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(en) [Germany] For an anarchist May Day in Leipzig and around the world! By ANA (pt) [machine translation]

Date Sun, 3 May 2020 08:25:18 +0300


We call this year to celebrate the 1st of May as a day of struggle against capitalism, against nationalism, against patriarchy and against all forms of domination and exploitation. ---- Even if the State uses the situation for itself to prevent and delegitimize resistance, we can choose several forms of action to express our revolt about the existing conditions and the love for a life in freedom. ---- May 1 was marked for years in Germany by ritualized DGB¹ demonstrations in the cities, Nazi demonstrations especially in East Germany and groups of drunken men everywhere in the middle of it. But it has a militant origin and is part of a movement of workers and anarchist workers. ---- The origin of this day is in the USA, more precisely in the industrial Chicago of the 1880s. Many socialists and anarchists emigrated there, because they were persecuted in their European countries of origin for political reasons. At that time, implementing an 8-hour daily workload was a requirement. As a means of struggle, a strike was called around May 1, 1886, which was followed by 350,000 workers across the country.

The State's response was repression, used to defend the interests of capital. The police, along with the private mercenary troops hired by the companies, were sent after the strikers. Four workers were shot to death during a meeting of the joiners' union on 3 May. The next day there was a protest at Haymarket in Chicago. The agglomeration was attacked by police units and a bomb was detonated, which was dropped by an unknown person to this day. In the chaos, the police opened fire on the fleeing people, killing many in the process. The explosion also killed seven policemen, which apparently legitimized yet another wave of repression against the workers' movement. Hundreds of socialists, communists and anarchists were arrested to break the resistance against capitalist exploitation.

Seven anarchists were used by investigating authorities as alleged perpetrators of the attack and, after a facade trial, five were sentenced to death and the rest to long prison terms. After seven years, the convicted were declared "victims of justice" by the new governor, since from the beginning there was no evidence against the accused. His libertarian and political convictions were reason enough for the police and the judiciary.

This was a very compact outline of the events of more than 130 years ago, which led workers around the world to see May Day as a day of organization and resistance against exploitation and existing power relations.

But even today, in 2020, the existing conditions have yet to be exposed. The situation is becoming even more acute. These are the days of a new crisis of capitalism, not caused by a virus, but by capitalist logic itself. The State goes hand in hand with this logic. Thus, there is a restriction to most activities outside wage labor and consumption. The State makes profound interventions in the freedoms of the people. Reading cell phone data to get movement profiles and abolishing freedom of assembly are two of them.

This is being done with great popular support.

The demands for social distance disregard the psychological consequences. More isolation, depression and increased suicide rates will be a result. Voices that are not heard again are those of people affected by domestic violence. Women, transsexuals and queers are prevented from escaping these patriarchal conditions. The situation of single parents is further aggravated by the loss of childcare and school.

On the other hand, wage labor is still permitted. This raises the question of whether a safety distance of two meters or other hygiene rules, which must now be part of safety at work, could happen in the office, on the workbench or in the store.

Especially for supermarket employees, the workload increases enormously. The discussion about twelve-hour shifts and weekend work with the prospect of already very low wages, as well as the increased risk of poverty in old age for these people, takes us back to the events of 130 years ago when workers were fighting for the day eight hours. Thus, while improvements in working conditions are welcome, they can, as we see today, quickly disappear again in the capitalist system. This again shows that this system itself must be overcome.

State measures, such as the curfew, seek to legitimize themselves as protection for people in risk groups against the Covid-19 virus. But as the state has cut and privatized the health system over the years, it will no longer be able to guarantee its function as a "welfare state", that is, medical assistance, if there is a sharp increase in critical cases disease. Precarious medical and nursing professionals are being highly sought after and only receiving symbolic recognition through the encouragement of politicians or by people applauding on the balconies. However, only with applause and nice words these people will not be able to afford an apartment in old age or receive their own care in case of disability. The reason for this is also the capitalist logic,

The fact that the state's supply logic is exclusive is unquestionable. People without a German passport are often left out. In agriculture, year after year, people from other countries are brought to Germany to work for low wages and provide cheap food for those who live here. In Covid-19 times, these people should only be brought here under strict health controls so as not to "import" new infections. Under conditions of forced labor, they should not be allowed to leave their accommodations or workplaces.

The Covid-19 expansion in Europe was more about privileged business travelers and tourists in the more expensive areas. People in precarious circumstances are now the most likely to experience the effects of repressive measures.

National borders will be closed to people seeking protection.

Refugees who are already here are quarantined in concentration camps, mistreated by private security and the police and prevented from moving freely. This makes the institution's prison character even more evident.

Prisoners in jail lose their right to visit, which is often the only contact with the outside world. This increases the isolation. The prisoners' health status thus remains hidden. We must also question how people can be protected from infections when they are huddled in minimal spaces and hygiene products are only available at inflated prices. Employees, who are the route of entry of the virus, do not even work with appropriate protective equipment.

Outside the European Union, at the external borders, conditions in refugee camps are dramatically worsening. Lack of medical care and unhygienic conditions have long dominated. States like Turkey used the crisis to put political pressure on their opponents. Turkey cuts off water supplies in the autonomous Kurdish areas, where many refugees have found shelter, through dams and water works controlled by Turkey.

The EU is not yet taking responsibility. Instead, we are seeing a setback in national thinking.

An anarchist utopia is just the opposite. Solidarity does not end in imaginary national boundaries, nor in constructed gender roles, nor in whether people can pay for their health, food, housing, education. Taking responsibility for unfair conditions starts with ourselves. Let's fight for a fairer world!

Because, even after Corona, we will face the post-crisis crisis. Today, as in 2008, companies and corporations are being supported with state funds. Wage earners do not receive direct financial assistance, as would be possible with a basic income. However, they are the ones who suffer most from it. They lose their income opportunities, can no longer pay their rent, have to go into debt and thus become even more dependent on the conditions of exploitation.

So we ask that May Day be celebrated this year as a day of struggle against capitalism, nationalism, patriarchy and any other form of domination and exploitation.

Even if the State uses the situation for itself to prevent and delegitimize resistance, we can choose several forms of action to express our anger over existing conditions and the love for a life in freedom.

So, we call for decentralized actions in Leipzig and everywhere...

- We bring conflicts and political content to the public space

- Let us attack current social conditions

- Put our alternatives into practice

... Even after May 1st!

[1] Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund , German Federation of Trade Unions, the main union center in the country.

Translation> Otchobi

Related content:

https://noticiasanarquistas.noblogs.org/post/2020/04/23/alemanha-convocacao-para-acoes-descentralizados-em-30-de-abril-e-1o-de-maio-de-2020-em- Berlin/

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