Since 2004, many people have celebrated May 2nd as the International Fight and Holiday of the Unemployed (IKFA). Reason enough to dedicate a separate contribution to this day of action, which primarily takes place as a demonstration at Berlin’s Senefelder Platz, in the calendar of curious holidays from all over the world and to shed some light on its history with the following lines. What is this satirical sequel to the traditional May Day holiday about?
Who initiated the Fight and Holiday of the Unemployed?
In contrast to many of the other curious holidays and days of action gathered here, the origins and backgrounds of the International Fight and Holiday of the Unemployed are relatively well documented.
Specifically, this satirical day of action goes back to the so-called League for Combat and Leisure , behind which the Berlin literary group “ Die Surfpoeten ” stands, and the year 2004 goes back. Under the motto “We have time”, people are encouraged to take to the streets against the compulsion to wage labor, against underpaid and alienated work, and to take a public stand.
While this critical attitude towards work, capitalism and the system may at first glance appear either like a relic from the 20th century or like a cynical satire at the expense of all unemployed, a closer look reveals a very serious background.
Because a central demand of the League for Combat and Leisure or the International Combat and Holiday of the Unemployed is the plea for an unconditional basic income and the right to self-determination as to whether and in what form the individual wants to work.
Why does the day of action for the right to unemployment fall on May 2nd?
Germany, Russia, the People’s Republic of China, Finland, North Korea, Mexico, etc. – in many countries the 1st of May is mainly celebrated as Labor Day, May Day, Vappu, the day of the labor movement.
What all the variants have in common is that on this day it is about the rights of workers and workers and accordingly especially unions and workers’ associations invite them to large rallies.
In this respect it seems halfway logical or plausible that only one day later there will be an alternative continuation of the International Fight and Holiday of the Unemployed. Whether the choice of the date beyond something with the crimes committed today also the day of chocolate truffle (National Truffle Day), the game Your Ukulele Day (National Play Your Ukulele Day), the World Day of tuna English (World Thuna Day) or the American Baby Day (National Baby Day), I could not find out in the course of research.
In this sense: A relaxed satirical reference to May 1st to all of you. 🙂