A May 1st… without workers?

1 May, 2020

This May 1st there were no union parades on the streets. Hundreds of strikes around the world showed, however, that there is no alternative other than the one that is expressed in every workers’ struggle.

We do not miss the parades representing the trade union framework. For the last eighty years unions have promoted May Day as a celebration of our condition as workers, claiming that it was in continuity with the origin of the mobilizations. The historical reality was actually the opposite. The Internationals mobilized a proletariat that fought in order to cease being a proletariat, to impose universal human needs as an organizing principle of society. The trade unions, May 1st after May 1st, reiterated to us that their responsibility – which they claimed to be ours – was that companies should deliver profits “in order to redistribute them” without any change. May 1st in recent decades was an empty ritual, a bureaucratic ceremony in which the country fair atmosphere drowned out any possible independent or even discordant class expression.

This May Day the bourgeoisie celebrates our total invisibility as a confined class. In their message, the workers, now rebaptized as “the most vulnerable”, did not even have a procession to “represent” us. The media reference on the front pages is minimal. But reality is very different.

A new phase of economic recession and political crisis is beginning worldwide. All the contradictions of the system have accelerated with the pandemic and the ability of capital to recover is going to depend on its ability to impose a massive transfer of income from labor to capital in each country. The losses and needs of capital are even more brutal than in 2009. But unlike ten years ago, we are entering this new phase with a working class that has mobilized under an almost universal program of demands and that quite a few cases has been strong enough to overcome the unions and twist the arms of companies and governments. This was not even the first act. It has been the overture.

That is why this year we are not going to make a statement of our own. We adhere to the communiqué of the comrades of “La Antorcha”, an organization of young communists that represents better than any other organization known to us the momentum that our class is already engendering and that is the only hope of our species.


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