“Socialism advances, capitalism retreats!” “Workers’ councils now!”, “For a decent wage!”, “Oil workers demand a decent contract!”, “Co-management is revolution”. These were some of the slogans which show the class struggle, militant and revolutionary mood of the enormous workers’ demonstration on May Day in Caracas. Hundreds of thousands of workers from all over the country assembled in the Avenida Nueva Granada, where La Bandera coach station is situated, to march to Avenida Urdaneta. This May Day celebration was marked by an upbeat mood in the working class, with the recent victories at Venepal (now Invepal), CNV (now Inveval), Arichuna, and the growing mobilisation in companies such as ALCASA [aluminium plant], CADAFE [electricity company], etc. This enormous mobilisation reveals how the working class is firmly entering the scene, in order to play its historical role in the building of socialism.

Over the last few years, the class struggle in Québec has passed several milestones that had not been approached in the previous 30 years. The Parti Québecois, camouflaging their programme in nationalist rhetoric, pursued austerity measures and anti-worker policies for years. Despite the claims of the bourgeois media, the defeat of the PQ in 2003 was a reaction to its attacks on the working class rather than a rejection of separatism, or a victory of federalist policies. The issues that brought down the PQ remained unaddressed by the Liberal administration under Charest, and a renewed wave of reactionary policies were savagely affected a few short months after its election. Without the nationalist rhetoric to mask class relations, working-class activity took on a character of renewed radicalization. 2003 saw a push for a general strike, which had the overwhelming support of the rank-and-file, but the movement was betrayed by a section of the trade-union bureaucracy. The discontent of the working class was reflected in other sectors of Québecois society as well, most notably the student movement culminating in the recent general student strike.