May 1st 2002: News from Around the World

Revolutionary Worker #1150, May 12, 2002, posted at

May First, International Workers Day, was celebrated all over the world--in protests, demonstrations and armed actions. As we go to press, some initial reports are available.

Across the planet, people took their stand against international capitalism. They expressed their militant solidarity with the Palestinian people--often burning Israeli and U.S. flags. And, raising the bright red flags of the international proletariat, they shared their international dreams of revolution and a new, liberated world.

Revolutionary May Day raged in Berlin, Germany this year, once again, as thousands took to the streets. Bourgeois press reports describe intense street fighting between police and revolutionary youth in Kreuzberg and other districts. Police used water cannons, tear gas, helicopters and clubs against the people. Once again fascist forces tried to march on May First--to promote their racist and anti-immigrant cause--and were confronted by revolutionary and anti-fascist fighters. May First actions were also held in Hamburg and many other German cities.

Across France , more than one million people poured into the streets in the largest mass actions in decades. They expressed intense opposition to Jean-Marie Le Pen, the fascist presidential candidate who made it into the national runoff elections. People of all nationalities in France embraced May First as a way to resist the racist and anti-immigrant politics promoted by the rightwing and bourgeois forces--often promoted in the name of "anti-crime" and "anti-terrorist" policies. Over 400,000 reportedly marched in the capital, Paris while massive actions were held in dozens of other cities and towns, including Grenoble, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille, Toulouse and Strasbourg .

We received the following report from a correspondent in Los Angeles .

"We're coming! We're here! La Migra is trembling! We're coming! We're here! And Bush is shaking!" The words rolled and echoed down Broadway in downtown LA. Korean drums and handheld noisemakers kept a steady beat as 10,000 immigrants and supporters marched in a May First action for Legalization and Immigrant Rights.

Latino proletarians from the most exploited sectors--day laborers, factory workers, janitors and restaurant workers--marched with students, artists, revolutionary fighters and progressive political activists. Immigrants from Korea, China and the Philippines joined the action called by the Multi-ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network. The chants gave a defiant edge to the demand for legalization: "Here we are and here we'll stay! And if they run us out, we're coming back!" Some spoke angrily about the stepped-up raids against Latino immigrants. A Mexican proletarian denounced police brutality on Black and Latino people.

There were expressions of solidarity with Arabs, Muslims and South Asians. "We're all here to make demands for everybody else," said a Latina factory worker, marching in her first protest. "Fight for your rights! Stay here. Fuck the INS!" added a young artist.

The organization La Resistencia brought a huge banner, "Stop the Attacks Against All Immigrants," and blue triangles with the names of disappeared. At the end of the march, in front of the downtown INS offices, a Puerto Rican brother told the RW , "We have to continue to resist and we've got to continue to refuse these immigrant-bashing type of gunboat diplomacy colonialistic policies, not just against Puerto Ricans and all these beautiful Central and South American peoples, but against the world."

Marches and other May First actions were reported in many other places in the U.S. including Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and Houston .

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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