MAY DAY 2024 . . . Chicago: ‘No War but Class War’

09 May 2024 430 hits

CHICAGO, May 4 —“Whose day? Our day! What day? MAY DAY!!” An audience of over sixty multiracial, multigenerational workers and youth filled a local fieldhouse this afternoon to celebrate our annual May Day dinner and program. The abundant enthusiasm and energy from organizers and participants alike served as a reminder that the collective spirit of the international working class will never be extinguished.

The theme for our program this year was “No War but Class War.” Conflicts for the capitalist bosses’ profits are threatening to engulf practically the whole planet in blood and fire. Meanwhile, these same bosses want us to choose a side based on anti-worker identities like nationality or religion, to shoot and kill our working-class siblings around the world. We say, “Hell no!” As communists we want to transform imperialist war into international class war that overthrows the racist bosses and sets up a communist society where workers run things.

This communist world is being actualized by students who have set up encampments across the country against the genocide in Gaza. Progressive Labor Party (PLP) members went to the encampment at University of Chicago the evening before to show our support and appreciation for the students’ revolutionary actions and courage. Students gladly took CHALLENGE and were extremely open to our communist politics.

This revolutionary optimism weaved through our program, speeches, and even our decorations today. We will no doubt carry this energy back with us to the streets, our workplaces and campuses as we continue to build Progressive Labor Party and a mass communist movement to take state power.

Get with the revolutionary program

After gathering and dining on some delicious food, the May Day program officially kicked off with an interactive discussion in which each table brainstormed a list of songs that contained themes of work and class struggle. Using a different picture of working-class art at the center of each table, we then decided which song from our list best matched the image. Each table also turned in their list to compile a revolutionary music playlist to use for future events and actions.

We then heard our keynote speech, delivered by a veteran health care worker comrade. This comrade skillfully connected her experiences organizing at her job, her children’s school, and mass organization to the need to be in a Party which connects all the struggles together. She pulled no punches in calling for the need to transform the current fightback into openly revolutionary struggle:
“We know that the only good war is the war against the ruling class. This is why we say, ‘No war but class war.’ A class war is when the working class, led by communists, fights the ruling class to take state power (this means to overthrow the government and win over the military) and use these resources to redistribute wealth and build a society for equality of all workers.  

In practical terms, this means finding the antiracist fightback in your community, school, and job and joining in with the political outlook of multiracial unity and a class analysis of the problem you are fighting against. It means talking to workers and soldiers about overthrowing capitalism with communist revolution. It is up to us to organize, build relationships with each other and other workers and students, and fight back in every way that we can so that we can build class consciousness and an antiracist, anti-fascist, working class movement. Just like it took a civil war to destroy the institution of slavery, it will take another revolutionary war to rid us of capitalism.”
Next up was our take on a popular game show, where instead of wanting to be a millionaire we asked, “Who Wants to Be a Revolutionary?” A comrade quizzed the audience on historical questions relating to past revolutions and civil wars.

Two health care workers newer to the Party as well as a high school senior then shared recent experiences also organizing on their jobs and within their mass organizations against Israel’s genocidal slaughter against workers and children in Palestine. Similar to the keynote speech, they described how being a part of a fighting Party like PLP helped them to push the struggle further.

We rounded things out with a sharp anti-nationalist poem by a retired teacher comrade followed by a blistering internationalist speech by a comrade actively building a base with migrant workers around the city. And of course, we ended with singing the communist anthem the Internationale with raised fists!

Communist culture sustains us on May Day and beyond

Building revolutionary culture and community on May Day is essential to sustaining our movement as we gear up for the summer and sharper class struggle ahead. We plan to carry this communist culture and the Party’s politics to the ongoing Gaza solidarity encampments in the city and win more fighters to the lifetime commitment of revolution!