May Day 2021: The IMT keeps the red flag flying

This year May Day has been marked amidst the spiralling barbarism caused by the ruling class’ handling of the pandemic and the crisis of capitalism. A massive, subterranean build–up of anger has taken place worldwide, yet the reformist workers’ leaders in many countries used the pandemic as an excuse to call off May Day rallies. Indeed, many of the same leaders have used the pandemic to champion ‘national unity’ and hold back the workers’ struggles throughout the last year. Nevertheless, wherever it was possible to do so, comrades of the International Marxist Tendency participated in May Day protests worldwide.

Austria

In Austria, May Day is usually dominated by the Social Democracy, particularly in Vienna. But this year, the SP in Vienna and other cities cancelled their May Day demonstrations. In Vienna, a few dozen party members were chosen for a choreographed online streamed event. Those who wanted to spend May Day, as is traditionally the case, in front of the city hall were promptly asked to leave.

This political vacuum meant that after this PR–stunt by the SP, a small number of right–wing COVID–deniers were able to hold a protest, undisturbed, at this traditional May Day site.

Yet despite the political stupor of the trade union and SP leaders, the right–wing can’t hijack May Day. A number of demonstrations brought thousands to the streets all over the country. Der Funke, the IMT in Austria, participated in 11 demonstrations in 7 cities (Vienna, Graz, Linz, Innsbruck, Bregenz, Steyr and St. Pölten), with strong revolutionary blocks at most of them.

We sold over 340 of the latest issue of our paper, the main feature of which was dedicated to an important class dispute in Austria: the struggle over the closure of a VW–group truck plant in Upper Austria, where we argued for the nationalisation under workers control. There, as well as in the rest of society, it is obvious that a socialist alternative to capitalism is needed.

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Brazil

More than 1,000 activists from 23 states in the country call for a national meeting against Bolsonaro for July.

On 1 May, a national online action was held launching the call for proposals signed by 1,075  militants, activists, workers and youth from 23 states in Brazil. They are calling for a “National Fight Meeting: Down with Bolsonaro! For a Workers’ Government without Bosses or Generals!” to be held online on 10 July. 

According to Caio Dezorzi, mediator of the action, the more than 1,000 signatories of the call are the initial driving force to draw together many more in July. The aim will be to discuss the methods and means of developing the fightback, assisting the masses in their mobilisation to bring down the Bolsonaro government.

Serge Goulart, who gave the closing speech, denounced the fact that on the same day, the CUT and other central union organisations were carrying out an action together with Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Ciro Gomes and other enemies of the working class. This is a reaffirmation of their policy of class collaboration and submission to the interests of capital: precisely the policy that allowed Bolsonaro to become Head of State through electoral fraud.

More than 20 speakers from all regions of Brazil intervened in the discussion, explaining how it is a political crime to wait for the 2022 elections to attempt to remove Bolsonaro. His policies have already killed more than 400,000 Brazilians from COVID–19, alongside government cuts to the health budget, attacks on the sciences, education, culture, the environment, encouraging hunger and unemployment, in addition to racism, machismo, homophobia, xenophobia and all kinds of prejudice only leading to the division of the oppressed.

The May Day action, which has already been see by over 2,000 people, was broadcast live on the Facebook page, “FORA BOLSONARO”, and was retransmitted by the Marxist YouTube channel and can be watched in full here:

Read the full version in Portuguese of the summons for the meeting, and the list of over a thousand people who have called it here.

Britain

Socialist Appeal mobilised for a series of ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrations held this May Day all over Britain. The protests have been called in response to the attempt by the Tory government to introduce a new policing and crime bill that would massively restrict the right to protest.

In London, Socialist Appeal supporters constituted the biggest and best–organised bloc on the protest with around 80 comrades in attendance. Thousands of workers and youth flooded Trafalgar Square in mass protest against repressive policing laws. Youth, some as young as 15, were wide open to the ideas of Marxism and joined the revolutionary bloc.

Over a thousand people marched to the Home Office, chanting “Kill the Bill” and “Hey-hey, ho-ho! Racist cops have got to go!”. Memories of George Floyd and Sarah Everard were in the minds of the masses. One sign read, “Safer as a statue”, referring to the fact that the new bill would deplorably see sentences of ten years issued for destroying private property, versus as little as five years for rape.

Despite the radical mood on the Kill the Bill march, there was a certain lack of organisation to the protest, pointing to the need for leadership. The big unions could easily have mobilised massive numbers in support of the fight against the bill. They could have used this to rally workers and youth for a strike to end this abhorrent policing bill. Their failure to mobilise shows once again that the greatest weakness in the movement of our class is our leadership.

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Canada

On 1 May 2021, the comrades of Fightback/La Riposte socialiste, the Canadian section of the International Marxist Tendency intervened in May Day rallies in three different cities.

Toronto

In Toronto, we played a pivotal role in organizing what was the largest online May Day rally across Canada. The online rally brought together over 400 in the Zoom meeting, and hundreds more via the livestream. The event included endorsements from 60+ organizations, including some of the largest labour federations across the country. The three main demands of the rally were:

‘No Bailouts for the Bosses, Nationalize the Pandemic Profiteers!’

‘Fight Capitalism - Fight for Socialism!’

‘Workers of the World and Oppressed Peoples Unite!’

The full video of speeches at the rally can be found here.

Quebec

In Quebec, IMT comrades attended the big May Day rally organized by the trade unions. There were upwards of 4,000 workers on the march with the Port of Montreal dockers who just had their right to strike taken away by the federal government marching at the head of the demonstration.

The comrades of the International Marxist Tendency had a contingent of over 50 and we marched directly behind the dockers. One of our comrades was also interviewed on the news, arguing for defiance of the unjust laws used to break strikes.

In addition to this, we also had a couple of comrades present at the May Day demonstration in Quebec city. Our ideas were received well by a layer of the demonstrators which was evident by the fact that we sold close to 100 copies of our paper.

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Edmonton

In Edmonton, May Day was also held online due to Alberta’s dire COVID-19 situation. Alberta has the highest active case rate in Canada, which has provoked bitter hatred for the Conservative government and inspired a fighting mood this May Day. A little less than 100 people gathered on zoom with featured speakers from the postal workers union, the Edmonton district labor council, migrant rights activists, women’s rights activists, anti–imperialist groups, and Fightback.

Our comrade, Lars, delivered a fiery speech condemning the government for their brutal attacks on the working class, and lambasted their failed approach to contain the pandemic. You can watch the speech here.

Czechoslovakia

On 1 May 2021, the Czechoslovak comrades of the IMT organised an online May Day school on the topic of ‘Marxism vs Stalinism’. The event was our biggest school ever, with three separate sessions, with over 20 live participants. In the context of the current situation, politically and as concerns COVID-19, this was one of the biggest May Day activities held by the whole Czech and Slovak left.

The topics of discussion were: the history of May Day and revolutionary perspectives today; the origins of Stalinism; and the rise and fall of Stalinism in Czechoslovakia. The reason for the focus of school lies in the fact that as our Czechoslovak group grows, we have increasingly faced smears from the collapsing Stalinist groups, while some young comrades around Communist Party, are sympathetic with our ideas. It is also necessary to combat bourgeois propaganda that equates communism with Stalinism, and that equates the fight for the rights and rule of the working class with bureaucratic, totalitarian despotism. The school sought to set the record straight and in this was a great success.

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Denmark

May Day is traditionally a big event in Denmark. In 2019, the last time the event was held in real life, there were between 30,000 and 40,000 participants.

This year was different. With the excuse of the COVID–19 pandemic, the official labour movement canceled all May Day protests in favour of online events. Yet the current infection rate is fairly low in Denmark – bars, schools, and public life have already reopened. This an obvious ploy by bureaucrats not to have to come out of their ivory towers and actually meet the people they claim to represent.

Naturally, we, Revolutionære Socialister (RS), the Danish section of the IMT, were not satisfied with this, so we decided to organise our own May Day rally for the first time. It was an enormous task, the biggest the organisation has ever attempted, and wouldn’t have been possible without the involvement of all our comrades. We extended our hand to other left–wing organisations and trade unions, and found many good speakers from outside the organisation as well as some great speeches from our own comrades.

The event was organised as a protest against the racism of the Social Democratic government, the inaction of the politicians on the climate question, and against the offensive of the employers during the pandemic. We held two ‘stationary’ protests and a march between them. We marched through one of the largest streets in Copenhagen with banners, red flags, music, battle cries and definitely made a huge impact on many people – bystanders and participants alike. It is also worth noting that the mood of this demonstration was way more radical than May Day protests usually are: people were angry, indignant, and ready and willing to fight.

During the first part of the protest and the march, roughly 400 people participated. In total, we sold 30,000 kroner of material (€4,000) and roughly 50 people signed up to find out more about joining the IMT.

All in all, it was an extremely successful event that has established RS as a serious and genuinely revolutionary left–wing organisation in Denmark.

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El Salvador

The Marxists of the Bloque Popular Juvenil (BPJ)  in El Salvador successfully intervened in this year’s May Day march. After more than a year of being unable to print our newspaper, BPJ Militant, we were now able to do so, dedicating the cover to the heroic women workers of Florenzi, who have fought a determined struggle against the injustices of the capitalist system.

We distributed all the papers we printed, totaling 315 copies. The enthusiasm of all our comrades, especially the newest comrades, was key. We managed to sell $63 worth of Marxist literature. The working class, betrayed by the traditional left party, finds itself without a revolutionary class tool to defend its interests. As Marxists, we are committed to the task of building a strong organisation with prepared cadres able to intervene decisively in the class struggle in El Salvador and across Central America. Long live the BPJ! Long live the IMT!

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Indonesia

May Day demonstrations were held in a more muted atmosphere this year due to the pandemic and repression from the authorities. The number of May Day participants was relatively small: about 500 in each city. Despite this, the comrades of the Indonesian section of IMT took to the streets alongside workers and youth in many cities, with revolutionary newspapers and literature in hand.

In Jakarta, more than 100 demonstrators were swiftly arrested by the police, including one of our comrades. Dozens of police trucks were filled with demonstrators. There is no judicial reason for this mass arrest. The police told us, “This is a workers’ day. And you are students, and that is why you are not allowed to participate in this rally.” We replied to them: “Show us the law that says university students, school students, and youth cannot participate in a workers’ demonstrations.” Their silence was deafening.

The regime is rightfully afraid of the youth and students at the May Day rallies. Last year these youth sparked a wave of big demonstrations. Today, the ruling class is filled with anxiety at the sight of any demonstration. The pandemic and the crisis that has followed it have exposed the incompetence of the government. They see combustible material all around them. That is why they are trying to pre–empt any mass demonstrations, lest they trigger a social explosion. Thailand and Myanmar are just across the strait, and they are well aware of what is happening there.

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Italy

The first of May in Italy was conditioned by bad weather and by the cancellation of the traditional events by the main trade unions in several cities.

Our most important intervention was held in Bologna on Friday 30 April, the eve of May Day, in front of one of the main metal factories of the province, with comrades selling Rivoluzione and distributing carnations, the symbolic flower of May Day. Every carnation had a paper band wrapped around it, with the symbol of Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione (SCR, the IMT in Italy) and our slogans. Workers donated €185, a demonstration of their support for Marxist ideas, which was previously confirmed by the re–election of two of our comrades as shop stewards.

Italy ima bolognaComrades in Bologna, Italy, distributed copies of Revoluzione and carnations, the traditional flower of May Day, outside one of the main metal factories in the province / Image: SCR, IMT Italy

On May Day itself, comrades in Bologna intervened in several demonstrations: two organised by the unions, an antifascist one and another organised by the delivery riders. In total they 85 papers were sold, €265 was collected for the fighting fund, and a number of contact details of those interested in joining the IMT were collected.

In Pavia (Lombardy) comrades organised a guided tour of the city dedicated to the memory of Ferruccio Ghinaglia, a founder of the Communist Party from the city, killed at the age of 21 in 1921 by fascists. More than 40 people attended, a significant number for an event of this kind, especially considering the weather. The walk ended at the new SCR Pavia headquarters, dedicated to Ghinaglia where we had food and drink.

In Milan the night prior to May Day, we held a stall in front of the UPS logistics center, selling 34 newspapers to workers.

In Parma our comrades attended an event organised by the anarchist union, USI. A total of thirteen comrades attended, organising a stall and distributing newspapers.

In Rome the only May Day initiative was organised by the workers of Alitalia, the airline recently declared bankrupt, with a rally organised by the CUB (one of several ‘grassroots’ unions). Around one hundred people attended, we collected €52 euros for the fighting fund and sold six newspapers.

Even in Naples, the traditional unions organised nothing. However, we attended a rally of Whirlpool workers, who have been fighting for years against the closure of their plant and who have organised a permanent lobby of the plant in the last months. We were very well received: with 150 workers present, we sold 18 newspapers.

In recent decades, the day of liberation from Nazism, 25 April, has become an increasingly significant date in the spring calendars of left–wing workers and youth. On the day we intervened across Italy, north and south, wherever events were held. We had a tremendous success, particularly considering the pandemic. We sold 500 copies of Rivoluzione, raised more than €750 for the fighting fund and met 30 new people interested in joining.

The workers and students of Italy are alive and kicking, and Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione is always with them!

Italy parma april25Comrades in Parma joined the 25 April march marking the anniversary of the liberation from Nazi occupation / Image: SCR, IMT Italy

Nigeria

Nigerian workers joined their counterparts all over the world for a May Day rally jointly organized by Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC). The theme of the day was “COVID–19, Social and economic crisis: challenge for decent jobs and people’s welfare”

Members of Campaign for Workers’ and Youth Alternative (CWA), the Nigerian section of International Marxist Tendency (IMT), participated in Lagos and Ibadan in Oyo State. A total of 139 copies of Workers’ Alternative were sold by our comrades.

In Lagos State, the May Day rally was held at the Onikan Stadium. The event was completely controlled and sponsored by the state. This is a reflection of the current impasse facing the Nigerian working class. Placards of workers’ demands, protests and shows of agitation were glaringly absent and were sacrificed for merriment and frivolities.

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presented himself as a sympathizer of the workers, he chanted solidarity slogans before, during and after his speech and then doled out promises, such as, gifts of cars and lands to the leadership of the state NLC and TUC. Issues concerning the welfare of workers, the minimum wage, how COVID–19 has hit the average worker, poor working conditions in the factories, job insecurity, and the alarming rate of unemployment were left unaddressed.

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In Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, May Day rally took place at Liberty Stadium in Oke-Ado. Workers were dressed in their customized outfits with various inscriptions praising the governor of the state, Engineer Seyi Makinde.

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As in Lagos State, the speeches delivered by the leadership of the Oyo State NLC and Oyo state TUC were dominated by eulogies of the state governor. The basis for these eulogies was the continuous payment of workers salary on or before 25th of every month. The leadership of labour painted the right of workers to be paid their salaries as a privilege.

Nothing was said of how the N30,000,00 minimum wage has been rendered useless by the astronomical rate of inflation, the increment in fuel prices and electricity tariffs, among many other attacks against the workers. This shows how degenerate and discredited the leadership of labour has become.

This was confirmed when one ordinary worker refused to purchase a paper of another socialist organization also present at the rally because of the word “labour” in their name, instead buying a copy of our paper (Workers’ Alternative). The worker argued that he did not want to have anything to do with anything connected to the labour union.

The speech delivered by Oyo state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, likewise lacked substance and was full of promises to the leadership of Labour.

These events further confirm what Trotsky once said: “The crisis of humanity can be reduced, in the final analysis, to the crisis of leadership of the working class.”

The rank and file workers suffer directly from the compromising and treacherous agreements between their leaders and the government. They are aggrieved and ready to revolt. We heard news of the Oyo state branch of the Railway Union boycotting the rally in protest against their leaders. There is a seething anger and frustration among the ranks of the workers. It is only a matter of time before the accumulated anger of the rank and file of the workers translates to a qualitative leap. When this happens, the treacherous and reactionary leadership of the labour unions will not be able to stand in the way of the working class.

Norway

On international day workers day this year Sosialistisk Revolusjon, the Norwegian comrades of the IMT, joined other local left–wing and activist groups in marking May Day in Kristiansand. We celebrated the day along with members of Kampkomiteen, Rød Ungdom, Sosialistisk Ungdom, Latin–Amerika Gruppen and other organisations.

Although the groups differ on certain issues, all were agreed on the importance of marking International Workers Day as a day of struggle and solidarity. Red flags were raised and slogans were shouted against war and aggression towards Syria, for freedom for Palestine and Kurdistan, and finally demanding that the rich be made to pay for their own crisis.

The march started downtown and ended up in the town square where speeches were held. Comrade Fredrik held a speech summing up the events of the last year and the importance of the day and how we should not just pat ourselves on the back for voting this autumn, but must fight for socialism outside parliament as well. The day was a great success despite the trade unions and left–wing parties choosing to stay at home. To quote the old song:

“Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, We'll keep the red flag flying here!”

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Pakistan

May Day 2021 was celebrated across Pakistan amid the third wave of the COVID–19 pandemic. Taking advantage of the situation, the government imposed strict restrictions on gatherings, although the brunt of these so–called restrictions has been faced by working–class organisations, while religious and bourgeois political gatherings carry on with impunity. Despite these hurdles, the Red Workers’ Front (RWF), the labour front of the IMT in Pakistan, held as many May Day activities as possible, while strictly following social distancing SOPs.

The RWF printed 10,000 posters for May Day 2021, which were plastered the length and breadth of the country – from Gilgit–Baltistan in the North, to Karachi in the South, and from Lahore in the East, to Quetta in the West. Our poster campaign received an enthusiastic response from the workers because of its radical slogans and because we were the only ones actually printing posters this May Day.

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In liaison with many trade unions and associations, we had initially planned to hold May Day activities in about a dozen major cities. Due to the immense pressure of state authorities – under the garb of COVID restrictions – we were only able to carry out a few. Almost no major trade union held any May Day activity of significance independently.

Despite all these obstacles we were able to hold a well–attended programme in Railway Diesel Engine Shed Lahore along with the Railway Labor Union. Similarly, we held a protest rally in Bahawalpur along with the public works department workers union.

The venue for May Day activity in Lodhran was cancelled by authorities on the spot, so we held a symbolic protest in front of Lodhran press club. We intervened excellently with our leaflets and monthly newspaper, workernama, in two May Day programmes in Quetta organised by Balochistan Labor Federation and Balochistan Employees and Workers Grand Alliance.

Similarly, we intervened in a symbolic May Day programme held at Karachi Cantt railway station by All Pakistan Railway Trade Union Grand Alliance; and at the May Day activity organised by the workers of Pakistan steel mills under the banner of the all employees action committee of PSM. In all of these interventions, our leading comrades were given a chance to speak from the stage and their speeches were enthusiastically received by the workers. Paras Jan gave fiery speeches in Karachi, while Aftab Ashraf and Adeel Zaidi spoke to railway workers in Lahore.

Due to strict restrictions for on–the–ground activities, we also held an excellent online May Day rally through Mazdoor TV on 30 April. The rally was attended by union leaders and militant workers from WAPDA, the railways, Radio Pakistan, the Karachi Electric Supply Company, the public works department, municipal workers, healthcare workers, teachers, civil servants associations, industrial sector workers and others.

This online activity was able to strike a chord with workers and garnered more than 10,000 views. Similarly, two programmes on the history of May Day and on the present global economic situation were also aired via Mazdoor TV and were viewed by thousands of working people.

On the evening of 1 May, a much–applauded online poetry sitting was also organised by the Progressive Youth Alliance and aired on Mazdoor TV.

Spain

Madrid

16 members and sympathisers of Lucha de Clases participated in the march called by the UGT-CCOO in Madrid. We sold 19 papers and made €31 from sales of literature. We attracted a lot of attention during the march, with members of other groups asking who we were and a number of people who were interested leaving their details with us. Thousands turned out for the march, and the comrades spirits’ were high. We are starting to build a profile on the left in Madrid and are making great strides forward.

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Seville

Six comrades and one sympathiser intervened in two demos in Seville: that of the UGT-CCOO and that of the more militant smaller trade unions. Each had between 1,500 and 2,000 in attendance with the latter having a more youthful atmosphere. Altogether we sold 19 papers, plus other literature and merchandise.

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Vitoria-Gasteiz and Donosti

In Vitoria and Donosti there were four demonstrations called by the major national and local Basque trade unions. The weather forecast was poor, but comrades nevertheless intervened in three of the four demonstrations, with comrades selling newspapers and literature.

Valencia

May Day in Valencia has been quite weak in terms of attendance, suffering from a lack of organisation. The demo called by UGT and CCOO was cordoned off in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, with only those with tickets allowed to enter. Yet despite these limitations, our comrades sold a number of papers and we were able to get the details of eight young people.

Barcelona

Whilst in the afternoon a larger demonstration was called by several of the smaller trade unions, during the morning of May Day there were all kinds of demonstrations by separate trade unions, contributing unfortunately to disunity and dispersal of forces. Despite this, we effectively intervened with leaflets promoting our Catalan Marxist School and selling papers. It is clear that the hard core of the pro–independence left is becoming familiar with us in the city, our comrades being recognised by many of the attendees. 

Granada

In Granada, two comrades intervened at the demonstration of the alternative union bloc and the Marches for Dignity. About 300 people attended, including at least 50 workers from the Infoca plan (forest firefighters and maintenance workers) organised by SAT (an Andalusian trade union).

Málaga

In Malaga, 5 comrades and one sympathiser took part. There were about 2,000 people at the demonstration. A handful of Nazis tried to break up the event, but they were immediately expelled by the demonstrators. We sold a total of €103 of material and made a number of contacts. The CGT called a separate rally with 100–150 at which we were also able to intervene.

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Sweden

After organising small rallies and activities during the day in several Swedish cities – Gothenburg, Stockholm, Malmö, Karlstad, Helsingborg, Växjö, Umeå to name a few – comrades and supporters gathered for the online rally “Revolutionary 1 May”. After a year of pandemic and capitalist crisis, the fighting spirit of the 170 participants was palpable.

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The speeches described the barbarism of capitalism, the class struggle following in the wake of the pandemic, the need for a fighting workers movement, and the need to struggle for socialism.

There is massive dissatisfaction among workers, but the workers’ movement is not showing a fighting way forward. In the last speech of the rally, Ylva Vinberg summed up:

“Socialism doesn’t exist for them [the workers], because the worker’s movement denies them this possibility. But when we reclaim the workers’ movement with its founding ideas – the ideas of Marxism – there is nothing that can stop the working class in the struggle for a society that can give us a real future: socialism.

“It is possible. It is necessary. The workers have nothing to lose but their chains, but they have a world to win. Workers of the world – unite!”

“Damn inspiring!”, “Well spoken!”, “Thank you for amazing speeches! It’s so inspiring in these dark times”, were a few of the enthusiastic comments in the event chat. Many indicated an interest in joining the IMT, and we hope to welcome many new class fighters into the steadily growing ranks of international Marxism.

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Switzerland

The comrades intervened in all major cities that held May Day events in Switzerland this year. In the two cities, Basel and Geneva, in spite of rainy weather, more than a thousand participated in the demonstrations – only slightly fewer than before COVID–19. A big presence of the youth in these marches shows the desire for change and the potential in the fight against capitalism.

The IMT participated in different May Day rallies in Bern, Zurich, Fribourg, Winterthur and Thurgau. These events were smaller in size. In Zurich and Bern, demonstrations were banned. While a non-authorised demonstration in Bern saw a participation of several hundred, the police clamped down on any demonstrators in Zurich. The comrades sold the new issue of “Der Funke” and “l’étincelle”. In total over 350 copies were sold and we met many people who were interested in joining the Swiss Marxists.

Due to the ongoing COVID situation, the main focus over the weekend was “Maischule”, a two–day school in German which we have organised following the demonstrations on the weekend. It featured sessions on the perspective and our tasks in the class struggle in Switzerland, the origin of women’s oppression, the role of the Marxists in trade unions, as well as a closing session on the Paris Commune. All sessions were of exceptional quality. The attendance of 170 made it a great success and an important milestone in the building of the revolutionary forces in Switzerland.

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United States

Even though May Day originated in commemoration of the struggle of Chicago workers and the Haymarket massacre, the official Labor Day was set for September in the US in a conscious effort by the ruling class to cut across socialist and working–class militancy. As a result, many of the labor traditions around May Day have been lost. Still, this year there were several demonstrations organized by left–wing groups and immigrant rights organizations.

Our comrades of Socialist Revolution participated in more cities than ever before: New York City; Minneapolis; Boston; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia; Phoenix, AZ; the San Francisco Bay Area; Los Angeles; Milwaukee, WI; Boulder, CO; St. Louis, MO; Chicago; Portland, OR; Dallas, TX; and more.

New York City

In New York City, dozens of comrades participated in two different rallies in Chinatown and Union Square in Manhattan. They set up bookstalls, distributing fliers and booklets – and selling over 100 copies of Socialist Revolution magazine! The comrades later joined in a march to protest against Jeff Bezos in front of his Manhattan penthouse.

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Minneapolis

The Minneapolis comrades participated in a May Day march, which was attended by other left organizations, as well as some union workers such as SEIU and the Minnesota Federation of Teachers. After the powerful Black Lives Matter movement and recent protests during the trial of George Floyd’s murderer, many people were looking for the revolutionary socialist ideas that our comrades put forward distributing many leaflets, booklets, and magazines.

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Boston

The comrades in Boston set up a stall at the regular May Day event that takes place in the Boston Commons. They then marched to Nubian Square, where they had a lot of success engaging with people politicized since the pandemic and looking for a revolutionary organization. A comrade gave a militant speech which was very well received, commemorating the Black Lives Matter uprising in 2020 and putting forward the demand for an independent mass working-class socialist party.

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Phoenix

In Phoenix, the IMT took part in a car caravan and rally organized by DSA in support of the PRO Act. It had a peak attendance of approximately 70 people, including members from DSA and local unions CWA, AEU, and IUPAT. The event was big enough to attract two reactionary counter–protesters, and the comrades met many people enthusiastic about Marxism and the organization.

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Milwaukee

In Milwaukee, a May Day event was organized in a Latino working–class neighborhood by a local immigrants’ rights organization to celebrate International Workers’ Day and demand immigration reform. The comrades set up a stall and were the only Marxist group present with a table and political literature. The mood was joyful and militant, with traditional immigrant rights chants such as “Sí se puede” and “The people united will never be defeated,” as well as labor slogans such as “Milwaukee is a union town!” The comrades later joined a march and concluded the event with a protest against the Republican Senator Ron Johnson.

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Newark, NJ

A May Day rally and march were organized in Newark by DSA, with the participation of about 200 people from immigrant rights and other local advocacy organizations. The SEIU 32BJ and Rutgers Newark AAUP/AFT unions expressed their support for the event, although they weren’t present on site. The comrades were the only group with substantial political materials and gathered a lot of interest from the crowd.

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Venezuela

Despite the brutal economic crisis in Venezuela, which has lasted for more than half a decade, causing a deep ebb among the working masses, small demonstrations took place in several cities throughout the country.

The living conditions of Venezuela’s working class have become some of the worst in the world in recent years, with the lowest salaries on the planet. This May Day, Maduro’s government announced a wage increase of 289%. The new minimum wage is 10,000,000 Bs., which is actually only $3.5 per month.

Organizations forming part of the Revolutionary Popular Alternative (APR) set up a picket in front of the Ministry of the People's Power for Labour in Caracas. Leaders from various national unions participated. Lucha de Clases, the Venezuelan section of the IMT, was represented through William Prieto, Eliecer Gil, and Lumir Castrillo, trade union leaders from FOGADE, SUTAG (printing houses), and INSOPESCA, respectively. They took the floor in defense of workers’ rights, brutally violated by the government’s bourgeois adjustment policy.

Communist Party leaders and union activists also took the floor, among them Oscar Figuera, General Secretary of the CP and APR deputy of the National Assembly. Very nearby to the demonstration, national leaders from the Bolivarian Workers Union were taking quick COVID tests, because they were going to participate in the official May Day activity in the presidential palace, to which everyone present responded chanting the slogans:  “Piñate (labour minister) – traitor, you defend the boss!” and, “Bolivarian Union, sellout and pro–capitalist!”.

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In Barquisimeto, State of Lara, Lucha the Classes also participated in the May Day demonstration. Other protests were held in the regions of Barinas, Carabobo, and Aragua.

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