© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

At Metro Hall, Louisvillians Celebrate May Day -- And Talk 'Loyalty'

In May 1886, a massacre at Haymarket Square in Chicago shaped the International Workers’ Movement of today. Workers were striking to recognize an eight-hour work day. The violent clashes between police, strikers and strikebreakers left police officers and laborers dead.

Today, workers around the world have the day off as their countries celebrate International Workers’ Day. And in Louisville, dozens marched from the Muhammad Ali Center to Metro Hall to demand rights for workers and immigrants, and to combat xenophobia, transphobia and racism.

“May Day is an important holiday celebrated all around. It’s the real Labor Day,” said Stephon Barbour, a filmmaker and activist who was at the event. “When I lived in Ecuador, May Day was a big deal.”


David Horvath said the day doesn’t only have its roots in labor rights.

“It’s everything from a pagan day marking the change of the seasons to religious holidays to cultural events,” he said. “We need to show our unity with all of those interpretations.

Some may also be observing today as Loyalty Day -- a day that, despite what you might've read on Facebook during the past few days, didn't begin with President Donald Trump.

In the midst of McCarthyism in the 1950s, the day was recognized as an annual holiday. And every year, U.S. presidents celebrate the day with a proclamation. Trump’s first proclamation for the day honors veterans and service members, pledges to destroy ISIS and urges Americans to show loyalty to limited government.

But celebrants in Louisville on Monday were showing their loyalty elsewhere.

Riece Hamilton, a nursing student and reproductive rights advocate, moved back to Louisville about a year-and-a-half ago. For her, it’s important to contribute to her community, whether it’s supporting the businesses and events of neighbors or lending a neighbor the proverbial cup of sugar.

“I think loyalty is an action, more than just a word,” she says. “You show your loyalty by doing."

Roxanne Scott covers education for WFPL News.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.