last year. Five Starbucks locations across Florida have filed for a union election. Amazon workers in Staten Island, New York, voted to unionize, the first successful union effort in Amazon’s history. 

The demonstration was cosponsored by the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, Florida State University (FSU) Students for a Democratic Society, Tallahassee Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Florida A&M University (FAMU) Planned Parenthood Generation Action, FSU Graduate Assistants Union, and FSU Students Against Aramark.

From May Day’s inception, radical members of the labor movement not only advocated for the improvement of their working conditions, but for the complete abolition of capitalism altogether. The Freedom Road Socialist Organization is devoted to continuing this revolutionary spirit. This holiday reminds us that the capitalist class will always rely on the inevitable exploitation of the working class. Throughout human history, we have deposed monarchs, feudal lords, and slave owners, but we’ve allowed one clever tyrant to remain, the capitalist. We can only remove this tyrant by building a truly just and democratic society for the working class under socialism.