May Day is the day of international working class struggle and solidarity for a world free of exploitation, imperialist wars and repression.
On May Day we express our solidarity with the struggles of the working people of all countries, and our warmest greetings to the courageous comrades in fraternal revolutionary parties and organisations.
May Day belongs to the working class
For as long as there are workers determined to fight for their own class interests, no-one can take it from us, buy it off, commercialise it or make it acceptable to capitalism. It’s a day when workers proudly proclaim our independent working class agenda that’s independent of parliamentary parties and advances working people’s needs and interests.
Working people around the world are under immense and fierce attack from the corporate ruling class, the 1%. The decaying system of capitalism is in economic and political crisis. Millions of people are struggling to make ends meet, more are thrown into poverty. At the same time, billions in profit, created by the labour of workers, are stashed away by the parasite ruling class. Capital’s war on the working class is relentless and escalating.
The ruling class uses the tactics of racism and religious fundamentalism to divide the working class; and war and fascism are in preparation, but there is no way out of this economic and political crisis for capitalism.
For an independent working class agenda!
An independent working class agenda, an independent set of demands and independence of action in achieving them are urgently needed. More than ever workers need to unite and fight for demands of the people and independent working class organisations.
New ACTU Secretary Sally McManus has assisted that agenda with her public support for the militant CFMEU. In fact, McManus’ statement that it was acceptable to break unjust laws is remarkable for its civility. Her statement on civil disobedience said nothing that a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King Jnr hadn’t already said half a century ago.
Nevertheless, Shorten moved more quickly to dissociate himself from her call than he has on most other issues. He prefaced his words with “As a parliamentarian….” Enough said!
Turnbull and Co. went into a frenzy over McManus’ “support for illegal actions”, but have since come out and backed Trump’s entirely illegal bombing of Syria, an independent and sovereign country.
Defiance is not a bad thing, but a good thing
For our part, we fully endorse the observation that when injustice becomes law, defiance becomes duty. Defiance of bad laws is not a bad thing, but a good thing. Everything positive in history has been achieved through, or associated with, defiance of what the then ruling classes have held to be sacred, above challenge.
Only a willingness to advance demands that directly challenge the hold of the capitalist class - the decisive sector of which is foreign multinationals - over the economy and society, and a willingness to struggle outside the confines of parliamentary agendas and niceties will enable workers to fight for themselves as a class.
A truly independent working class agenda demands the abolition of the ABCC and removal of all laws that condemn hard working unionists from doing their job of defending and advancing the interests and welfare of workers.
It demands taxing the multinationals and big business to pay for decent public health, education, welfare, affordable housing and building local manufacturing industries; to nationalise key infrastructure such as water, oil and gas, energy generation and distribution, mineral resources and public transport, to serve the needs of the working people.
It demands breaking clear of the suffocating US Alliance and promoting an independent foreign policy that promotes peace and cooperation in our region and across the globe.
There can be no reliance on Labor
The history of the Labor Party reveals continual tension between its claims to serve and represent workers and its practical service to capitalism and to big business. It was born as a party of capitalism in that it confined its demands to those that accepted the continuity of capitalism and confined the pursuit of those demands entirely within the capitalist political institution of parliament.
Many class conscious workers know and understand that reliance on the Labor Party will condemn them forever to the mercies of the big end of town.
In our unions and our community organisations we need to bring together the elements of our own agenda, to raise the level of struggle, and to accept the sacrifices and dignity of defiance.