OAKLAND, April 21 — PL’ers, friends and co-workers gathered for our annual May Day dinner. Reacting to intense attacks and cynicism about the possibility of change, we celebrated the actions and potential of the international working class.
Presentations, comradeship, great food, art and music helped develop a sense of optimism. A nurse reported on the one-day strike planned for May 1. Later she said, “My favorite song is Bella Ciao- “Soy comunista toda la vida, y comunista he de morir....” When I’m gone, I want others to remember me – “She was a communist her whole life.”
A young comrade made the main presentation:
May Day is the workers’ day. May Day has a 100-year history of workers’ struggles worldwide. May Day is a day for the working-class movement to review its forces… Only the communist movement unites the masses of the entire world because it encompasses the whole working class. The “Workers’ Spring” will span the whole globe because the working class is international. It will light the way toward a future free from exploitation, crisis and war. The contradictions of capitalism include people who want to work but can’t, or workers evicted from houses which stand empty. These contradictions will be gone.
On May Day, International Workers Day, we are planting the seeds of working-class consciousness. These seeds will grow into the Workers’ Spring, unlocking humanity’s true potential for cooperation, equality, peace and sharing on a world-wide scale.
A mass transit worker and a teacher reviewed the year of struggles against the systematic destruction of these public services. PLP fights the worst and most racist attacks in transit— part-timing of jobs, devastation of community services and destruction of Para-Transit. Para-transit carries the most vulnerable workers: seniors and the disabled. The capitalists have no use for those whose labor does not create maximum profits.
The working-class art section of our cultural program was inspired by the German communist, Bertolt Brecht: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” Posters celebrated May Day worldwide, the development of class-consciousness and world revolution. Two groups performed songs in English, Spanish and Italian and we ended with the Internationale in English and Spanish.
Afterwards, a friend commented: “Communist socializing is all around us in our communities of families and friends and in helping those less fortunate. Capitalism undermines these relations. Capitalism is not welcome at home but endured at work. These contradictions impassion our preparation for a better future.”
Groups of workers organizing on the job are planning actions on May 1st. Many will join the May Day Coalition March.
On May 1st, nurses, dock workers, city and Golden Gate bridge workers and janitors are planning to have one-day strikes and protests against cuts and substandard contracts.
On hearing about these actions, one friend said” “Maybe this is the pebble that will start a huge ripple. It needs to be everywhere. “
May First, March on May Day
PLP is organizing a communist contingent in the larger Coalition March on May 1st. That march, focuses on immigrants’ rights — stopping deportations; amnesty for undocumented workers and fighting the vast inequality and devastation which capitalism creates globally. Occupy Oakland is planning morning actions and then will join the 3 PM March.
PLP supports these demands and direct actions. Our communist contingent will broaden this outlook. We’ll call for unity of the entire working class, whether immigrant or citizen; no matter what heritage, nationality, ethnicity or continent of origin. Our goal is a world without borders, a communist world.
Capitalism cannot produce a livable system. Our communist contingent will call for a communist society, around the slogan: “From each according to ability and commitment, to each according to need.” We invite you to march with us.