NEW YORK CITY, May 1 — “Asian, Latin, Black and White — Workers of the World Unite!” chanted industrial workers, students, teachers and soldiers as Progressive Labor Party marched into Foley Square where the city labor mis-leaders had gathered to honor May Day.
Our international, multi-racial group stood out as we marched into the rally while these labor fakers were giving hypocritical speeches about workers’ power. The union-led rally was significantly smaller than last year’s because of these same mis-leaders’ refusal to fight the severe attacks on their own membership. As we marched in rank-and-file workers turned their attention away from the podium, joining our chants and snatching up red flags and CHALLENGES.
Upset that the workers were more interested in us than them, the union leaders called for us to turn off our sound system to allow the workers to stand quietly listening to their speeches. This request made a mockery of the history of May Day, a holiday born out of class anger, not patient attention to politicians. When we continued to chant, they sent their racist buddies, the NYPD, to turn off our bullhorn. But PLP members and friends do not give in to capitalism on our day. Our contingent was large and loud enough to make us heard by the workers even without amplification. Workers around us joined in as we chanted, “The cops, the courts, the Ku Klux Klan, all a part of the bosses’ plan!”
This was not the first time the police had tried to shut us down this May Day. As we had rallied in Chinatown before marching to the main protest, we were told that such a large number of people could not congregate in that location.
No problem — groups broke off onto many corners to distribute CHALLENGE, allowing us to meet even more workers.
As the march ended, we left with our red flags raised high and many contacts of workers and students who were impressed by our militancy. Over the coming weeks and months we will work to turn the friends we brought to MAY DAY and the ones we met to recognize and join the fight for the only viable future for the working class — communist revolution.
After our spirited march that gave workers an alternative to liberal and labor mis-leadership, over 700 comrades and friends from Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, New Jersey, and New York gathered for our May Day celebration dinner.
Internationalism, multi-generational, and multi-racial, unity was enthusiastically present during this year’s dinner as the emerging cultural committee captured the growth and evolution of the Progressive Labor Party over the past 50 years. The walls were decorated with front pages of CHALLENGES from as early as 1964. A photo exhibit exemplified decades of a fighting PLP.
Continuing from our convention in 2010 new and young leaders led the way in planning the march and dinner. Three young women comrades hosted the event, which saw a rousing performance of “Ol’ Man River” that inspired the waving of red flags and red towels. Then came the state of the world speech.
What makes PLP the revolutionary communist party, among other reasons, is our dialectical analysis of the world. The bosses are vehemently executing more and more fascistic policies that attack, and murder our class. They do so not because they are evil and require a “change of heart,” but because they are fundamentally required to do so by the laws of capitalism. Capitalism requires divisions of the working class along racial, gender, and “legal” lines to continue reaping super-profits from all workers. Yes, fascists appear as Nazis and cops, but they also come dressed as politicians and labor ‘leaders,’ who ultimately lead workers to support divisive tactics such as the anti-immigrant laws that support the bosses’ imperialist agenda.
‘…we don’t merely talk about fighting the bosses, we fight the bosses!’
The PLP fight-back section of the dinner was the most momentous as one speaker gave short recounts of the Party fighting for communism in Palestine, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Pakistan and another 18+ plus countries and counting. Then came live reports from Washington, D.C. transit workers continuing the fight against the attacks on transit workers and riders.
Students from the John Jay Campus spoke about their continuing struggle against the Department of Education’s growing apartheid in NYC high schools. A professor still in the heat of the battle gave a report of fighting on his campus against the administration for attacks on cafeteria workers (present at the dinner). It is amid these worldwide struggles, small and large, of our Party that our friends see that we don’t merely talk about fighting the bosses, we fight the bosses!
In the segment on “why I joined,” a young student described how he came to know why the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same fascist coin. He said the only party that represents him is the PLP and “through the unification of the proletariat,” we can win the war against capitalism.
Another student took us through her journey in joining PLP. In the Pizza & Politics discussion club, she was shocked to learn that capitalism still exists. She said, “I thought capitalism ended when [legal] slavery was abolished.”
She said she was brought up to believe in Christianity but “how could I when my ancestors were enslaved under the name of Christianity…I knew I had to organize, I had to agitate.” Through the struggle of fighting police brutality on her campus alongside PL’ers she saw the fight for communism as something she should dedicate her life to. Several others at the dinner took her lead and joined our movement for communism. Welcome Comrades!
MAY DAY strengthens our commitment in building the fight against capitalism and all its evils and boosts comrades’ and friends’ confidence in the working class and the Party in the fight for communism