132 years ago, the US bourgeoisie sentenced to death workers that were struggling to reduce their work-shift. The workers’ movement made a reference out of May 1st: an international day of struggle against the bourgeoisie.

IWL-FI Statement.

 

The labor-union bureaucracies and reformist parties seek to turn this day into its opposite, a day of socialization and celebration with the bourgeoisie and governments. We say NO! We have more and more reasons each time to fight the bourgeoisie and its agents.

Wages are lower in real terms all over the world. There is a growing precarity of work contracts, and attacks on our rights like vacations and retirement. Public health and education are being dismantled.

Immigrants suffer from xenophobic oppression by the governments, and humiliant labor conditions. They are the majority in many industries of imperialist countries. It is necessary to impede the governments to divide workers as a whole from immigrants. Immigrants are not guilty of unemployment, the bourgeoisie is. As the lyrics of The International say: “Peace among us, war on tyrants!”

The growing killing of women, the brutal police violence against the black youth, the murder of LGBTIs, sign the daily routine of all the cities in the world. National oppression continues to deepen, as Catalonia and Kashmir show, among others.

There is a growing repression of struggles, criminalization of social movements and persecution of leaders, like the execution of Marielle [Franco] in Brazil and the persecution of Sebastián Romero in Argentina.

The backdrop of this situation is the great multinationals trying to impose a setback on workers’ achievements from 150 years ago, to pay the economic crisis opened in 2007-2009. To it, bourgeois right and “left” wing governments implement harsher adjustment plans and increase repression.

There is nothing to celebrate on workers’ situation. Yet, there are important workers’ struggles against this situation. All over the world, there are examples of important strikes, general strikes, major demonstrations on the streets and even popular insurrections.

There is a true social war of multinationals against workers. If there is not a greater response by workers against the bourgeoisie, it is because reformist parties and union bureaucracies are allies of the bourgeois government.

May 1st of 2018 takes place in a moment of polarization of class struggle and growing political instability across the world. It is necessary to make of May 1st a day of affirmation of workers’ struggles and independence from the bourgeoisie.

Trump is the true face of imperialism!

The imperialist government has the xenophobic, racist, male-chauvinist, LGBTI-phobic extreme-right face of Trump. The most visible face of imperialism is this government, that attacks immigrants, aims to destroy unions in the US, and supports the transfer of Israel’s capital to Jerusalem in a clear provocation to Palestinians.

Now Trump carried out a military attack against Assad’s dictatorship in Syria, previously warning Putin and Assad himself. We repudiate the imperialist attack. Nothing good will come from imperialism. Trump only plays this military game “for the cameras” to be in better conditions to negotiate with Assad. It is Syrian themselves that must overthrow Assad’s genocide dictatorship.

But imperialism’s power does not come from the US only. The European Union is another pillar of world imperialism, aiming to present itself as a “democratic” version when it is only the base of the imposition of German imperialism on European peoples and the world.

Imperialism expresses through austerity plans imposed by every government in the world serving the multinationals. The world is going through a shocking intensification of exploitation, serving some international monopolies. Poverty grows at levels never seen before.

No trust in bourgeois government, be them right or “left” wing

World polarization of class struggle expresses in right-wing parties’ governments, like Trump, Macron (France), May (England), Rajoy (Spanish State), Macri (Argentina), Temer (Brazil), Santos (Colombia), Juan Orlando Hernández (Honduras), Modi (India), Abbasi (Pakistan), and many others. These are governments identified by workers as their enemies, because of the harsh attacks imposed by them.

But workers cannot be deceived by “left” governments that implement the same neo-liberal plans of imperialism. This is the case of the PT governments (Brazil), Maduro (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Cerém (Farabundo Martí, from El Salvador), Ramaphosa (CNA, South Africa), Costa (PS, Portugal). They use the influence they have on workers to impede struggles and implement neo-liberal plans.

The Ortega government, in Nicaragua, tried to impose a Social Security reform similar to other bourgeois governments and through the same brutal repression, killing 25 people.

The Maduro government, in Venezuela, supported by great part of reformist parties all over the world, is a symbol of this decadent “left”. It is a corrupt bourgeois dictatorship that only confronts imperialism verbally, but keeps the multinationals exploiting the oil industry. In Venezuela, there is a brutal economic crisis after almost 20 years of Chavismo in power. A new bourgeoisie emerged from Chavismo – the Boli-bourgeoisie – that enjoys a luxurious life while workers earn a minimum wage worth a dollar per month.

Workers cannot be deceived by the false polarization “left vs right”. The real polarization is between imperialist attacks, supported by governments all over the world, and workers’ reaction to it. We want to unite workers in their struggles against the bourgeois governments, and not to compose blocks with bourgeois sectors that impose the exact same economic plans [as imperialism].

The polarization of class struggle is also causing the development of Fascist groups, as in Charlottesville and Berkeley, in the US; the attacks to Dalits, in India; and in several parts of Europe. Fascists are different from the extreme-right because they defend the use of civil war repression methods against workers and the prohibition of labor-union organizations and workers’ parties. Fascism demands a reaction alike, with direct confrontation on the streets against Fascists to avoid them to grow, like it happened in Charlottesville and Berkeley.

This is why we cannot accept the old Stalinist maneuver (today accepted by most of the global “left”) of calling an “Anti-Fascist Front” against the right-wing governments to justify an electoral front with the same reformist parties that were, or are, part of “left” bourgeois governments, with the same tendencies of authoritarianism and corruption.

On May 1st, we want to make a call for a broad unity of action, but in direct struggle of workers against all bourgeois governments’ attacks, be them “left” of right-wing. And, at the same time, for workers’ struggles to move forward, we want to unmask the defenders of political unity with bourgeois sectors. We want to unmask the reformist parties and union bureaucracies, that only serve the division of those who actually want to struggle.

We must build a new leadership

Union bureaucracies, corrupt and allied to the bosses, play the same role. They stall the workers’ mobilization, as they are allies of the bourgeoisie. To fight against the bourgeoisie and its governments, we need to mobilize the rank and file to uprise against bureaucracies as well, as it is already happening in several places.

Struggles are giving birth to a new union leadership and new struggle bodies, like the CSP-Conlutas (Brazil), that gathers around 200 unions. In Paraguay, there is the Union and Social Front [FSS] that organizes combative unions like Electric workers as well as the popular movement. In Argentina, Struggles Committees are developing in several regions against the reforms. In Costa Rica, there is the Sitrasep, only private workers’ union, with a combative and classist stand. In El Salvador, there is the Coordination, that gathers 12 unions. No Austerity, in Italy, is a reference for current struggles like the great rank-and-file teachers’ strike. In the Spanish State, CoBas Madrid gathers unionism against the UGT and CCOO bureaucracies. There are similar processes in France (Social Front), in the US (WSAN), and other places. The International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles is a pole to gather alternative unionism all over the world.

Reformist parties only present already known formulas seeking small (and smaller each time) reforms, to save capitalism and channel everything through bourgeois elections. This was tested already, and the results are always the same. The Social-Democracy parties in Europe helped to implement neo-liberal plans all over the continent, from the governments or from the opposition. Now, it is the time of Syriza’s new reformism to do the same in Greece.

The PS [Socialist Party,] PC [Communist Party,] and the Bloco de Esquerda in Portugal, receive support from all reformist parties in the world. It is being presented as a “novelty” even when it keeps all the essential points of previous governments’ neoliberal plans, under the excuse of “not carrying out new attacks”.

The PT governments in Brazil guaranteed record profits to the banks and multinationals and were applauded by imperialism until the PT lost its base among workers. And so it happened with Kircherismo in Argentina, Farabundo Martí in El Salvador, CNA in South Africa. The result is always the same: neoliberal plans, repression and corruption.

Enough! It is necessary to go for a socialist revolution. Such is the way out posed by the economic crisis, polarization of class struggle, and the crisis of reformism. Some will say this is a utopia. It is not, it is being realistic. Utopia is to think that it is possible to enhance workers’ lives under capitalism.

To move forward towards a socialist revolution, it is necessary to build revolutionary parties in every country and a revolutionary International all over the world.

Long live May 1st, Workers’ International Day of Struggle!

Down with the economic austerity plans!

Workers of the world, unite!

In defense of the Socialist Revolution!