May Day (May 1) is a workers’ holiday officially celebrated in most countries around the world, but not recognized in the United States. May Day rallies started in the United States in 1886 when thousands of workers in Chicago demonstrated for an eight-hour workday and the Chicago police responded with violence.

This year tens of thousands of people marched in May Day rallies across the United States to demand immigrants’ and workers’ rights. IndyKids asked these kids why they joined a rally in their city.

“I came to fight for the freedom of our people in Puerto Rico and to fight for everybody.” – Alexavier Amador, age 13, New York, New York

“[I joined] out of respect for immigrants because it should be okay for people to come to this country without having to get special permission.” -Emily, 5th grader, San Francisco, California

“I’m at the May Day rally to appreciate the workers who fought for their rights for the eight-hour day. As a child, the eight-hour day is important to me because I’m able to see my parents more.” -Rose Marsh, age 10, Takoma Park, Maryland

“We’re fighting for the rights of people from other countries.” – Gianny Rivera, age 12, and Matthew Hernandez, age 10
“I came to have fun.” – Shannon Contreras, age 7, New York, New York

“We all have immigrant parents and as citizens,we have a duty to make sure that other students get the same opportunities that we have.” -Montse, (holding the sign), International High School, San Francisco, California

-Compiled by Jill Guerra and Amanda Vender