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New DC Laborfest To Celebrate Area Workers

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DC Laborfest kicks off with a May Day wreath-laying ceremony at the Mother Jones marker in Silver Spring.
Lauren Landau/WAMU
DC Laborfest kicks off with a May Day wreath-laying ceremony at the Mother Jones marker in Silver Spring.

A local organization is celebrating American workers all month long with a new festival.

Chris Garlock is director of DC Labor Filmfest, which is now in its fourteenth year and anchoring the brand new DC Laborfest. To kick off the festival, he and about 25 people gathered at the Mother Jones Marker in Silver Spring, Maryland, on May Day to sing and lay a wreath at the site. This year the program is expanding beyond film to include labor art, music, poetry, theater and history tours.

"The labor movement is not just about wages and benefits," Garlock says. "Those are important, those are key, but we're about all of the arts and about culture and this really shows how integral labor and workers are to our entire community."

Garlock says the goal of DC Laborfest is to broaden people's idea of what labor is about. Loosely quoting the poem by James Oppenheim, he says "workers want bread, but they want roses too."

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