This year marks the 130th anniversary of May 1st marches, where workers and revolutionaries have taken to the streets in combative demonstration against capitalism. The first demonstration was implemented and guided by the great revolutionary leader and close comrade of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, to celebrate workers resistance and commemorate the struggles for the 8 hour workday.
The pandemic does not halt the struggles of the working class, it intensifies them. Halfhearted ‘revolutionaries,’ those who talk of great change but never step outside of the confines of ruling class norms, have surrendered the day. They have long since abandoned their posts and come over to the side of the class enemy. The best they can muster is driving by in cars and honking their horns in ‘protest.’
The working class and the revolutionaries at their side do not have such comfort and cannot seek refuge in luxury. Wages have been slashed, jobs have been lost, the people’s rights have been attacked on all fronts by the ruling class, and this year more than ever, revolutionaries must commit to action.
In the international statement provided by the magazine El Maoista, readers are provided with the political line to be implemented by all true revolutionaries: “Those who doubt or hesitate in this moment loose the confidence of the masses. This First of May will be a great manifestation of the vigor of communism, our brilliant red flags with hammer and sickle are the symbol of hope, of the luminous future of communism, which proclaim by their waving the war on the world of oppression and exploitation, of the old order.”
The US ‘left’ is mainly composed of capitalists who dream of a more charitably run imperialist system, some of them even insult the people by claiming to be socialists or communists. They confuse and trick in order to sustain themselves, while at the same time rehabilitating the very system real revolutionaries are against. They have been defanged, detached from the workers, and grovel at the boots of the ruling class. This is reflected in both their organizing and their shameful failures in electoral politics, this is the fate they have earned. They have caused real damage, the people do not trust them and generally know that they do not share interests.
The most backward among the people have become more conservative and gone over to reaction in the face of these conditions, because at times the reactionaries fake concern for working people. When it comes down to it, this is a cruel trick, the reactionaries only hold the interests of large property owners in mind and use ‘patriotism’ as a cover for imperialist plunder and ruthless exploitation. They demand that businesses reopen, with no concern at all for the shambolic healthcare system inflicted upon the people. They do not care for the wellbeing of the masses, doctors, nurses, workers etc. their interests in reopening business sits squarely with the business owners and never with the workers who are forced into exploitation in unsafe conditions.
There is necessary work and necessary protest which must take place during a pandemic. Stay at home orders must not be abided by at the expense of income and housing, if they were then the cure would be as bad as the sickness, and staying at home and not fighting would harm as many if not more people than the Coronavirus.
Unlike the revisionists and reactionaries, revolutionaries are motivated by true love for the people; they are willing to put themselves in harm’s way in order to fight for the people’s rights. The ruling class, that is bosses, owners, landlords, etc. as well as those that protect them with violence, policing agencies both local and federal, will not relent in punishing those who have lost work and income, demanding rent, sending out eviction notices, forcing the people to comply with long lines for overpriced food. The interests of the workers must be fought for right now, pandemic or not.
Revolutionaries and the people who support them have already taken up the task of fighting to secure the interests of the people, and serving them by meeting their needs and confronting their enemies. This work is carried out every day without relent. May 1st is a continuation of this fight, and a special day to commemorate the resistance of our class, the proletariat, those who sell their labor-power and have a world to win.
While reactionaries condemn all political activity of the working class that does not fall in line with the interests of the owning class, the revisionists are content to sit at the warm hearth of their masters, faithful domestic dogs to the end. On May 1st working people will again take to the streets the world over, they will not be afraid of repression or illness, the pandemic does not end their struggle, and the red flags will fly again on International Workers Day.
Tribune of the People asks our readers and supporters to send in reports on how May 1st is observed throughout the US, please send a brief paragraph detailing your event, action, or how you observed the holiday. Even for those who cannot leave home, make a poster showing solidarity with the struggle and air your political views, send us a photo.
Long Live Red and Revolutionary May 1st!
Long Live the International Proletariat!