May Day is a day to honor the workers of the world and it also is a day of protest.
Thousands of people are expected to protest in Chicago this Tuesday, May 1.
In recent years, the protests have largely focused on immigrant rights, and in 2006 several hundred thousand people protested in Chicago motivated by proposed anti-immigration legislation. But those crowds have dwindled in recent years.
Six years later, the immigration issue is still a hot topic. The Supreme Court will decide this summer on Arizona's controversial immigration law SB 1070. There also is growing anger against the Obama Administration, which has deported more than one million undocumented immigrants.
But immigration won't be the sole focus of this year's protests. Since last year the Occupy movement has taken root in cities across the United States and the upcoming NATO Summit in Chicago also could be an impetus to bring more people out to the streets.
Expect the protests Tuesday to be a blend of immigrants, Occupiers and labor union members voicing their concerns for the 99 percent in this country.
Chicago has historically been a center of the labor movement and activism. The Haymarket riot of 1886 started after workers went on strike for an eight-hour work day. A bomb was thrown, police began shooting, resulting in the deaths of police officers and civilians.
We will see whether the collective voices of today - peacefully - catch the attention of the people in power and the general public.
Adbusters has called for 50,000 people to occupy Chicago beginning May 1. Occupy organizers also have called for protests across the nation and for Chicago to be a focal point.
The march begins in Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph, at 1 p.m. and from there protesters will walk to Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn St., for a 3 p.m. rally downtown.