Document 3: "May Day Safely Passed," New York Times, 2 May 1890, p. 1.
By May 1, 1890, demonstrations on behalf of the goals of working men were widespread throughout Europe and North America. The New York Times coverage shows the international scope of the event, which was still depicted as potentially violent and consisting only of men.
MAY DAY SAFELY PASSED
GENERALLY QUIET DEMONSTRATIONS IN EUROPE
A RIOT QUICKLY SUPPRESSED IN PARIS --
SOLDIERS CHARGE A MOB IN PESTH --
THE LABORERS IN GENERAL ORDERLY.
LONDON, May 1. -- Five hundred disorderly men gathered on the Thames embankment this morning bent on making some kind of a demonstration. A force of 2,500 police was on hand, however, and the mob was cowed by their presence.
The procession of workingmen in this city to-day fell far short of the number it was expected would take part in the parade. The line was composed of only a few hundred men. The procession marched to Hyde Park, where a number of speeches in favor of the workingman's cause was made. An attempt was made to hold a meeting at Hackney, but the police would not permit it, and the crowd was dispersed. A procession was formed at Soho Square, but as this was contrary to the police regulations, which provided that only one procession to follow a specified route would be allowed, it was broken up. Those taking part in the procession made no resistance to the police, but quietly dispersed when ordered to do so.
PARIS, May 1. -- All was quiet on the boulevards in the outlying sections of the city to-day, while the central quarters wore their usual aspect. The shops throughout the city, with the exception of those devoted to the sale of firearms and ammunition, were open and business was carried on as usual. The gas men and gas stokers began their strike this morning.
A deputation of workingmen went to the Chamber of Deputies this afternoon and presented a petition asking that the Chamber make eight hours a legal day's work. Large crowds gathered on the thoroughfares in the vicinity of the Chamber, completely blocking them. The cavalry, which is doing special duty about the city to-day, quietly cleared the way for the deputation to proceed.
M. Floquet received a Socialist deputation headed by M. Guesde, which presented a memorial in favor of an eight-hour law.[A]
At 7:40 P.M. a row occurred on the Place de la Concorde. A body of workmen wished to pass down the Rue de la Cirque toward the Elysée Palace. The police barred the way, and the paraders tried to force a passage through them. A squadron of municipal guards then charged upon the crowd, wounding a large number of men. Many arrests were made. The persons arrested will be released at midnight. They are simply charged with refusing to move on. The boulevards and the Place de la Concorde have assumed their ordinary aspect.
No deputations of workingmen visited the Elysée Palace or the Ministerial departments. The Prefect of the Seine, acting under the orders of M. Constans, Minister of the Interior, went to the Hôtel de Ville to-day and warned the Municipal Council not to receive deputations. The members of the Council protested against this action, but nevertheless submitted to the Minister's orders.
The municipal guards left the Hôtel de Ville at 7 o'clock. Upon their departure the crowd began to sing "The Marseillaise," and were dispersed by the police after a brief scuffle. Another skirmish between the police and sightseers occurred in the Place de la République at 10 o'clock to-night. During the fracas a man fired a revolver at the police, but nobody was hurt. Several persons were arrested. At 11 o'clock all other quarters were calm, and the extra police were being withdrawn.
PARIS, May 2 -- 12:30 A.M. -- At a late hour the boulevards were thronged with excited people. In the Place Château d'Eau the cavalry charged upon the crowd and several more arrests were made. The total number of arrests during the day approaches five hundred.
It is stated that in the skirmish in the Place de la Concorde thirty persons were wounded, but that they concealed the fact in order to escape arrest.
BERLIN, May 1. --Two thousand workmen assembled at the Rosenthaler Thor this afternoon, and, forming in procession, marched through Muenzstrasse to the Alexander Platz. The paraders were orderly, and the police were not called upon to interfere with them in any way. Five hundred other workmen proceeded to the Ploetzen See. They were escorted by a body of policemen to the northern shore.
Nothing of an untoward character occurred in connection with the demonstration by the workingmen except the arrest of one man who was detected by the police in the act of hoisting a red flag upon a telegraph pole. Work is proceeding in the usual manner in Munster, Wiesbaden, Strasburg, Nuremberg, Stettin, Dortmund, Neukirchen, Spandau, and Zurekan. A few of the workingmen in Leipsic and Halle went out on strike to-day, but a majority of them were not in favor of making any demonstration, and they went to work this morning as on an ordinary day.
Two hundred and sixteen of the proprietors of the smaller manufactories in this city closed their establishments to-day and gave all their employes a holiday.
VIENNA, May 1. -- The Prater has been occupied all day by troops, but the crowds that fill the streets have been orderly, and there has been no necessity for official interference. Reports from Ostrau, Troppau, and Bruenn say that work has been proceeding as usual and no disturbances have occurred. Over sixty workmen's meetings were held, at all of which resolutions were adopted in favor of a working day of eight hours. It is estimated that 40,000 persons visited the Prater during the day. Work in the State railway shops was not interrupted. A tranquil state of affairs is reported in Silesia, Upper Austria, Styria, Carniola, Bukowins, Moravia, Galicia, and Bohemia.
From Prossnitz comes news of a riot. It appears that a number of workmen had been put in prison there, and when their fellow-workmen gathered on the streets this morning a plot was hatched for their liberation. The result was that a mob of fully 4,000 men made a combined attack upon the prison. The authorities, however, in anticipation of such an occurrence, had provided a strong guard for the prison, and the rioters, in spite of their desperate efforts, were repulsed and completely routed.
At Trieste, Pola, and Cracow there was only a slight cessation of work and everything is quiet.
PESTH, May 1. -- The labor demonstration here has been marred by a scene of bloodshed. Early this morning a large number of workmen gathered in front of one of the rolling mills. At first the men were orderly enough, but under the incitement of agitators they became aroused and bitterly denounced the alleged tyranny of their employers. Finally they lost all self-control and engaged in a riotous demonstration, which the police were powerless to quell. Military assistance was summoned and a body of troops promptly appeared on the ground with fixed bayonets. The mob was ordered to disperse, and upon their refusing to obey, the troops charged. The crowd broke and fled in all directions, but not before many of the rioters had been pierced by the bayonets of the soldiers. The mill where the trouble occurred remained open and work was going on as usual.
OPORTO, May 1. -- A manifesto was issued by the workingmen of this city to-day, in which they condemn political speculators for trying to control the labor movement in their own interest. The manifesto further says that the men, after holding their demonstration to-day, will resume their work and ask the King to see that legislation is adopted by the Cortes for the regulation of labor. A meeting of 12,000 workmen was subsequently held, at which delegates were appointed to wait upon the Governor and present resolutions in favor of a normal work day. The depudation was received at the palace, and the crowd quietly dispersed.
CHRISTIANIA, May 1. -- Four thousand workmen marched through the principal streets here to-day with flags and banners flying. Delegates were sent to the President of the Storthing, who promised to submit the men's work-day demands to the House. The paraders maintained perfect order and were heartily cheered by the spectators that lined the route of the procession.
ROME, May 1. -- A few insignificant rows are reported at Milan and Naples in connection with the labor demonstration. The disturbances were quickly suppressed. At Naples a Police Inspector was wounded. Groups of workmen tried to cross the Tiber, but turned back in obedience to the orders of the military. A few who were inclined to be disorderly were arrested.
BERNE, May 1. -- There has been no observance of Labor Day in this city, and work in all branches of business is progressing as usual. Dispatches from all parts of Switzerland report a similar state of affairs.
THE HAGUE, May 1. -- No disturbance is reported in any part of Holland. Two orderly meetings of workmen were held at Amsterdam. They were addressed by Socialist speakers, who advocated the eight-hour movement.
MADRID, May 1. -- Several groups of striking workmen visited a number of workshops here to-day and attempted to induce the men who were at work to quit. Many of them declined to leave their work. The authorities persuaded the strikers to desist from their attempts. A number of small, isolated meetings of workmen were held in various streets. The Anarchists held a mass meeting at Music Hall, at which the orators denounced the present social system and the tyranny of the masters.
DANTZIC, May 1. -- The authorities issued an order forbidding the holding of meetings to-day, and no attempt was made to violate it. All the factories, mills, shops, &c., were open, and work progressed in the usual manner.
BRUSSELS, May 1. -- Ten thousand workmen marched in procession here to-day. At the head of the line was a body of police. There was no incident worthy of note during the day.