Workers from every continent have registered to attend the fifth annual International Online May Day Rally this Saturday, May 5, 2018. This year’s rally, which will be broadcast live beginning at 5:30 p.m. EDT, coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx, the founder, with Friedrich Engels, of scientific socialism.
The rally is taking place amid a resurgence of class struggle around the world, including an ongoing wave of walkouts by teachers and education workers in the United States.
Diane, a teacher from Detroit, Michigan, who participated in city-wide wildcat teacher walkouts in 2015-16, explained why she is attending the rally: “I am attending the May Day rally because I like the truth. It is truth that keeps me moving. Marx had a jump on it more than 150 years ago. Today the past and future are all coming together.
“I am somewhat encouraged by the teachers’ strikes, but when the unions say to go back, they do. Why, when their demands aren’t met? The unions do nothing.”
Another Detroit teacher, H., said, “The reason I’m attending the May Day meeting is I’m exhausted. As a member of the working class, all the things we once depended upon for support have been taken away by the capitalists and the unions. Even the things African-American workers once depended on, like the NAACP, are just arms of the capitalist establishment.
“The working class and poor own no means of production, and not only that, we have no political voice. The only people we can depend on are each other, the working class.
“The things that Marx said about the working class being the force for revolution are entirely correct. We are the revolutionary class. Teachers are slowly becoming politically conscious, leading in the direction of forming their own political parties. They are eventually going to have to break with the unions. On some level they already know that. We, Detroit Public School teachers, were sold out by the union too, but we started a conversation.”
Registrants for the May Day rally from around the world have already written in with May Day greetings. Here are some of them:
Aidan from Guildford, England writes, “Long live the ideas of Marx! May they guide us as we work towards a beautiful future where mankind is finally free from its chains!”
R. from Colombo, Sri Lanka writes, “Now is the time in modern history, more than anytime else, for workers all over the world to unite under the common banner of international socialism.”
W., also from Colombo, writes, “In the context of revival of struggles of international working class it will be a great event in providing a socialist perspective.”
A. from Nigeria writes, “I am a teacher and had alerted my students about Marx’s birthday anniversary. I look forward to the event of May 5.”
Referring to the Haymarket Massacre marked by the first May Day rally in Chicago in 1886, S. in Bangalore, India writes, “Haymarket square to Tahrir square, workers have shown us they are ready. The beacon is wsws.org. Let us have our revolution soon...”
H. from Turkey writes, “I salute the International Committee of the Fourth International, the conscious expression of the working class masses, and all the sympathizers who have cultivated themselves in this perspective.”
I. from Belgrade, Serbia writes, “Glad to be with you, in the spirit of workers’ internationalism and solidarity! Thank you for all your daily reports and special actions.”
Gino from Windsor, Canada writes “Enough is enough. Our leaders need to be held accountable. Those that manage us in the workplace use us and exploit us as animals while they themselves behave like nothing less than predators to gain an earthly position of comfort.”
John from Bradford in the United Kingdom writes, “It is only on the World Socialist Web Site that the international traditions of the working class are celebrated and developed.”