Members of the American Party of Labor wrote to the Red Phoenix to tell us what May Day means to them, in the belly of the imperialist beast.
Polina Brik, New Jersey:
“The meaning of May Day International Workers’ Day, is simultaneously a celebration of labor and workers across the world, the celebration of the arrival of the Spring, but also a remembrance of everyday toil that the working class carries with it every day. This is a day when the unity of workers across the globe becomes glaringly apparent, more so than on regular days of a year. Not a day does a communist live and breathe without thinking of her brothers and sisters across the world, but May Day is special because it is an open declaration of war and ceaseless fight against exploitation of workers, against sexism and racism, and all other forms of reaction, against capitalism and for the final victory of the workers. May Day is love and war. It is love for your keen people, it is an prominent realization of sameness, and it is hate for the capitalist system and its upholders. Let the May Day be an inspiration for millions of workers to carry on their heavy fight for socialism.”
Red Nesbitt, Maryland:
“May Day is memory. Our flag isn’t red because it’s rich and flashy as a standard, our flag is red for the blood of all workers spilt in the class struggle throughout the ages. If you’re going to fight you better know why you are and remembering the warriors who came before is one of the best educations. We need May Day so that we may be humble class warriors to the extinction of that class struggle so that we live to see a day without banners, without class, and without bloodshed, we need May Day so that we are humbled by the revolutionaries that came before us from Paris to Moscow to Mobile, we need May Day so that we don’t fight to be remembered but that we remember to fight.”
Alfonso Casal, National Spokesperson:
May Day is a day of strength and pride. It is the day when the humble, the exploited, the oppressed straighten their backs, hold their heads high and say “We workers are the strivers, the achievers, the builders. Through our labor, industry creates its wealth and nature yields its bounty. The world belongs to us, and we will accept nothing less than than the globe itself. The future is ours!” May Day is when the bourgeoisie and its slaves and lackeys are put on notice that a new world’s in birth, a new world that we will build through our own efforts. A world free of hunger, exploitation and want. May Day is the day when the bourgeoisie learns that they are right to tremble in the face of a proletarian revolution. Their day is done. Ours is dawning.
Max Robbins, Florida:
“May 1st, known to working people all over the world as International Workers Day, is a day that we observe our class’s victories and the ongoing struggle for the liberation of the international working-class and oppressed peoples. It’s a day for the toilers of this world to remember the movements we’ve built to combat the exploitation and oppression of the capitalist-class.
It’s a day for us to remember the leaders of our class’s liberation, the sacrifices they made for our cause, and to refute the slander made by capitalist propaganda to paint them out to be tyrants, while the capitalists continue to push their own on us. May we not only remember our class’s triumphs and woes, but also the purpose of our cause: to establish a worker’s democracy, crush the power of the capitalist-class, and begin the construction of a socialist society. We’ll continue to fly our red flags across the skies until the dawn of liberation. To revolution!”
John Palameda, Illinois:
As American workers, we live our lives being told to be ashamed to be workers rather than petty or large bourgeoisie. We’re told our unions are corrupt and impotent. We’re told our political heroes are murderers and American murderers are heroes.
But on May Day, we can go “a-maying,” we wear our red on our sleeve, we fly our flags, we march with our union brothers and sisters. It cleanses the heart. I hope the comrades here find some community and solidarity, despite the distance.