Workers, youth and students throughout the Asia and Pacific region continue to register for the International Committee of the Fourth International’s online May Day Rally on May 4. Held in the centenary year of the outbreak of World War I, the ICFI’s real-time May Day event is to sound alarm about the danger of a third imperialist war and to fight for the world-wide unity of the working class in struggle against the capitalist profit system.
Eric, a former university teacher and journalist, registered for the event from Thailand but has lived in China and other parts of Asia. He said the WSWS was making “an invaluable contribution to the liberation of humanity and the earth” and then sent an additional comment voicing concerns about US military spending and attacks on basic social programs.
“I totally support the online May Day celebration. One of the key issues facing the international working class is US-led state war crimes—and the media support for them—which target first and foremost the foreign victims of the wars, but also drastically impact the American people. Working-class young people are compelled to join the military through economic pressures, are then used as cannon fodder, and the wealth their parents produce is looted to support the military machine, military-industrial capital, and the finance capital of the banks.
“The US government admits that 25 percent of the federal budget goes to military costs; but the war resistors league, taking account of all military-related costs, including servicing debt from previous wars, amounts to 49!
“Meanwhile, as US social programs are continually attacked and attenuated, more than a trillion dollars per year is being transferred by the government to the banks via ‘quantitative easing.’ Similar ramping up of militarism, transfers to finance capital, and attacks on living standards are taking place in the EU. The key to overcome these crimes is international working-class unity, which is, of course, emblematically embodied in May Day.”
Stan, from Levin in New Zealand, will also be participating in the online event. Levin, a small regional centre north of Wellington, was hard hit by clothing-industry job cuts in the 1980s and the closure several years ago of the government-run Kimberley Centre for the intellectually disabled.
Stan said that the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) was “the only party that is moving forward to match the rapidly developing world events. Every other political party is still stuck in all the old nostrums.”
May Day was occurring “at a critical new turn in the historical development in world events,” he said. He noted a rapid increase in support for the WSWS Facebook page during the events in Syria last year, and again in response to developments in Ukraine.
“There is definitely something happening in the consciousness of masses of people,” he observed. “A new stage in the crisis is being inflicted on working people” and although “we can’t predict the future I’m sure that like the 1930s millions of people will turn to socialism.”
Chris, a 27-year-old railway worker from Wellington, sent the following remarks.
“Capitalism has failed! The ICFI fights to overcome the defeats carried out against the working class over the past century by Stalinism and Social Democracy/Labourism. The ICFI is the only genuinely international Marxist party in the world with a program to unite the working class against the agenda of militarism and austerity of the ruling classes of every country.”
Its program, he continued, was “fundamentally different from all other parties, which seek to buttress the existing order solely to benefit themselves and the privileged layers they represent.”
Brian, a retired accountant from Adelaide, the South Australian capital, has been reading the WSWS for three years. He registered for the international rally, he said, because “we shouldn’t be going to war.”
“Everything is being hidden and done behind our backs. America is trying its absolute best to go to war against China and Russia. I don’t like the way they have military sites established here in Australia, Japan and now a new site in the Philippines. It is so dangerous that they want to somehow retaliate against China. The same thing is going on in Russia and the Ukraine…
“It’s always ordinary people that get sent off to wars to suffer and die,” he continued. “The royalty and the presidents never die, they never go into battle. The continuous drive toward war is a great concern to me.”
Bernie, a retired Australian teacher, said he was worried about the danger of war. “The press is so ‘America and Europe to the rescue’ with Ukraine and fails to explain that they are supporting a right-wing, anti-Jewish government. The US is with the pro-Zionist lobby even as they are caught up with fascists. This hasn’t been mentioned either. I think most people have no idea about what’s going on in the Ukraine. It’s essential that awareness of the truth becomes wider.”
Jeffrey, a retired refrigeration mechanic from the Australian city of Geelong, said that he would be participating in the May Day rally because he was “absolutely committed to the socialist cause.”
“The unions and Labor fit into the whole capitalist system. The unions facilitate the destruction of jobs; they are working behind workers backs,” he added. “Either, we, the workers, dump capitalism or we haven’t got a sustainable future for the planet.
“The US, Germany and others are gearing up for war. Germany wants to establish their factories in the Ukraine with cheap labour. The US wants control of Russia and China and they are all gearing up for WIII,” he said.
“I have ten grandchildren but the problem is many young people are not aware of what is going on. I’m also really disturbed about what is happening in places like France and Greece where the fascists are getting a hold.
“I think the wheels, however, are once again turning in the workers’ and socialists’ direction. More and more people I know are expressing their concerns about capitalism,” he added.