Chicago May Day Event Issued Cease & Desist Orders


On April 28th, 2015, at roughly 4pm, an organizer of this year’s Chicago May Day events was contacted by a representative of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America after a visit from the Chicago Police Department regarding the May Day Radical Coalition/IWW Benefit Concert on May 2. The UE representative was told by the Police that the Industrial Workers of the World and associated groups in the May Day Radical Coalition are organizations that “cause civil unrest.” UE clarified with police that the IWW is a labor union that is holding a benefit event for the union at a union hall, as the IWW has done many times before. It was made clear to the authorities that the UE and IWW were willing to resolve potential code or ordinance issues in order for the show to proceed.

Yesterday, April 29th, 2015, at roughly 4pm, it was brought to the attention of officers of the Industrial Workers of the World Chicago General Membership Branch that UE Hall was served 3 separate Cease and Desist orders. We value UE Western Region’s attempts to negotiate and understand that this effectively forced UE’s hand to cancel the contract with the IWW for the benefit event. The IWW does not wish to cancel the event, and officers have been searching for a new location but, at press time, the May 2 show is without a venue.

The City of Chicago’s attempt to shut down the IWW May Day Benefit Concert is a clear instance of repression of anti-capitalist organizing and a direct attack on our ability to fund the May Day 2015 Radical Coalition March, Rally, and Noise Demonstration, as well as future May Day events.

The history of May Day itself lies in the City of Chicago’s attempts to destroy the labor movement and silence revolutionary voices through the execution of the Haymarket Martyrs. This repression instead inspired a more radical and militant working class movement. Today’s attempts to disrupt our May Day actions will only serve to inspire us continue our fight with even more passion.

We will not be intimidated, our resolve will never weaver, we will not stop until we achieve a world without bosses, and we will continue to stand by the words of Haymarket Martyr August Spies:

“If you think that by hanging us you can stamp out the labor movement… the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil in misery and want, expect salvation – if this is your opinion, then hang us! Here you will tread on a spark, but there and there, behind you – and in front of you, and everywhere, flames blaze up. It is a subterranean fire. You cannot put it out”.

We call on all who wish to show that a fire still burns in the heart of Chicago’s working class movement to come to Union Park at 2:30pm tomorrow, Friday May1st, and take to the streets for a March, Rally, and Noise Demonstration against capitalism and state


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Radical Coalition Reclaims Chicago’s May Day Local, national, and international organizations unite to celebrate working class.

Continuing a tradition of over 100 years, the May Day Radical Coalition will join workers across the world in a celebration of working class triumphs, as well as in remembering the sacrifices made by workers before us. This year we will focus on resistance to capitalism and the repression of class struggle by state and corporate interests. Nine organizations will be joining with fellow workers in Union Park on Friday, May 1st at 2:30 PM and will march to Cook County Jail in Little Village, arriving for a noise demonstration at approximately 5:00 PM.

This is the inaugural year of Chicago’s May Day Radical Coalition, which formed in response to abuse of rank-and-file workers during May Day events of years prior by organizers beholden to corporate and political interests. 2014’s “Red and Black Brigade”, called by the Industrial Workers of the World, brought numbers in the hundreds through a rainy day march and was an informal contingent in other May Day events.

WHO: Industrial Workers of the World – Chicago General Membership Branch (IWW)
Feminist Uprising Resisting Inequality and Exploitation (FURIE)
American Party of Labor (APL)
Chicago Socialist Party
Black Lives Matter Chicago
Pilsen Food Not Bombs
Chicago Torture Justice Memorials
Moratorium on Deportations
Gay Liberation Network (GLN)

& WHEN: Friday, May 1, 2015
2:30 PM Union Park (Ashland & Lake)
3:45 PM Pilsen (18th & Blue Island)
5:00 PM Cook County Jail (26th & California)

WHAT: March, Rally, and Noise Demonstration in celebration of the working class and against
capitalism and state repression

Chicago’s May Day Radical Coalition was called to formation by the Industrial Workers of the World in February of 2015 and was formally created in late March of the same year. Each member organization, including the IWW, has equal voice and vote on all decisions. Chicago’s May Day Radical Coalition Principles, by which every organization agrees to abide for this year’s May Day events, can be found at

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About Author

Jennifer Baker is the founder and editor of Revolution News