Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group
Mayday leaflet by MACG
International Workers’ Day
Workers have been celebrating May Day for well over 100 years. From its origins in a strike for the 8 hour day in Chicago and protests over the Anarchist trade union organisers behind it being hung on false charges of murder, it has been a day when workers stood together around the world. In that time we have won victories and suffered defeats. Many of us have been led astray for a time by false ideologies of Stalinism or nationalism. But reality intervenes and the common bond of workers around the world becomes apparent.
Nowhere is our common bond more deliberately obscured than in Australia. The Howard Government directly attacks the unions, the organisations in which working class consciousness is most strongly formed and expressed, in an attempt to do away with them once and for all. It uses racism and religious prejudice to divide the working class into warring factions. And it preaches nationalism and militarism to bind us to “our own” ruling class. In this it is helped by the media which, with only minor reservations from some quarters, enthusiastically trumpet the Right-wing ideology. And finally, the Labor Party, with one part cowardice and two parts conviction, endorse the ideology while proposing slightly different means.
The World Today
Across the world, workers are under attack. In industrialised countries employers use anti-union laws, corporate deregulation and heightened international competition to attack jobs and working conditions, while unions are mostly in retreat. In Third World countries, however, employer and government attacks are meeting rising resistance from the rapidly growing working class and an equally rapidly growing independent labour movement. Our interests lie with these struggling workers and, as globalisation proceeds, our fate will increasingly be tied to theirs.
Workers of the world, unite!
Around the world, we face capitalist governments which relentlessly attack the working class. The only defence is our collective action as workers. In each country we must refuse to be divided amongst ourselves with racism, sexism, religious prejudice or homophobia. And, turning our backs on appeals to patriotism, we must recognise our common bond with workers in other countries. It is necessary, just to defend what we still have. But it will also build the basis for a revolution to eliminate capitalism forever and create a society of liberty, equality and solidarity.