National Sections of the L5I:

Austria: Successful Internationalist May Day Demonstration in Vienna!

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Our internationalist May Day demonstration in Vienna was a complete success. More than 1.500 people marched on the "Ring"  a broad street in the centre of the city  under the slogan "Let us Resist together!" Michael Proebsting reports.The internationalist May Day demonstration takes place since 2005 when the League for Socialist Revolution (LSR)  Austrian section of the LFI  and a left-Stalinist organization (Communist Initiative) took the initiative to organize a demonstration independent of the social democratic and Communist Party apparatus. Since then we have succeeded in forming an alliance with a number of immigrant organizations from Turkey and other countries and Austrian left-wing groups.

In Austria social democracy has traditionally its own party May Day demonstration where some tens of thousands of people come to it. The Communist Party also had its own demonstration when it was stronger. After the collapse of Stalinism the CP opened their demonstration a bit towards other left-wing groups but parallel to their political and numerical decline they became more and more right-wing and tried to bureaucratically exclude the LSR and other radical left-wing forces from united front mobilizations. As a result we started mobilizations independent of the CP bureaucracy. Their sectarianism was not particularly helpful for the CP apparatchiks. While our demonstration mobilized 1.500 people only 300-400 joined the demonstration of the CP-dominated alliance.

What was particular important about this years demonstration was that we managed to broaden the alliance. More the 20 organisations participated in the May Day alliance including organizations from Austria, Turkey-Kurdistan, Latin America, Arab countries and Philippines.

Since last year we are organizing after the demonstration an open air fete in a big park. We had both political speeches and music and dancing groups from Latin America and Turkey. Occasional raining and some technical problems couldn't lower the good mood.

The League for Socialist Revolution and the youth organization REVOLUTION participated with a militant contingent at the demonstrations (you can see many pictures at our website www.sozialistische-revolution.org). We also put a lot of efforts in spreading the ideas of revolutionary Marxism. In addition to the new edition of our paper BEFREIUNG and a pamphlet of Social democracy and Austromarxism we sold quiet successfully our new Action Programme. We also distributed 1.000 leaflets which explained the urgency for a new Workers Party given the neoliberalisation of Social democracy. This necessary struggle for a new Workers Party was also stressed by Michael Prˆbsting, the LSR's speaker at the final rally. Mercan S¸mb¸ltepe  the speaker of REVOLUTION at the beginning of the demonstration  argued for a revival of the militant tradition of the workers movement and the need to fight back against the attacks of the bosses (her speech can be viewed on the LSR's YouTube Video Channel www.youtube.com/user/RevolutionSocialism).

All in all it was a successful May Day demonstration. We see such mobilizations as part of the struggle to create the basis for a new Workers Party  a party which fights for the interests of the working class and integrates this in the context of a strategy for international socialist revolution. The struggle to build this party therefore is an integral component of the struggle to build the Fifth International.

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