Photos from comrades & friends (mostly in Canada, but some abroad) celebrating the Workers’ Holiday: May Day!
YCL friend Roshak was in Beirut, Lebanon and caught their massive May Day march.
Communist Party of Alberta: This year’s May Day march in Edmonton was smaller than usual. The organizing committee admitted that their preparations this year were last-minute. And for some reason, perhaps so as not to challenge or offend the NDP government on the penultimate May Day before the next provincial election, the rally was moved from the provincial legislature to the Ironworkers’ hall, away from downtown.
Nevertheless, members of the Communist Party of Canada, together with other groups and representatives of workers, held high our banners and flags and loudly chanted revolutionary slogans in the streets.
The existence of an NDP government has not at all reinvigorated the labor movement in Alberta–quite the opposite. Next year’s May Day will take place shortly before the provincial election which presently seems poised to replace that NDP government with an ultrareactionary government led by the sinister Jason Kenney. In effect, then, the NDP government will have softened up the labor movement to deliver the workers into the hands of an archenemy.
The labor aristocracy does not inspire the workers to march on May Day, and it cannot deliver the workers’ votes to the uninspiring NDP. The labor aristocracy only serves to demoralize and depoliticize the working class.
But the working class must steel itself for upcoming battles, and must break completely with capitalism and all its representatives, whether that means capitalism with a human face or capitalism unmasked. Let next year’s May Day send this message!
The Fredericton Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts celebrated May Day, the International Workers’ Day, by hosting a panel of activists and union leaders to discuss the mixed track record of unions in supporting progressive social movements.
UNB History professor Jeff Brown chaired the panel and reflected on the lessons learned from the past, especially the past segregation of different groups (including race, class, gender, ideology, etc.). He outlined some examples from “the poor track record” of unions but emphasized times when unions took meaningful action, including the 2008 strike against the U.S. war against Iraq and Afghanistan by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Ten years ago, the ILWU shut shut down all West Coast ports from the Canadian to the Mexican border to demand the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from both imperialist wars.
Abram Lutes, a student organizer with the Canadian Federation of Students, the Fight for $15 and the Young Communist League – Fredericton, spoke about the need for young people in the labour movement. Lutes reminded those attending that young people today are often entering employment that is not typically unionized, such as fast food chains. For Lutes, who has had this type of work, it is possible to unionize theses spaces but “the labour unions have to go on the offensive.” Lutes encouraged unions to “hold political parties hostage” to progressive ideas. – via NBMediaCoop
Young Communist League – Toronto member Haily was in Havana, Cuba for May Day as part of the Ernesto Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade!
Photos courtesy Marianne Breton-Fontaine
The Saturday before May Day, labour, community, solidarity and socialist groups gathered to celebrate May Day with the annual cultural event: United May Day.
On May Day, a march was held starting from Finch West TTC in the North York area and heading to Downsview Park.
Toronto Photos via Jay Watts of Communist Party of Canada