On this May Day I want to remind all of us of the honorable tradition that we stand firmly in. A tradition of regular people, always poor and working class, standing up against monsters of all kinds. This holiday that we call May Day was forged right here in America; forged atop stolen land by those who were brutally oppressed and exploited by the very class structure that tore its way through this land; rooted in genocide, built by slavery, and maintained through endless imperialism. From the first time colonizers touched foot on the shores of this New World, there has been resistance from the our indigenous brothers and sisters who, for millennia, called this land home. From the first time slave masters operationalized capitalist logic by kidnapping Africans from their homes and bringing them here to profit off their forced labor, there has been resistance from our African brothers and sister who stood up and rebelled against their oppressors. From the first time Chinese and Latinx people were imported by capitalists to build railroads and grow food in horrific conditions for little to no pay, immigrants of all stripes have resisted their exploitation and fought for basic human dignity and fair pay. From the first time women were subjugated to second class citizen status in a brutal patriarchal order which viewed them as the property of men, women have organized and fought back against gendered violence and oppression. And, from the earliest days of industrial capitalism, where working people of all stripes, including children, were mercilessly used, grinded to dust by toil, and thrown away by the owning class who viewed them as nothing more than mere commodities, the proletariat have armed and defended themselves and shed blood, often times their own, in the name of liberation.
It is this struggle, this lineage, and this tradition that we all stand in and that we honor today. And lets talk about today! Today, the three richest American men own more wealth than the bottom 50% of Americans *Combined*. Today, over 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, struggling to keep a roof over their head, food in their bellies, and medicine in the cabinet. Today, 25% of the worlds prisoners, an astounding 1/4th of all people locked in cages on Planet Earth, are locked in cages here in the United States of America. Today, the environment is being systematically destroyed in the zealous pursuit of profit at all costs as our children’s futures are sacrificed on the altar of endless growth. Today, trillions upon trillions of our tax dollars are funneled away from social programs like healthcare and education and into the pockets of arms manufacturers who produce weapons and bombs that are dropped on the heads of innocent human beings across the planet.
The struggles of our ancestors, who created this holiday we are celebrating right now by spilling their blood in the name of better wages, better working conditions, and a better life for their families, continues to this day. We are not trying to start a class war, how could we? Class war has already been raging for centuries. We are already in it; and the ruling class, the capitalist class, the owning class, what we Marxists call The Bourgeoisie, have been winning. We are merely standing up, as poor and working people, and defending ourselves in a class war that explodes all around us every single day.
We want a better world, a more equal world. A world where systematic oppression, injustice, exploitation, and endless war are tossed into the dustbin of history, and where every human being can live a life worth living. A life where their physical material needs, as well as their mental and emotional needs, are systematically met by society, not sneered at and neglected.
Our rulers want us to believe that there is no alternative. That this is the best we can do as a society and as a species; just like Kings and Queens of the past told their subjects that their role as rulers was ordained by God, and that nothing could be done about it. But we reject this cynicism and defeatism. We reject the lies of our masters who live lives of unimaginable luxury and comfort on the back of the international working class.
A better world is possible. A world where people of all colors, all religions, all genders, all ethnicities, and all orientations can come together in cooperation and solidarity and build a sustainable, egalitarian world.
It is true that our flag is red with the blood of our martyrs. It is true that our society is burdened by the weight of dead generations. It is true that the forces of fascist reaction and neoliberal exploitation are on the move, looking to divide us so that we can more easily be crushed. But when I look out at all of you today, and when I think of the hundreds of thousands of similar rallies being held all over the planet as I speak, my heart swells with hope and optimism. This system, and the vampires perched atop its unjust hierarchies of wealth and power, cannot last forever. And with every blow they strike against us, with every pound of pressure used to push their boots further into our throats, and with every cynical attempt to confuse and pacify us with their ideological conditioning, we are roused out of our sleep a little bit more.
Lets live lives of meaning. Lets engage in the struggle for liberation. Lets fight back against those who want nothing more than for us to go to our meaningless jobs everyday obediently, who want us to consume their shitty plastic products endlessly, and who want us, when we’ve exhausted our bodies and minds working for them, to fall silently into our graves and hand over our children to their domination in the process.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.
Solidarity to all oppressed people.