On Sunday, May 1, the International May Day Online Rally is being sponsored by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), its affiliated Socialist Equality Parties around the world, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) and the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC). We encourage all to attend this important event by registering here.
The World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) recently spoke with workers across the US who explained why they are joining the International May Day Online Rally this weekend.
Claire, a teacher in Alabama:
We have seen that our lives do not matter to our government, our administrators, or our unions. Capitalism knows no country, it is everywhere. It knows every language and every place. It needs us, like a parasite, it feeds off our work. We need to cut off the source. We must put an end to the capitalist regime which is using us as pawns.
Sri Lanka has shown us the prototype for what we need to be doing now, 250,000 teachers said, ‘No more’ and went on strike. If they can do it, we can do it.
When you hear the virus “claimed the lives of 20 million people,” it is breathtaking. It is breathtaking to know something 100 percent preventable, which did not have to happen, was allowed to happen. We were told to deal with it.
Teachers are tired. Literally. We were told they are removing all the mask mandates. Initially they said masks would be optional next school year. Then spring break, they changed it and suddenly announced masks are optional. They shut down COVID tracking (which they were not doing anyway.)
Biden could not do the infrastructure repairs and [Alabama Governor Kay] Ivey said she does not care how high the numbers go, they will not close schools. They are homicidal maniacs. They do not care if my kids die or not. And they are not tracking the people who are getting it. Now they are taking away masks. It is like, first you stab me, then you beat me up, you shoot me, put me in the back of the truck and drive into the ocean.
Teachers are leaving in a mass exodus, principals are leaving, district staff are leaving. It is worse than last year. Yet they are providing a billion a week for war, a war they are stoking up with Russia.
This is the state of humanity right now. It can be overwhelming, but it can also be igniting. I want this information to ignite a fire under us so that we can band together. We must use this information we will learn on May Day to get us uncomfortable and do what we need to do.
We need to fight, push back and step into our place in history against both the pandemic and the capitalist powers-that-be.
A Texas oil worker:
Workers have long been aware that we are being exploited by the ruling class, that we are unfairly compensated for our labor so that the rich may accumulate more wealth. However, in recent years, the extreme lengths to which the wealthy will go to remain that way have been made apparent. The loss of more than 1 million lives to COVID is evidently an acceptable price to pay in order to maintain a healthy economy. The possibility of nuclear war is also tolerable, provided stocks continue to rise.
The effects of murderous policies trickle down to every member of the working class in the form of stagnant wages and rates of inflation not seen in decades. We must organize to liberate the working class from this oppression. I will be attending the online May Day rally and I urge all workers to do so as well.
May Day is an important event because members of the working class can come together internationally. We can not only share our experiences but see our power and what it takes to really fight for our lives. We can see that power historically speaking and currently, that we can come together collectively. We can say, ‘No more.’
An education worker in a major American city:
As the middle working class, we always get screwed. When I retire, I think that I fall in the category of making too much money to qualify for additional help, but I do not make enough money to live comfortably.
At this point, it is scary going into the grocery store because many of the shelves are empty. No, this is not at all Putin’s fault, what we have been going through was way before this war. I personally feel it is the greed of the rich man. All these companies received COVID monies, and they are still passing the cost of the pandemic off onto the working poor. American citizens should be up in arms about this. They are sending money to fund the war, but America has its own citizens barely making ends meet here at home. Charity begins at home first.
Back in 07/08 under the Financial Managers, we lost 33.5 percent of our income due to pay concession, paying into our health care, furlough days etc… We were told that we would get the money back, we’ve received 2-3 percent here and there. I only make $3.00 and some change more from 14 years ago. Something is terribly wrong in the country. It feels like the working people are under attack!!
I will be at the May Day Rally because if you do not stand for anything, you will fall for anything.
Michael, a former educator from California:
Intentionally causing fuel and food scarcity is a dehumanized assault on humanity that seeks trillions in windfall profits for a few, at a gruesome cost.
Inflation is the policy choice, where criminals and oligarchs win on both sides, and not only Ukrainians but workers everywhere will get the bill of impending mass famine and death.
“There is no way a war can be acceptable in the 21st century.” - Antonio Guterres
“We need another $33 Billion to keep the war going.” - The White House
There has never been a time when it’s so unequivocally clear that no national institution, no political celebrity, no corporate power anywhere has any intention nor the courage to act and save humanity from such highly organized, unbridled corporate greed. Environment, health and justice are all being pushed to the brink, with the rising threat of nuclear war now forcing us all to action. The workers of the world must now consider how we can stand up together for humanity, when no one else will.
That is why I will not miss the WSWS May Day event. Will you join us to talk about our role in building a future that includes humanity?
Ric, a retired teacher from California:
Lenin said, “Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.”
Imperialism is what the Ukraine/Russia war is about. The US goal is to carve up Russia after it defeats it.
None of this is helpful to workers. While wages cannot keep up with inflation and money to combat COVID evaporates, the spending on war is lavish and endless. Workers must unite against imperialism and flex their collective muscles. As Joe Ettor said, “If the workers of the world want to win, all they have to do is recognize their own solidarity. They have nothing to do but fold their arms and the world will stop. The workers are more powerful with their hands in their pockets than all the property of the capitalists.”
That is why I plan to participate on the WSWS May 1 online rally because workers need to unite to stop imperialism and the war fever that is its hallmark.
Alfonso, a UPS worker from California:
I am attending this May Day rally because the international working class needs to unite. In the aftermath of a pandemic that has left millions dead and saw the largest transfer of wealth from the working class into the coffers of the bourgeoisie, the only way forward for workers is organization. As Trotsky stated in his essay, “Fascism, what it is and how to fight it,” the bourgeoisie wants to annihilate all workers organizations leaving the proletariat as an amorphous mass. WE must prevent this and build solidarity not only domestically but internationally.
May Day, a day rooted in the brutal attack on workers in Chicago, is the day all socialists of all types must come together to show our strength, determination, and resiliency. Workers must show the capitalist class that we are poised to change the course of history and take our rightful spot at the command and helm of society in order to build our socialist vision.
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