The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) in Sri Lanka will hold a public meeting at New Town Hall in Colombo on May 1 at 3 p.m. to mark the international workers’ day.
The SEP meeting is being organised in defiance of suggestions that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government will attempt to use last Sunday’s terrorist bombings as a pretext for banning May Day events. If the government bans May Day, the SEP and the IYSSE will fight to mobilise workers to defend their right to celebrate this long-held tradition of the working class.
The central theme of the SEP/IYSSE event will be the rising wave of international class struggles and the fight for socialism. We urge workers, youth and intellectuals to attend the Colombo May Day rally and also register and participate in the International Committee of the Fourth International’s Online May Day Rally on May 4.
Exploiting the terrorist attacks, the government has imposed draconian emergency regulations, censored social media and given the military and police sweeping powers to arrest and detain people. The purpose of these anti-democratic measures is not to stop terrorist attacks but to crack down on the growing struggles of the working class and oppressed masses against the government’s austerity measures.
The global financial crisis of 2008 was a systemic breakdown of capitalist profit system. In every country, the ruling elites responded by unleashing brutal austerity measures aimed at placing the burden of the crisis onto working people.
Workers are rising up around the world in an ever-widening wave of strikes and protests in an attempt to defeat the unrelenting attacks on their living standards and basic social and democratic rights. The past six months has seen strikes by more than 70,000 workers in Matamoros, Mexico, thousands of teachers in the United States, and more recently 300,000 teachers in Poland, as well as millions of workers in India, over 100,000 plantation workers in Sri Lanka and the “yellow vest” protests in France.
The ruling class has responded to the international upsurge with repression and rapid moves towards dictatorial forms of rule. This agenda is being advanced in Sri Lanka with the bogus pretexts of “fighting terrorism” and conducting a “war on drugs.”
The imperialist powers, led by the US, are spending billions on the military while attacking free speech and censoring socialist, left-wing and anti-war publications, in preparation to drag mankind into a catastrophic third world war. This is what lies behind the persecution and illegal imprisonment of WikiLeaks publisher and journalist Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who courageously exposed US war crimes.
The urgent task confronting the working class, whether in the advanced or less developed capitalist countries, is the development of a unified world movement to overthrow capitalism and establish workers’ government to implement socialism and put an end to imperialist war, social inequality and dictatorship.
We call upon workers, young people and WSWS readers to attend the Colombo May Day meeting that will discuss this revolutionary perspective.
Date and time: Wednesday, May 1, 3 p.m.
Venue: New Town Hall, Green Path, Colombo