May Day 2013, workers of the world unite

Published on Intrepid Report, by Joseph M. Cachia, May 1, 2013.

The history of May 1 as a workers’ holiday is intimately tied to the generations-long movement for the eight-hour day, to immigrant workers, to police brutality and repression of the labour movement, and to the long tradition of American anarchism.

This year, International Workers Day arrives with more than 250 million of the world’s workers unemployed. The UN predicts that up to more than 70 million more could be thrown into the streets by year’s end … //

… In recent years, Europe has seen a dramatic increase in precarious work due to certain factors, such as, the crisis of capitalism and the unbridled greed of multinational corporations. Without any exception, we are witnessing a deluge of such abusive exploitation of the working population in our community. Workers exploited through precarious conditions, such as; low wages, few or no benefits, no job security, are not ‘rats.’ We demand that the government, instead of bailing out the banks, put up the money to guarantee everyone a decent job or income, our basic rights!

Hopefully, the traditional protest march would encompass the vast majority of workers, whether in employment or not. We must not remain behind, although I do not see any justifiable reason for celebrating, while our workers’ unions are up front in their denunciations of these harsh and cruel measures of austerity that are breaking the backbone of our nation. Corporations are laying off workers while demanding deep concessions from those still employed, while governments are cutting jobs and slashing services. Corporations are running to wherever they can pay the least and profit the most. What is there to celebrate in today’s pitiful situation with capitalism in its highest imperialist stance?

Today, capitalism is in a serious crisis and is exposing every aspect of its barbaric, brutal and shameful mien, sequestrating all working class rights and achievements. We must not let banks steal our children’s future. May Day should be a lesson to all future generations supporting the principles of the workers’ gains. Let’s reclaim May Day. In San Francisco, they used to say that if you didn’t like the history we have so far, go out and make some that you do like.

Once, the labour movement had been decimated and co-opted, but there is still a spirit of defiance that is rising to the surface once again. It could be hard to believe that we, as European Union members, have the power in the society we now inhabit. We may feel declawed and powerless. If we think only of what we, as individuals, can do, then certainly we feel overwhelmed in an organisation as big as the E.U. However, there are lots of us, literally millions all around us. We don’t have to accept any tyranny. We do not deserve poverty, destitution, unemployment, exploitation and degradation, all caused through the greed of the capitalist elite. What we need is to make our voices heard. We need to make noise. If we are too afraid to say “NO”, we deserve to live our lives under the heel of those who own the “apple cart” we seek to upset and the “boat” we need to rock.

On this May 1st, let us raise our fists in solidarity with workers who are fighting bosses and governments everywhere! May Day should never become Loyalty Day to any government that does not respect and strive to ameliorate workers’ livelihood.

Don’t miss this chance to meet and join, even perhaps in spirit, hundreds of others like you, committed fighters against a system of greed, racism, war and oppression … //

… (full text).

Links:

Challenging the Car and Capitalism, on Dissident Voice, by Yves Engler, April 30, 2013;

Land rush in Europe comparable with Africa, Asia and Latin America, argues new report, on Transnational Institute, by Hilde Vanderpas and Jeanne Verlinden, April 17, 2013: New report, involving 25 authors from 11 countries, reveals the hidden scandal of how just three per cent of landowners have come to control half of all farmed land in Europe. This massive concentration of land ownership and wealth is on a par with Brazil, Colombia and Philippines …;

The Great European Fire Sale, on Transnational Institute, by Deutsche Bank, March 19, 2013: A visual overview of privatisation of public services and assets enforced on crisis countries by the European Commission and European Central Bank. And the popular resistance movements to defend public services that have emerged as a result.

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