The Challenge of May First, 2002

Revolutionary Worker #1149, April 1, 2002, posted at

May First--International Workers Day. A day for a different, brighter future. A day to meet head on the challenge of the present.

Who do we stand with? Where is our future?

Is it with the people all over the world, their resistance and struggles--and especially with those striving for a truly new world, one which can serve the interests of the masses of people? Or is it with this government and this system that has been built on misery for people here and around the world--and has now set out on a path of reinforcing and multiplying this misery?

In this country, revolutionaries and all people who aspire to real justice, are faced with a test. Ours is the special responsibility that comes from living in the belly of the beast--a power that has set out, with its multibillion dollar arsenal, to reorder the world.

What is this "order" the rulers seek?

What began under a thin cover of "justice" for Sept 11, and false promises of peace and safety, has increasingly come into the open as a campaign for enforced U.S. domination of the world--from the strategic oil and gas fields of the Middle East and Central Asia, to armed U.S. intervention, along with support of corrupt and murderous regimes whenever and wherever the U.S. sees fit.

They speak of defending a "way of life." And what is this way of life? Is it really "freedom and democracy" as Bush says when he "explains" his actions? The answer to that lie can be found in the experience of youth-- criminalized for who they are or how they dress, or in the ever-present fear of a Black or Latino parent who lives knowing what can result when the police "check" their young son or daughter. And the answer can even be seen in the experience of a rigged and stolen presidential election. Around the world, the anti-globalization movement, in one of its great contributions, has shown to millions that this "way of life" is a way of exploitation--and a way of ruining the planet and its resources for generations to come.

What are their means of ensuring this "order"?

Just listen to the U.S. rulers, speaking like the cops of the world: "We are at war, because the only thing ` they ' understand is power." So the imperialists threaten and strike with the iron fist of war and repression, from Afghanistan to Palestine. And they make clear this is only the beginning.

On the "homefront," as they call it, fascists like Ashcroft are put in charge. They have "profiled" and jailed--most often without any specific charges--thousands of Arab, Muslim, and South Asian immigrants. This has escalated the fear, uncertainty and "life on the edge" for still more millions of immigrants who labor for survival in every part of this country. They have revoked long-proclaimed legal principles which, however hollow, supposedly included "innocent until proven guilty" and other civil liberties. They are promoting the logic of a warfare police state, and building actual parts of its structure.

Working to disguise and prettify this for the U.S. public, the government seeks a "devil's bargain" of support from the people here--a false promise of safety in return for going along with new outrages against "others," abroad and at home.

In short, they seek to pulverize, or terrify, the world into bowing before them, and they demand that "good Americans" go along with this.

Another Path. Another Future

These U.S. rulers have truly wild ambitions. But their agenda need not be the last word. They have real power. But they are stirring a cauldron of contradictions, and already they are finding growing resistance and struggle around the world.

The Palestinian people have refused to bow down. Faced with an Israeli military machine given a U.S. "green light"--and billions of dollars worth of advanced U.S. weaponry--they have stood up again and again.

Worldwide, people are struggling against oppression. And, on May First, we give special recognition to the fact that these people--most of all the "have nots" of the world--are "of us," and we are "of them." While we speak many diverse languages, and are of beautifully diverse shades, the masses of people share a deep connection in shared experience of exploitation and oppression--at the hand of a worldwide system, with the U.S. at its head.

There are many forms of resistance, and many forces striving to lead--and some to mislead. Crucially important for the future of humanity are the struggles, including people's wars, led by Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations, whose revolutionary- scientific outlook aims toward the end to all enslaving systems and to the building of truly liberating societies for the masses of people, women and men, of all nationalities.

We must stand with them--and with all the resistance and revolutionary struggles of the people. And, especially today, we in the U.S. must, as RCP Chairman Bob Avakian has put it, build a movement against "our" government's war moves that is so powerful it cannot be hidden from the masses of people all over the world. "Imagine the inspiration it will provide and the potential realignment it will contribute to--with ordinary people worldwide finding common cause against the oppressors and bullies of the world, first and above all the rulers of America..."

The historic movement against the war in Vietnam, today's anti-globalization movement, and the uprising of the basic people in Los Angeles that burst forth ten years ago this week--these are some of the seeds and shoots of the struggle we build on today.

Our Party joins with the voices, especially of the new generation, who say "another world is possible." We bring into the mix of debate and struggle our strategy for revolution--to overturn and transform this system. And, with our Party's new Draft Programme, we say to all those who say no to injustice, "Looking for a plan to change the world? It's here." We bring our plan and vision for a new and liberating society--one that does away with exploitation and oppression, that no longer feasts on and terrorizes the world, and that unchains and encourages people to change themselves and the world.

We have a difficult situation now, and a lot of work to do to turn this situation around. But, as we struggle to do so, let us imagine the joy at finally seeing the capitalist/imperialist system in this country, which has heaped injustice on injustice, overturned and swept away. Let's imagine, too, how our joy will be joined and multiplied by the joy of literally billions of people worldwide.

Once again on May First, that is a worldwide celebration we should aspire to, and renew our determination to win.

Revolutionary Communist Party, USA
May 1, 2002

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