Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin appeared at a rally in Chicago, Illinois, on Wednesday to commemorate May Day, the annual event that is celebrated by labor unions, public interest groups and, most recently, Occupy protesters. After addressing the audience — a collective that purportedly included communist and socialist groups — Durbin was asked on video about his participation in the event.

In an interview with Breitbart’s Rebel Pundit, the senator dismissed potential criticisms surrounding his speech. When it was noted that, “May Day is considered by many to be an international communist holiday,” Durbin laughed off the assertion. He responded, “You’re trapped in ancient history, my friend. May Day is also a Law Day here in America.”

Law Day, as explained by History.com, was created in 1958. And while Durbin disagrees with current assessments of May Day as having communist overtones, it does seem that there is truth to Rebel Pundit’s claims — at least when it came to public perception a few decades ago. History explains:

On this day in 1958, President Eisenhower proclaims Law Day to honor the role of law in the creation of the United States of America. Three years later, Congress followed suit by passing a joint resolution establishing May 1 as Law Day.

The idea of a Law Day had first been proposed by the American Bar Association in 1957. The desire to suppress the celebration of May 1, or May Day, as International Workers’ Day aided in Law Day’s creation. May Day had communist overtones in the minds of many Americans, because of its celebration of working people as a governing class in the Soviet Union and elsewhere.

So, there you have it. Now, getting back to the dialogue between the conservative commentator and Durbin — it was what followed after this portion of the discussion that’s perhaps most intriguing. Rebel Pundit said, “There is a large contingent of Communist Party USA, anarchists, international socialist groups here today that you just spoke to.” After hearing this, Durbin seemed surprised, asking, “How do you know that?”

Rebel Pundit explained that he had been filming individuals from these groups throughout the day, but the senator seemed unfazed. From there, rather than separating himself from these controversial parties, Durbin defended his presence — and theirs — at the rally, noting that he believes in free-speech and the U.S. Constitution.

Watch the senator’s response to questions surrounding his participation in the May Day rally, below:

(H/T: Breitbart)

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