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Editorial

Celebrate May Day, International Workers Day

by Fight Back! Editors |
April 2, 2000
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On May 1, hundreds of millions of working people will stand up and say NO to exploitation, poverty, and oppression. In every country on the globe, women and men, employed and unemployed, will come together to celebrate May Day, International Workers Day.

In thousands of cities across Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, workers will demonstrate against their current rulers, the new "elite" that brought back capitalism and is making their lives a living hell. In countries like Colombia, the Philippines, and Yugoslavia, where people are resisting the domination of foreign powers, workers, small farmers, and other patriotic people will insist on their right to control their own destiny.

Here in the United States, working and poor people will be among the participants in many May Day events. The rich and powerful are cashing in on Wall Street, while things are getting worse for most of us. Downsizing, privatization, cuts to social services, discrimination and police brutality continue to be the order of day. Fortunately, many of us have chosen to fight back. This alone is a reason to celebrate on May Day. It's our day, a day of resistance.

The media tries to portray May Day as something that is foreign to the traditions and aspirations of the American people. Nothing could be further from the truth.

May Day was born in the struggle of American workers. Starting on May 1, 1886, a huge strike movement to demand the 8-hour day rocked many U.S. cities. Chicago was the center of this battle. Chicago police killed four workers and the state if Illinois hung a number of the strike leaders. The size, intensity, and determination shown by this movement inspired workers everywhere, and the worldwide tradition of celebrating May Day as a workers' day was begun.

The editors of Fight Back! urge all our readers to attend the May Day events in your cities. This year, some of the organizations that put together the demonstrations at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle are calling for anti-corporate actions May 1. These actions should be built and supported.

The tiny class of wealthy people believes that the world is theirs, to do with as they please. It's not. Those who work create everything of value. Every person has a right to a job or a decent income - to a world without exploitation and oppression. May Day is a day to say that we can do better than this; we do not have to accept things as they are. The future is ours!

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