Source: Clonard Marxist
International Workers Day is also known as May Day as it is traditionally commemorated on the first day of May as a show of workers’ solidarity. The concept of an International Workers Day has it’s origins in the famous Stonemasons strike for an 8 hour working day in Australia in the mid-1800’s but the choice of date relates to the Haymarket Strike in Chicago, Illinois in 1886 and the subsequent Haymarket Martyrs.
During a three day General Strike four unarmed striking workers at the McCormick Machine factory were brutally gunned down by the police, who as in every capitalist country function as protectors and muscle for the Boss class. During a protest rally the next day a bomb went off, possibly detonated by police agents, which killed 12 people and one cop.
A disgraceful, racist show trial ensued which, like all Kangaroo Courts, was a travesty of justice and four Libertarian Socialists, George Engel, Adolf Fischer, Albert Parsons, and August Spies were publicly hanged. They became internationally known as the ‘Haymarket Martyrs.’
It is in memory of these Working-Class Martyrs that workers throughout the world commemorate International Workers Day annually on the first of May. The lot of the Proletariat has not progressed incrementally in the years since 1886! In the West and indeed globally, Capitalism has continuously launched one of it’s most vicious offensives against working class people, rubber-stamped by stooge politicians. In many countries trade union membership is illegal and even in the Western Hemisphere, many workers are prevented, banned and victimised for union membership.
Although many modern workers’ leaders are simply bureaucrats, there are many trade unionists who fight daily for workers’ rights against the boss class and their lackeys. More importantly, all Revolutionary Socialist parties and freedom loving individuals should take part in the International Workers Day marches due to the blood that has been shed in the struggle for workers’ rights both in history and in contemporary times. Details of marches commemorating International Workers Day in Ireland can be found here and on this link
The Kurdish secular socialist freedom fighters, the PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) has told the BBC* that it is ready to intensify its fight against Turkey because Ankara is trying to make it surrender.
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Cemil Bayik said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “escalating this war”.
“The Kurds will defend themselves to the end, so long as this is the Turkish approach – of course the PKK will escalate the war,” he said.
Despite Turkish propaganda, Mr Bayik, the PKK’s military leader, insisted that “we don’t want to separate from Turkey and set up a state”.
“We don’t want to divide Turkey. We want to live within the borders of Turkey on our own land freely… The struggle will continue until the Kurds’ innate rights are accepted.”
He said Turkish intransigence had made the PKK ready to escalate the conflict “not only in Kurdistan, but in the rest of Turkey as well”.
* The BBC can not be treated as a neutral news organisation
Below is a video made by the France 24 News organisation about the PKK
Following the outrageous attack on University of Ulster Magee College student, Conol Cassidy, prominent LGBT Campaigner and Human Rights Activist, Séan Óg Garland, has condemned the latest incident in a series of homophobic attacks. The serious assault happened on Saturday, 16 April, 2016 near Derry’s Guildhall Square, the 20 year old Drama student says that he will not socialize in Derry due to this traumatic experience which was based solely on his sexual orientation. Conol, the victim of the homophobic attack, bravely stated that,
“I went to run into a nearby shop but I felt something strike me on the side of the face. One of the men was wearing a ring and it dug into the skin on my face. It was definitely a homophobic attack, the way that they kept asking us if we were gay proves this to me. I was attacked because I’m gay. Although this is first time anything like this has ever happened to me, as an openly gay man I no longer feel safe in Derry,” he maintained.
“I’ve decided to go public because I want the two men who did this to see what they have done – I want their parents to see what they have done to someone who is only in Derry to better himself, I also know that there are so many gay people who get attacked and do nothing about it because secretly they think they deserve it, I AM NOT ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE!”
Séan has been a friend to The Plough and The Stars’ editor and staff, he has been a constant figure in Human Rights Campaigns ranging from issues that affect the LGBT community, Global and domestic Human Rights issues, anti-austerity campaigns and abuses against working class people here in Ireland and abroad. Séan stated regarding the homophobic attack in Derry against Conal Cassidy,
“I marched the streets of Derry as a young lad with hundreds of others against Queer Bashing on the streets of the Derry..I would do it again No Problem ….
When we hear much talk and see much activism on LGBT equality the fact is that we want Equality but we want our Liberation, to enjoy it and that means to live free from Anti-Gay violence ….
Queer bashing is wrong be it Belfast, Derry, Moscow or San Francisco…
Time to stop it ..”
The Plough and The Stars concurs with Séan Óg Garland’s sentiments and as a publication it has a proud record of opposing Homophobia, Sectarianism, Racism, Imperialism, Capitalism and all means, that seek to divide the Proletariat.