Long live the workers’ struggle!
The sections of the International Confederation of Labour have held rallies and demos to mark Mayday across the globe. We celebrate the long tradition of struggle that link us directly to the Martyrs of Chicago, the anarchists who were executed following the Haymarket Affair of May 1886. They were part of a truly international movement to demand the 8 hours workday, that galvanised the working class for decades. Precisely 2019 marks a hundred years since this was first achieved in any country in the world, when a successful strike led by CNT in the company La Canadiense forced the Spanish government to reluctantly introduce it. Many other countries would follow suit in the years after 1919. Internationalism at its best!
This date is also an opportunity to look forward to renewed struggles. For the working class worldwide, it is not enough to cling on to the rights we conquered in the past. First of all, these are not recognised yet in too many parts of the globe. We can’t ignore the slavery-like work conditions in many countries that fuel the global market distribution networks. Secondly, these rights are being eroded all over the planet, in many different ways. Not least, by the supposedly innovative gig economy, that under the pretence of more flexibility, for workers and customers alike, just tries to do away with long stablished regulations that protect workers’ right and guarantees a degree of stability. Why does “new capitalism” look so suspiciously like the old one?
Mayday is a date in which workers can get a sense of our power and capacity. This is best appreciated looking at it with an international perspective. A demo or a rally that may look small becomes huge when connected to many other similar ones taking place, simultaneously, all over the world. There are links below to news of the events held by our sections across the globe, that we’ll update as we receive them.
However, there’s no room for complacency. We are aware of the many challenges that lay ahead and that we are only taking the first steps in building a truly international anarchosyndicalist and revolutionary unionist movement. The road is long. Let’s take courage in the presence of our comrades beside us. Our Mayday be a date for remembrance, but most of all, for hope, encouragement, planning and determination. Thanks to all the comrades worldwide that have demonstrated the inexhaustible power of the working class!
Miguel Perez, ICL’s secretary
Also available in: