I was born on May 2nd in Chicago to a unionized carpenter and a homemaker and factory worker. My mother was in labor on that year’s “Labor Day.” I’m proud of my family and the city in which I was born.

This year again, as my birthday rolls around, I will have a special moment of silence and solidarity thinking of the Martyrs of Chicago and of working-class heroes everywhere. We remember and honor them all on May first, “May Day.”

On May Day, people across the globe celebrate the victories of past struggles and dream of a better, healthier, more just and more equal society. May Day is in fact an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more.

Not so much, however, in the country where it all began – the United States of America.

The corporate oppressors, the 1%, all those who have ruled us for 100 years, want us to forget that American workers were shot dead fighting for the 8-hour day and other basic union, civic and human rights. They also want us to forget that we have continued to resist and have fought back against repression throughout the century. They want us to wipe from our memories that some of the bravest, smartest and most generous working men and women in the world have been, and are, Americans fighting for justice right here in our own country.

On my birthday, I will recommit to continue their legacy and build a movement that fulfills all our aspirations and dreams. I will be in solidarity with workers everywhere and as I think of today’s striking teachers, abused workers, fearful refugees, and all those resisting the rule of greed, these words from the union anthem “Solidarity Forever” written in 1915 by American writer, artist and labor activist Ralph Chaplin will come to my mind: “In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold, Greater than the might of armies, multiplied a thousand-fold. We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old, For the Union makes us strong.”

Solidarity forever!