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(en) IWA-AIT - First of May 2013: The Emancipation of the Workers must be the task of the Working-class itself!
Sat, 27 Apr 2013 20:47:32 +0300
The origin of May Day dates back to the United States on May 1st 1886 when a strike was
launched in support of the 8 hour day. During this campaign a bomb was thrown at a
demonstration in Chicago, the police arrested a number of anarchists who had been
prominent in the struggle for the 8 hour day. ---- The arrested men were clearly innocent,
but four were executed by the state while another died in his cell allegedly committing
suicide. The execution of the four men, who became known as the Haymarket Martyrs, sparked
a mass working class protest across the world that lead to May 1st being declared
international workers day in commemoration of the sacrifice of the four murdered men. ----
On this May Day let us then not just remember the sacrifice of the Haymarket Martyrs, but
also celebrate the Internationalism of the early workers movement that led to the mass
protest against the execution of the four men.
The message of May Day is that Capitalism is a worldwide system that has to be fought by
the international working class. And that working class struggle must go beyond national
borders and confront the capitalist enemy directly on an international scale.
And as we approach this May Day, the need for coordinated international working class
action against capitalism has never been greater. Capitalism as a global system remains in
the grip of crisis that it is seeking to overcome by attacking the working class. In
country after country governments are driving down wages and working conditions and throws
people into unemployment in an attempt to boost the ailing capitalist system. The
capitalist rule is “expand or die”, and the crisis is used as a pretext for slashing
public services. In fact this is an expansion for opening of markets and capital for
Job security is rapidly becoming a distant memory as increasing numbers of workers are
forced to accept part time, temporary and flexible working contracts. This has been and is
leading to a growing number of workers having to exist in a state of permanent insecurity
under which life is reduced to a constant struggle of finding enough employment to
survive. A globalized capitalist system is producing a worldwide reserve army of workers
who can be hired and fired at will to meet the constantly changing demands of ever more
flexible capitalist production methods.
In the face of this capitalist onslaught, the reformist unions have proved themselves
powerless: They are dependent on legislative aid and subsidies from the ones who are
pursuing the attacks and must either surrender or fight. If they mobilize at all, they are
doomed to fail, since they are not built to counter attacks on broad fronts, and to rely
on their own strength. In this way the unions become service-institutions and burdens on
the back of the workers, not free tools for self-activity and emancipation.
Across the world this social democratic myth of social partnership is rapidly becoming
bankrupt in the face of ever increasing capitalist attacks. In Europe, the capitalists and
their states are attacking workers and dismantling the “so-called” welfare state. Cyprus
is just the latest in the growing number of EU countries implementing austerity measures
aimed at making workers pay for the greed of the bankers and the inherent instability of
the capitalist system.
In China, India, Brazil and throughout the developing world, a process of rapid
industrialization is underway ruining the lives of billions of workers while making a tiny
elite rich. In Asia and Africa the majority still face a life of abject poverty under
which millions of workers die from hunger and preventable diseases.
Social democratic ideas and methods offer no solutions, and the time has come to abandon
the idea of trying to appease capitalism and instead start to confront it. To do this we
as workers must act internationally and according to our own forces by organizations which
are run by ourselves and not by paid “functionaries".
Such organizations do not class collaborate and won`t receive financial subsidies from the
capitalists and the state. Anarchosyndicalism is in favor of direct action, mutual aid and
workers solidarity. The immediate aim of anarchosyndicalism is to confront capitalism and
the state in order to win gains for workers; our ultimate aim is to destroy capitalism and
replace it with a society based on libertarian communism.
The IWA has a proud tradition of working class internationalism. The IWA was (re)founded
at a Congress that took place in Berlin between December 25th 1922 and January 2nd 1923,
as such 2013 marks the 90th anniversary of this Congress. The IWA was born at a time when
capitalism had gone through a long period of globalization. Then, as now, capitalism used
the forces of globalization against workers.
At the Berlin Congress of the IWA in 1922 there were anarchosyndicalist unions present
from 10 countries representing between one and two million workers. Over the next few
years anarchosyndicalism spread throughout the world.. As the threat of fascism grew,
anarchosyndicalism engaged in a bitter conflict with fascism in an attempt to destroy it.
However, fascism and the state- “communist” Bolshevik totalitarianism crushed the
movement, and the IWA emerged from the Second World War in a poor state.
The last 30 years has however seen the influence of the IWA grow to the point where we now
have 13 Sections, and as the IWA has grown, so has our ability to organize coordinated
international actions. The IWA is today the only revolutionary workers organization able
to organize international actions on a regular and sustained basis.
In the run up to this year's May Day, the IWA is launching three Days of Action, on April
29th, 30th and May 1st against Capitalist Austerity Measures, Exploitation, and
Oppression. The IWA Sections will organize actions with focus on Global, Regional and
Local issues/ work conflicts etc. as part of the IWA coordinated international campaign.
By calling these and other International Days of Action and countless Urgent Actions of
Solidarity, the IWA wants to demonstrate that the workers movement has no country, and
that we are able to overcome the petty forces of nationalism that seeks to divide and
blind us to the true evil that is capitalism!
The Emancipation of the Workers must be the task of the Working-class itself!
Long live the IWA and Anarchosyndicalism!
Oslo, April 24-2013
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