Towards A United Fight Back Of The Entire Working Class:
Workers’ Struggles Have No Borders!
La Voz de los Trabajadores joins today in celebration of the International Day of Working Class Struggle.
May 1st is recognized in every country except for the US. But it was in the US where May Day was first celebrated – to commemorate the 1886 execution of the Chicago martyrs during a General Strike demanding an 8 hour workday, 8 hours to study, and 8 hours to rest. These brave leaders gave their lives to immortalize the workers’ struggle against capitalist exploitation and oppression and for socialism and liberty.
The slogans of struggle put forward by the Chicago martyrs May 1st, 1886 are slogans that millions of workers around the world raise today, including in the US, against exploitation, unemployment, poverty and ignorance. Workers in the US – above all im/migrants, the black community, and the LGBTQ community – suffer all kinds of abuse at the hands of the exploitative big corporations, with the support of Obama and the Democrat and Republican parties.
On May 1st, 2006, the great day of immigrant struggle across the country, May Day came to be known as a day of struggle for the rights of immigrant workers. And in 2008, dockworkers across the US Pacific Coast, South Africa, and Iraq shut down ports, demanding an end to the imperialist wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, the need to fight back is more pressing than ever.
Full & Unconditional Legalization For ALL Now!
The Obama administration, though elected under the promise of immigration reform within the first year in office, has continued or worsened the most racist, anti-worker attacks of the Bush years on the im/migrant community:
more than 1,000 deportations a day under Obama!
the E-Verify program & expansion of “silent workplace raids”
criminalization under the Secure Communities program
the denial of financial aid & educational access to undocumented youth
the refusal to recognize LGBTQ marriages that excludes queer im/migrants from a path to citizenship
the exclusion of the undocumented from health care & unemployment benefits
heightened militarization of the US / Mexico border
Whether they happen in the schools, on the job, or in the streets…
Whether they take the form of cuts and denied access to social services, homo and trans-phobic laws, or more repressive policing policies…
These attacks on our most oppressed communities are attacks on the working class as a whole. We need to mobilize the power of our entire class to wage an offensive struggle against the racist criminalization of the im/migrant community, demanding immediate and unconditional legalization now.
This struggle cannot be won in just one day. We need to demand that the unions take up this fight by organizing our class to overturn the Obama government’s policies through continuous struggle. Where union leaderships refuse or where unions do not exist, we need to build independent spaces of worker unity, self-organization and resistance that bring together all sectors of our class and its allies to fight – including students, veterans, the unemployed, the LGBTQ community.
We Will Not Pay For Capitalism’s Crisis! Make The Bosses Take The Losses!
The government’s increased anti-immigrant offensive is being carried out in the context of the economic crisis. In an effort to restore profitability and confidence to the ruling class,Obama has declared an economic and social war on the working class, people of color and im/migrants, youth, mothers, and the elderly. This has been coupled with a significant expansion of the US’s military presence abroad, the continuation of the Bush-era wars of occupation, and the growth of the US’s repressive forces at home – the migra and the police.
The results of these policies:
federal gutting of state budgets
harsh cuts to public education & social services
mass foreclosures as a result of racist predatory lending policies
reductions in wages, job security, & benefits for many sectors
attacks on workers’ right to organize & unionize
work speed-ups & increasingly unsafe working conditions
Rising job precarity has come with increased impunity for workplace oppression – sexual harassment, denial of family and sick leave, racist hiring and firing, forced overtime, etc. In addition, the loss of public programs has forced poor families, especially women, to cover services once guaranteed by the state, including care for the elderly and sick and childcare.
For International Unity & Struggle Of The Entire Working Class To Smash Capitalism & Imperialism!
The history of May Day shows clearly our power to transform society when we are organized and united to fight. We need to mobilize this power now, when we are facing the biggest attacks of our lifetimes: an economic crisis in which we are the biggest losers, two imperialist wars in which we are the ones being sent to fight and die, and xenophobic attacks on us, our coworkers and our families. In the face of this heightened repression, workers of the world must unite to fight our common enemies: capitalism and imperialism.