Throughout the world, workers and oppressed people celebrate May Day, the International Workers’ Day. May Day serves of course to highlight our struggles and victories—those of the past, our current struggles and our victories to come. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate once again our will to resist the various and daily attacks that we undergo from the bosses and all those who defend and impose this system of exploitation and oppression with all its inequalities.
But May Day is not a day of struggle like any other one. For over a century, International Workers’ Day has been a moment where we not only fight to have specific demands related to our living and working conditions met, but a day where we express our general will for emancipation. May Day is not only for denouncing this or that decision from a single boss nor to demand concessions from the bourgeois governments; May Day is certainly not about celebrating our pride of being “Canadian” or our commitment to “having Québec at heart” as some shamefully propose.
The unity we are celebrating on May Day is that of our class, the one who by its labor produces all social wealth; it is the day we celebrate the alliance of exploited workers with all the oppressed peoples, whether they live here or elsewhere. May Day and its spate of actions are part of the general workers’ movement and that of all oppressed people who have never stopped to aspire for a world without capitalists, imperialists and oppressors and have always fought with great courage and determination to beget a new world.
In Canada, this aspiration expresses itself in the resistance to unemployment, to cuts in social programs, to repression against the proletarian youth, to gender oppression and racial discrimination. It expresses itself in the fight for better living and working conditions and for a sustainable future for the next generations. It so has the potential to unite with the powerful indigenous liberation movement that is unfolding everywhere on the territory, territory that the Canadian bourgeoisie has stolen—a movement which rightly opposes the rule of big capital.
May Day is the perfect time to condemn this system and the bourgeois power which serves and represents it, and to affirm the historical necessity and possibility of substituting a people’s power. Hence May Day is also a day of revolutionary struggle.
Contrary to what the admirers of this system say and repeat, revolution is always a necessity. For more than two centuries, capitalism proved and is still proving today to be a disaster for the vast majority of humanity. Even in a country as rich as Canada, austerity is widening social inequality and the living conditions of the great majority of workers are inexorably crumbling. The capitalist economy is stalled and may only postpone its crisis by squeezing labor power and ransacking the environment. The intensification of competition and rivalry between the great imperialist powers is a source of slaughters and wars have become a permanent feature of the capitalist world system—a system that Canada is part of.
May Day also gives us an opportunity to reject those false solutions proposed by those who think that “there is no alternative” and that we should live forever within this system. Whether they be right wing activists or right wing organizations who spread Islamophobia and xenophobia and suggest that our “enemy” is always elsewhere, never in our midst; or whether they are supporters of “capitalism with a human face” (or present themselves as such even when they are heading a state that has never ceased to be at the exclusive service of a bourgeois minority, as is currently the case of the Trudeau government): the actual purpose of these seemingly contradictory trends is to distract us from the fight to end this system and never break from it, supposedly because it is “the least worst of all systems.”
This May Day 2016, let’s cease to believe and think that we, proletarians, are not capable of organizing society differently and leading the social revolution we need to achieve this. Let’s overcome the fear and racist and sexist prejudices that the bourgeoisie spreads to divide us. Unite the exploited and oppressed to confront bourgeois power. Let’s forge our struggle through experience for the coming years so that revolutionary struggle takes place not only on May Day but shall become the main form of class struggle in Canada.
This world belongs to us! This is the message that the PCR-RCP, its supporters, revolutionary workers and students, proletarian feminists and their allies will carry this May Day 2016 in various rallies and demonstrations happening across the country.
Long live May Day! Long live the Revolution!