On May 1, 2023, working and oppressed people around the world will celebrate International Workers Day. This year, Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) calls on our comrades, friends and allies to uphold the revolutionary tradition of celebrating May 1. Celebrate by holding demonstrations, marches and programs in cities throughout the United States. You can find a list of local International Workers Day events here.
The message we put forward on May Day 2023 should be clear – working and oppressed people are fighting the rotten system of monopoly capitalism and are developing stronger organization, deepening the struggle and winning big. The working class is sick and tired of oppressive inflation, housing crises across the U.S., and the lack of good jobs that can support our families. The days of rule by the 1% are numbered.
On May 1, 1886, a general strike over the right to an eight-hour workday took place in big cities throughout the U.S. The bosses saw to it that the leaders of this movement in Chicago were arrested and hanged. Working people around the world come together to celebrate May Day because nothing can stop us from defeating capitalism and winning the world that belongs to us.
We are building momentum
After decades of repression and retreat, the U.S. labor movement is now waging more strikes and engaging in more struggle – and winning. In 2022, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) saw a big victory over sell-out leadership when the Obrien-Zuckerman slate took office. This victory marked the end of the concession regime of Hoffa Jr. and his cronies. The new Teamster leadership is promoting a real struggle at the rank-and-file level, including the struggle for a strong national contract at UPS this year. Other unions and workers around the country are experiencing a similar upsurge in militancy and many workers are looking to join unions so they can organize to win. It took an act of Congress to prevent rail workers from likely going on strike back in November over the issue of sick days. Joe Biden failed to live up to his promises to unions, but that won’t stop the working class from fighting onwards to victory.
Many people’s movements in the United States are growing stronger. Millions of people joined the fight after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked a national rebellion in the streets. Black, Chicano and other oppressed communities continue fighting to stop police crimes and win justice. Our demands have never been louder – especially our demand for community control of the police. In Chicago, 36 newly elected Police District Councilors are supporting the Brandon Johnson mayoral campaign, representing a significant opportunity for the people to win more control over their communities. It is important to remember on May Day that the national oppression faced by African American, Chicano, Latino, indigenous and other oppressed nationalities must be destroyed by any means necessary.
The momentum from the George Floyd rebellion continues to grow and has helped several important movements make their own advances. We uphold the critical fight to defend reproductive rights – basic democratic rights which continue to come under fire from conservative and far-right politicians. Attacks on reproductive rights are attempts to keep women and other people oppressed, and these attacks must be stopped. We support the struggle of LGBTQ folks fighting for equality. We also support the struggle for immigrant rights and continue to demand legalization for all, while recalling the mega-marches for immigrant rights in 2006. These are all basic democratic rights that must be protected and won.
Students and young people continue to be a very powerful force in the united front against monopoly capitalism, whether in the streets or on campus. The 2022 SDS National Convention at Kent State in Ohio brought together activists from around the country to make plans to raise the level of struggle and organization around college campuses. Whether young people are getting union jobs, opposing budget cuts on campus, fighting national oppression, opposing imperialist wars, or supporting the movement for climate justice, they represent the future of our movements, and the future is bright.
A world to win
The Biden administration continues to disappoint people and leaves them hungry for real change. Many of the same problems that plagued our communities under the Trump administration continue to fester today, but this oppression gives birth to powerful resistance. It marks an opportunity for our movements to grow and make advances thought impossible a decade or two ago. Activists around the country should make plans to march in protest on the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee and the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 2024.
In the past year, Freedom Road Socialist Organization has seen an unprecedented level of growth and internal development. New cities and new leaders have come forward to join us and have helped develop our line and organization. We work in a variety of movements and are home to many talented young people and experienced veterans. We encourage our friends to participate in the celebration of May Day this year by holding a demonstration, march or rally in your city – raise the red flag! If you’ve never celebrated before, contact FRSO so we can help you make plans for the future.
Working and oppressed people around the world join together to celebrate our accomplishments on May Day. We also join in the struggle to prepare for future battles. FRSO believes that only a strategic alliance between the multinational working class and the oppressed nationalities in the U.S., led by the party of the working class, can unite the broadest possible united front to defeat monopoly capitalism and establish socialism – a society run by all for the benefit of all. We want to build that party of the working class and are excited to keep growing and fighting alongside you.
We encourage you to join FRSO by visiting frso.org/join. We have nothing to lose but our chains, and together we have a world to win.