Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tomorrow is MayDay, the international festival of labour, founded in memory of the Chicago anarchists who were murdered by the American state. Across the world socialists, both libertarian and authoritarian, will be holding marches, commemorations and festivals. The libertarian ones will, of course, be closer to the original idea of the day.
The following is a translation of the MayDay statement of the French CNT, also known as the CNT-Vignoles. The original in french can be found at their website.

The first May is the day par excellence to consider the international perspective. The days of demands is everywhere in the World the day of workers in struggle. The current economic globalization makesthe coordination of our class even more necessary . Since the I07 international meetings, organized at the initiative of the CNT, and its foreign friends, it has been one year in Paris, and our internationalist work has further increased . Anticipating our directions, coordinations are taking place: these are the coordinations Red/Black and Euro-Maghreb. Days of common struggle in various sectors are in preparation. For this May 1st, our call for the mobilization is common to eight European organisations.
Indeed, on all points of the globe, struggles are the same:
- For utilities managed by workers and customers: the dismantling of social services is now at work everywhere in the world. In Europe, the decline is particularly sensitive. Education, health, transport, energy are now being undermined under the pretext of trade liberalization and at the expense of workers and users of these services.
-- For our trade union rights: they are perpetually scorned. Our solidarity is expressed to Moroccan militants, detained since 1 May 2007 and released in recent days under international pressure; against Mexican militants or Colombian victims of murders, threats due to their actions in the fight; against unionists VĂ©olia in New Caledonia, threatened with prison for strike action; against Romain, our comrade tried for contempt of the former Minister of Interior (now President) as part of the struggle for the defence of undocumented migrants.
-- For working conditions and decent life: low wages and extended hours are not inevitable. Following the example of the victorious struggle of the workers of the Romanian Renault, we can not accept, anywhere in the world, the subjugation of our lives to the desires of investors and shareholders. Following the example of the African struggle against soaring prices of basic necessities (rice, millet, corn, milk, etc.).. We are the ones who produce, we get to decide! In France today, we are experiencing the full brunt of a retrograde policy at the service of the powerful. The principle of solidarity, already very minimum, existing in France to allow a better distribution of wealth is definitely dead:
- Patients pay for other patients sickness with medical deductibles
- The working poor have to sacrifice for other working poor with the decrease of the premium for employment
- The family allowances jump on the pretext of economy
- The rhetoric and policies on unemployment are akin to a bistro conversation , in blaming the unemployed
- The fattening of intermediaries at the expense of farmers and consumers justifies a higher price without precedent. It is true that when people are hungry, they do not lose his time in challenging it.
But the growing dissatisfaction of workers in the public and private sectors against an unworthy policy in favour of the rich counteracts this "beautiful program". We only have to watch the list getting longer: each day of strikes and demonstrations by workers for their wages, their jobs, their working conditions and their social rights. They would have us believe that since the electoral victory of Sarkozy, any challenge to its policy would be illegitimate. Yet the great social achievements (paid leave, minimum wage, pensions, etc. )have been won in the street by the strike and most often against the advice of elected governments. Today, a choice of society is at stake, and for the CNT, our camp is clear: to bring together struggles for a different distribution of wealth, to satisfy social needs of all and all and do away with capitalism. Yes, the street is legitimate!
All together we can push back the governments!
All together, dare to fight! Dare to win!

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