National Sections of the L5I:

Mayday greetings 2007

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Mayday is a special day in the tradition of the workers movement. From 1889 we have protested against exploitation, war, racism simultaneously with our fellow workers in all the countries of the world. Some of us will suffer severe repression today for celebrating the workers festival. Those of us who have won the legal right to celebrate Mayday should highlight the heroism of those who still have not.

Mayday has been traditionally the day to demand a an eight hour working day, trade union and democratic rights freedom from war and racism. These battles are far from over. Indeed in the name of neoliberalism and the market economy the working day is being lengthened, protective legislation being abolished, real wages lowered, health and education services turned into sources of profit, available only to a few.

Above all 1 May is the day on which to celebrate the international solidarity of the working class. The bosses and their politicians do all they can to divide us along lines of nationality, race, religion and gender. We must reject this with all our strength. As Karl Marx wrote “The working class has no homeland”.

But internationalism cannot remain a disembodied spirit, invoked only once a year. It must take organised form in our everyday struggles if it is to mean anything. In the words of Rosa Luxemburg our homeland is the workers’ International. Such an International does not presently exist. It has to be created as it has been four times before. Is it possible to do so? Yes indeed, possible and absolutely vital.

Capitalist Globalisation brings our struggles together as never before. We are compelled to struggle by he international offensive of the bosses yet our movement, parties and trade unions, suffer from an acute crisis of leadership. Bureaucratic misleaders abort and divert our struggles, time and time again.

But it has been many decades since the working class actually had a mass International with which to co-ordinate its struggle; one with the potential to lead its forces to victory. Parties which claim to be Labour, Socialist and Communist join governments which rule for the bosses within the straightjacket of the capitalist state – controlled by their army, secret services, judges and police.

Rather than fight to overturn that state and overthrow the capitalist state they side with the bosses against striking workers, with the imperialists in their wars, with their “wars on terrorism” against those fighting for national freedom and democracy. We urgently need a new leadership – one which can drive out and replace these misleaders - this can only be achieved by building it simultaneously on an international and a national level.

We look to the mass demonstrations and struggles of the working class on all continents as proof of the potential to create a new working class International in the coming period.

Down with all bosses, dictators and bureaucrats! Down with national oppression! Down with poverty and exploitation! Down with imperialist war!

Solidarity with all workers and oppressed peoples resisting imperialism!

Long live the Mayday of the international proletariat!

Forward to the Fifth International – a new world party of socialist revolution!

International Secretariat of the League for the Fifth International