May 1 is International Workers Day. It is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of our class and to look to the future. We have real challenges in front of us. The corporate elite – the monopoly capitalists, who rule this country – can’t do anything right. They are mesmerized by profit and short-term gain. The same goes for their political representatives in the White House and Congress. Tens of thousands of people who could have lived have perished in the pandemic. Capitalism has once again shown itself to be a failed system, and on May Day 2020, we stand committed to ending the reign of this criminal system.
May Day as the workers’ day was forged in the class struggle here in the U.S. On May 1 of 1886, a strong Chicago-centered workers’ movement unleashed a strike wave for the eight-hour day. The ruling class hit back by hanging four of the strike leaders – the Haymarket Martyrs. But the spirit of that first May Day took hold, and today it is celebrated worldwide.
The powers that be in this country hate May Day and did all they could do to bury it during the anticommunist repression of the 1950s. This included renaming May 1 – a day that’s about working people asserting our right to a better future – as “Law and Order Day.” It was the massive 2006 upsurge of the immigrant rights movement that returned International Workers Day to the movements of working and oppressed peoples here in the U.S.
This year, May Day comes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a rapidly developing crisis of capitalism. This crisis has hit the African American, Chicano/Latino and Native American communities the hardest. On top of this, Trump’s anti-China crusade deliberately incites attacks on Asian Americans. Trump’s moves to cut of immigration, and the concentration camps on the border, stand as indictments of the entire order of things. With car caravan protests and every other means possible right now, the people’s movements are pushing back!
This coming economic crisis is greater than any us have gone through and looks to be the biggest economic downturn since the 1930s. We have our work cut out for us. We need to prepare our unions and community organizations to resist unemployment and austerity. The wealthy and their puppets in government are already moving to shift the burden of the crisis onto the backs of working people. This is unacceptable. We need to make the rich pay!
While the pandemic has yet to peak, the epidemic of police crimes persists in Black, Chicano and other oppressed nationalities communities. Repression is a tool of every oppressor, and it must be opposed at every turn as we build the fight for our common liberation.
The U.S. ruling class built an empire of exploitation whose tentacles extend to Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Billions of people in the world today have a shared enemy in monopoly capitalism. On International Workers Day, we take to heart the slogan, “Workers and oppressed peoples of the world unite.” The socialist counties have done great things and are supported by working people everywhere. In the countries oppressed by imperialism, from the Philippines to Palestine there are wars of national liberation taking place. We stand with all who are standing up.
Monopoly capitalism is a dying system. In every fight we fight, we need the light of clarity. We want to win all we can in every struggle we engage in, but at the end of the day the system of capitalism is here to serve capitalists – it has to go! We have our eyes on the prize. We need political and economic power in the hands of the working class, and that means socialism. The words of the great revolutionary Karl Marx still ring true. We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win.