On May 1st, International Workers Day, millions of proletarians again took to the streets throughout the world to express their will to live in a world free from capitalist exploitation and oppression. This year’s May Day was also marked by the welcome announcement of the merger of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the CPI(ML)[Naxalbari], which is great news for the revolutionary masses in that country and for the International Communist Movement as a whole.
On the same day, a joint statement was issued by some 18 Maoist parties and organizations—including Canada’s Revolutionary Communist Party—calling for the construction of a new international organization and “of an organised international anti-imperialist front of the proletarians and oppressed peoples.” According to the signatories, these are necessary to “fully unleash and realize the revolutionary potential of the present world.” (Statement is available here.)
In Canada, May Day was marked by various initiatives from revolutionary proletarians to make the sound of communism and revolution heard in the streets. Below are some photos and reports we received from our correspondents:
Vancouver: “No Pipeline on Stolen Native Lands”
In Vancouver, a “May Day! Beat the Pipelines” rally was held by supporters of grassroots indigenous land defenders who are fighting against fracked gas and tar sand oil pipelines. As the organizers state, International Workers Day was an appropriate moment to take such a stand “because workers need clean water too, just as all human beings need a living planet.” A few hundred protesters marched into downtown Vancouver despite the threats and provocation of the police. The police attacked the march and arrested a few people, including a 17-year old student who was filming the event. The cops cowardly beat him, leaving him with serious injuries (video of this arrest is available at http://youtu.be/aii5AxxGp8Y). Comrades from the newly-formed Revolutionary Student Movement took part in this march.
Toronto: A large red contingent
The official May Day march in Toronto was attended by thousands of militants. Although most of the major unions returned to their past practice of avoiding a march on May Day itself, numerous workers and some of the smaller unions attended the rally that cut through the heart of downtown Toronto. This year, the PCR-RCP affiliated Maoist contingent was the second largest recognizable contingent in the march, its red flags and banners clearly demarcating a communist line and causing the reactionaries of Sun Media to take notice.
Ottawa: A jumping-off point for a more militant May Day next year
This May Day was a great success for the Ottawa branch of the PCR-RCP. The PCR-RCP and its allies dropped a banner off of the Mackenzie King Bridge in the downtown core of Ottawa, then formed a revolutionary contingent in the annual May Day march. The Party and its allies marched, with faces covered, behind a PCR-RCP banner, successfully taking and holding a major intersection in Ottawa despite the efforts of the police to force protesters off the road. After the march, protesters gathered to celebrate their victory at the PCR-RCP’s yearly May Day party, hearing speeches from supporters of the PCR-RCP before a night of amazing music, including a new spin on traditional union songs by Derek Atkinson and music by Loon Choir and DJ Lowpass. This year was a fantastic May Day, and a jumping-off point for a more militant May Day next year. Solidarity!
Montréal: Almost a state of emergency enforced by the police
For a fifth consecutive year, the Convergence of Anti-Capitalist Struggle (CLAC) called for a street demo on May Day, with the support of various leftist networks and organizations including the Revolutionary Communist Party. The day before, Montréal Police (SPVM) cited the anti-democratic P-6 by-law to prohibit the demo in advance. As soon as the first few dozens of demonstrators took to the streets, hundreds of cops, from both the SPVM and the Provincial Police, encircled and arrested them. In an attempt to overcome the encirclement, the CLAC had called for three alternative gathering points that were publicly unknown. This tactic partially succeeded since a few hundred people were able to demonstrate in downtown Montréal, some of whom ended up joining the trade union parade. At least 130 people were nevertheless arrested and received a $638-ticket under P-6. Anti-capitalist activists and organizers in Montréal should spend some time in the coming weeks to discuss the challenge posed by P-6 and the fascistic behaviour of the SPVM. Activists from the PCR-RCP will take part and share their ideas in that discussion.
Québec City: A protest against austerity measures
Some 300 people took part in the May Day demonstration organized by “la Coalition pour la Justice Sociale.” Mostly composed by trade unions and community organizations, the coalition condemned austerity measures and especially the announcement by the newly-elected Liberal government of an acceleration of their implementation that will cause real pain for the impoverished masses. Supporters of the PCR-RCP, the Revolutionary Student Movement and the Proletarian Feminist Front took part in the demo along with other leftist activists and organizations.