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From: The Socialist issue 764, 8 May 2013: Tax bankers, not bedrooms

Search site for keywords: May Day - Capitalist - Nigeria - Pakistan - CWI - Socialist

May Day - fighting capitalist oppression internationally

Around the world, trade unionists and socialists celebrate May Day (1 May) as a commemoration of past struggles but also to rededicate the workers' movement to fighting capitalist austerity and oppression.
CWI members, often in difficult circumstances, organised and participated in May Day events around the world. Here are a few short reports.


This year's May Day came in the middle of the general elections campaign in the country. The turnout in the rallies, public meetings and seminars were low compared to previous years.

The deteriorating security situation played a role in the low level of participation. The Pakistan People's Party failed to organise its traditional May Day rally in Lahore for the first time in 40 years.

Yet, in spite of these difficulties the Progressive Workers Federation, Trade Union Rights Campaign Pakistan and Socialist Movement Pakistan (CWI) organised and intervened in the May Day activities in more than 38 cities and towns across the country.

Over 5,000 industrial and public sector workers participated in these activities. A special issue of the Socialist newspaper was also produced.

Syed Fazal Abass Shah, secretary general PWF, Pakistan


Twelve members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM - CWI, Nigeria) were arrested at May Day rallies in Abuja, Niger, Oyo, Kaduna and Anambra states for circulating a leaflet issued by the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN - a new left party initiated by the DSM) on monumental corruption and pension fraud and selling the paper of DSM, Socialist Democracy, with a bold headline on the pension fund scam.

However, local and international pressure mounted by comrades and supporters forced the authorities to release the comrades.

It was an atmosphere of siege at all the May Day events across the country with more vicious attacks on democratic rights than what existed even under the military rule.

Apart from the five states where we experienced arrest, comrades were also harassed at gun point and threatened with arrest in Lagos and Osun, and chased out of the venues in Delta and Imo states.

The Jonathan government has employed strong arm attacks on democratic rights as its response to the growing criticism of its anti-poor conduct and policies as well as monumental corruption.

We commend comrades and supporters locally and internationally for their prompt intervention with protest letters, calls and text messages as well as collaborators and lawyers who helped secure the bail of some of the comrades.

Segun Sango, general secretary DSM


Around 20,000 Taiwanese workers used this year's May Day to rally against austerity and cuts to the pension. Workers weaved through the central Taipei city streets, despite the cold weather and pouring rain, chanting "defend the pension!" and "stop corruption!"

A CWI contingent also marched in the demonstration.

The government stepped up its attacks on workers, pensioners, students and communities such as that in Miaoli (scene of a long and bitter struggle by textile workers last year). Fighting for an end to these attacks means fighting against capitalism.

Chris Dite, Taipei,

Committee for a Workers' International

The Committee for a Workers' International (CWI) is the socialist international organisation to which the Socialist Party is affiliated.

The CWI is organised in 45 countries and works to unite the working class and oppressed peoples against global capitalism and to fight for a socialist world.

For more details including CWI publications write to: CWI, PO Box 3688, London E11 1YE. email

The CWI website contains news, reports and analysis from around the world.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

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