Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/809/18534

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 April 2014

Editorial of the Socialist

May Day 2014 - Step up the fight for a socialist world!

May Day celebrations, photo Paul Mattsson

May Day celebrations, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The first of May is traditionally a day of international workers' solidarity, celebrated by working class fighters around the world. Its origins lie in 19th century struggles, mainly among manual workers in the United States and Europe for the reduction of the working day to eight hours.

The socialist Second International called for an international day of protest to be held at the beginning of May 1890 on the same date as the American Federation of Labour was planning to hold a demonstration for an eight-hour day. The 1890 May Day protest in London on the nearest Sunday to 1 May saw around 300,000 assemble in Hyde Park.

Eight hours work, eight hours sleep and eight hours for leisure, family and cultural activities was inscribed on the banners of trade union, socialist and revolutionary organisations.

A limit of eight hours on the working day was one of the first measures introduced by the revolutionary government in Petrograd after the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was seen as a vital measure not only to reduce the hours of toil but to give workers time to be involved in the democratic decision-making of the councils or 'soviets'.

May Day celebrations, photo by Paul Mattsson

May Day celebrations, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

It is timely to remember this when capitalism in crisis has imposed in many countries working days without limit, and in some cases, the opposite - zero hours! In the context of mass unemployment, those searching for work today, including even university graduates, find themselves thrown into the 'precariat'.

The demands for a decent job for everyone in society and a 35-hour week, for wages that more than cover the cost of living, for free education and healthcare, for affordable housing and public transport, are all modest when compared with the vast, extravagant spending of the super-rich.

The gap between the 1% and the 99% is widening. In the campaign in Seattle in the US for a minimum wage of $15 an hour, led by Socialist Alternative (part of the Committee for a Workers' International), councillor Kshama Sawant described the 1% as conducting an "aerial bombing raid against the 99%". A fightback is vital.

May Day is an occasion to step up the struggle against all forms of oppression and discrimination. It is a time to remember those who have lost their lives, and those who risk them daily, in factories, fields and building sites worldwide. It is also a day to remember all those imprisoned for their beliefs and to demand their release.

As economists try to say that the worst of the world economic crisis is over, we see millions more people driven into poverty - across Europe and the Americas, as well as in Asia and Africa.

Class struggles

While in some countries the number of strikes and protests may be temporarily lower, in others - such as Greece - there are repeated mass actions, and there can be no doubt that anger is accumulating everywhere.

More social explosions are inevitable in numerous countries, as the 99% in society - those who own and earn relatively little or nothing - make themselves heard through action and organisation.

The urgency of building new mass workers' parties to conduct the struggle for genuine socialism everywhere increases by the day. Socialist programmes are vital, because taking the major companies - which control whole economies - into public ownership, combined with democratic economic planning, is the only way to provide jobs, homes and decent living standards for all in society.

The Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) is presently celebrating 40 years of its existence.

On May Day 2014, as well as marking the CWI's anniversary, we are celebrating the best traditions of the pioneers of the workers' movement: international solidarity between working class people and the struggle against war, oppression and exploitation. The destruction of the environment, which gathers pace as long as capitalism survives, adds urgency to the struggle for a socialist world.

Members of the sections and groups of the CWI, which includes the Socialist Party in England and Wales, are celebrating May Day 2014 in practically every time zone of the world. From Seattle to Sao Paulo, Brussels to Bangalore, London to Lagos, Tel Aviv to Toronto, Moscow to Melbourne, and in many more cities across the globe.

The Socialist sends May Day greetings to all its readers, and to workers and socialist fighters everywhere. The most decisive struggles to transform the world on socialist lines lie ahead.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 30 April 2014:


Socialist Party election campaigning

Vote for a working class voice

Getting under Labour's skin in Southwark

Your financial support is vital

Election Appeal: 2,148 raised so far


International socialist news and analysis

USA: reviving working class traditions

Ukraine: skirmishes threaten wider conflict


Socialist history

A South Wales miner remembers


International workers' day

May Day 2014 - Step up the fight for a socialist world!

May Day: Remembering Bob Crow and Tony Benn

May Day greetings in The Socialist 2014 - pdf


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cost of living crisis: Scrap zero-hour contracts!

UKIP - a pro-cuts party for the 1%

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

United against the far right in Brighton

Save Leicester Race Equality Centre

Fighting Library cuts in south Wales

Newsnight - socialist teacher demands right of reply

Why I joined the Socialist Party


Socialist Party workplace news

Defending pensions, jobs, pay, services... Back the strikes!

Workplace safety: It's big business as usual

Usdaw conference - fighting democratic union needed

Care UK strike: Miliband shows workers can't rely on Labour

Workplace news in brief


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 April 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

May Day:

triangleThe real origins of May Day

triangleDerby Socialist Party: The origins of May Day

triangleHelp fund your paper!

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Tories out! Corbyn can win on socialist policies

triangleMay Day greetings in the Socialist

Socialist:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

The Socialist:

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

CWI:

triangleCampaign against political repression in Hong Kong

triangleChe Guevara 50 years on - revolutionary socialist and fighter

Capitalism:

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

Revolution:

triangleWarrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

35-hour week:

triangleHorror of health-wrecking toil for Polish migrants

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

19/10/17

Refugees

Hundreds of torture victims wrongly detained

18/10/17

Brexit

Tories torn - bin them now

18/10/17

What we saw

What we saw

18/10/17

Food

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

18/10/17

NHS

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

18/10/17

Debt

Young people being strangled by debts

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2