Socialist Alliance: International greetings on May Day 2011

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May Day March in Sydney, May 1, 2011. Photos by Peter Boyle.

By the Socialist Alliance (Australia)

April 30, 2011 -- The Socialist Alliance in Australia sends our warm comradely greetings and best wishes for successful activities on May 1, International Workers’ Day.

May Day this year takes place in a tumultuous time: the multiple crises confronting global capitalism are deepening, while mass resistance to its brutal rule grows. The people’s uprisings across the Arab world this year pose a major challenge to imperialism and neoliberalism, and are inspiring hope and resistance among oppressed people everywhere.

While the capitalist class desperately strives to force working people and the entire Third World to pay for its economic malaise, the immediate threat to humanity caused by catastrophic climate change makes it clearer than ever that capitalism is not working and must be urgently replaced by a system that puts people and the environment before private profit. This is therefore a vital time for socialists to be discussing, organising and leading united action in every arena of struggle for fundamental social change.

In Australia, the federal Labor Party government is continuing to implement a socially conservative, anti-worker agenda that has primarily benefited the wealthy at the expense of the most disadvantaged. Labor’s “Fair Work” laws are being used to undermine trade union action and workers’ rights, and the federal budget to be introduced in May will bring big cuts to welfare and other social services.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to appear to be doing something about climate change -- while actually supporting Australia’s huge carbon-export based corporations -- the Labor Party, in collaboration with the Australian Greens, last month announced a new “carbon tax” scheme that will give large subsidies to corporate polluters while imposing cost of living increases on the working class.

In their efforts to divide working people and weaken resistance to their attacks, the capitalist media and government are pursuing a concerted campaign to fuel racism in the Australian population, continuing the attacks on Australia’s Indigenous people and, especially over the last few months, targeting the thousands of asylum seekers locked up in Australia’s refugee prisons who have been holding courageous protests to demand justice and freedom.

The Socialist Alliance is working hard in many national and local campaigns to defend and extend working people’s rights, against imperialist wars, and to build solidarity with revolutions and people’s struggles internationally.

In December 2010, we initiated the first national Union and Community Summer School, which brought together hundreds of trade union and community activists to discuss practical collaboration across the left and in the militant wing of the union movement. We have now begun planning for the second World at a Crossroads: Climate Change-Social Change conference as a forum to discuss the state of the world, develop alliances and plan practical activities to advance the progressive movements and build socialist organisation. The conference will be held in Melbourne on October 1-3, 2011, and we would like to take this opportunity to invite any of your members who can to participate.

International cooperation and solidarity will be essential to make progress towards a society based on collective ownership, participatory democracy, social justice and ecological sustainability, and we look forward to closer collaboration between our organisations and peoples in the years ahead.

Workers of the world unite!

Long live May Day!

Long live socialist revolution!

Yours in solidarity and struggle,

Peter Boyle, national convener