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Πρωτομαγιά 2022 May 07 22
International Anarchist Statement for the First of May, 2022
international | anarchist movement | press release Tuesday May 03, 2022 22:39 by Various anarchist organisations
1st of May, 1886! 136 years ago today, the American working class created a priceless experience for the upcoming struggles of the working classes of the whole world by saying “this fight is our last fight!”. It remains a victory till our time. The demand of “8 hours for work, 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for whatever we want” to replace the 16 hours of work and the assaults of capitalism which targeted the lives of the working classes then in the 19th century turned into a general strike in America. General strike has been one of the most significant weapons of the anarchist action as an earning to the history of the class struggle.
INTERNATIONAL ANARCHIST STATEMENT FOR THE FIRST OF MAY, 2022
For anarchists, the struggle for 8 hours has never been seen as a simple request for reform. Anarchists fought to replace it with a social revolution, with the claim that “Regardless of our working time, whether it be 2 hours or 8 hours, it is slavery if we work for bosses”.
The centre for this great struggle was Chicago, one of the biggest industrial centres in the USA at that time. Chicago was at the same time the most important centre for the anarchist action. Hundreds of thousands of workers were in the factories and in the streets in the struggle for the 8 hours day. Pinkertons, private police in the pay of the capitalists, assaulted workers on strike at the McCormick factory. The killers slaughtered four unarmed workers.
A meeting in Haymarket was organised the next day. At the meeting’s end, the police tried to clear the square, when a bomb was thrown. The identity of the thrower is unknown to this day. Subsequently, all the anarchist publications were closed, thousands of workers were arrested and the Haymarket case began an ongoing battle against the working class.
Grinnell, the prosecutor of the bourgeoisie, said: “Anarchy is being judged. Good men of the jury, condemn these men, make them an exemplary, hang them. Save our institutions and our society.” This was because the goal of the eight anarchists who were sentenced to death was not only the right to work only 8 hours a day; their goal was to destroy capitalism, the rule of injustice and exploitation.
Albert Parsons, August Spies, Adolph Fischer, George Engel and Louis Lingg were sentenced to death. Oscar Neebe, Samuel Fielden and Michael Schwab were imprisoned. It was proven that the eight anarchists had nothing to do with the bomb that exploded in Haymarket; they were accused of anarchism! Anarchists in court defended not themselves but the working class, the struggle for eight hours and anarchism! After the declaration of the death sentence, Adolphe Fischer objected to it with these words:
“Here I was tried for murder but convicted of anarchism. I was convicted for being an anarchist. If the ruling classes think they can crush anarchism by hanging us, by hanging a few anarchists, they're wrong. Anarchists love their principles more than their lives. Anarchists are always ready to die for their ideas.”Louis Lingg didn’t wait to die by the hand of his executioner. He ended his life after writing “Long live Anarchy!” on the wall of his cell. The four anarchists went to the gallows saying “Long live Anarchy”. They left behind their will that won’t compromise with the capitalist class and their courage which won’t be relinquished at any price. And, of course, 1st of May, the International Workers’ Day!
Today, all the working classes of the world should know that the 8 hour working day was won through the relentless struggle, to their death, of anarchist workers, though the capitalists still try to steal from workers. Emma Goldman, who were impressed by the struggle of the anarchist workers becoming herself an anarchist, said: “Everything that is good and beautiful in the world today exists despite the states, not because of them.” Capitalists have never given any rights to the workers, the workers gained them through their own struggle.
Capitalism continues to condemn millions of workers in the world to wage labour and long working hours, it murders them in work, exploitation, precariousness, work without rights and in conditions of slavery. The situation for the oppressed classes of the world is dire in the different geographies, especially in the so-called "third world" countries where unemployment, hunger and poverty are desperate in this new stage of neo-liberal advance. Capitalism that we fought with tooth and claw over hundreds of years and its endless greed for profit threatens all the peoples of the world as well as the planet itself. Capitalism has usurped the lives of the oppressed classes every day since its very beginning in exchange for surviving and continuing production for the benefit of the profits and privileges of the dominant class. The struggle today is a life and death struggle for all the oppressed. Because today, capitalism drags the world into irreversible disasters along with global competition, pandemic crises, and wars against the people.
The Haymarket anarchists were immigrant workers. Just like immigrants today who are lost in their long journeys in the seas of the world for the sake of surviving and just like numberless immigrant workers who are between life and death on the border crossings of states.
We are anarchists who fight for the same struggle in different geographies of the world and we will continue our struggle, fighting tooth and claw with the capitalist class just like our honourable comrades who said “Long live Anarchy!” on the gallows.
Our comrades knew that they would win even if it meant their death. Because starting a revolt against capitalism which, to its every inch, is a torment means victory! The cries of “Long live Anarchy!” from our comrades are reflected in the struggle of the working class today. And we, as anarchists who embrace their struggle, need to transform this voice into an organised power which can dig the grave of the capitalist class that steals our lives.
This voice is not a residue of the past, but the password of today’s struggle. There is no liberation for the people of the world unless we eliminate states that constrict us with new limitations each day and unless we create an equal and free world in which no authority and property exists and everything belongs to everyone. And the road to this liberation is through sowing the seeds of freedom in every land in the world and through keeping our hope for a stateless world alive. However, we need to remember that, as Malatesta said “The occasional individual propaganda, which is often a simple way out to quell ailments of conscience, has little or no effect in achieving the goal. The soil is very ungrateful to seeds planted haphazardly to sprout and take root.” That is why our struggle needs to carry responsibility, commitment, self-discipline and self-organisation within it to achieve freedom.
Concretely, in union action, we organised anarchists advocate for the need for the development of daily work from below to promote the combativity and protagonism of the workers to resist the attacks of the ruling class and to fight against oppression. Today, when there are new sectors of workers working informally, with starvation wages, without any rights, many of them immigrants, it is necessary to help organise these workers and, with them, to develop the organisation and working methods based on direct action and solidarity.
It is the intention of organised anarchist militancy to promote and strengthen class-conscious unions, militant groupings within the unions that develop a line of direct action and deepen combativity and the construction of workers' power, coordinating the efforts developed in various unions to give that line of union work a more general character that can be proposed as a guide for the people in struggle. It is the task of the trade union to reach out to and offer solidarity and support to the struggle of other organised social sectors, to strengthen the different sectors of the oppressed classes. This perspective of militant work will allow us to build the necessary strength of the popular classes to develop a profound revolutionary project.
We believe that in order to deepen the struggle of the oppressed classes against the misery, exploitation and oppression that the system of domination has for us, it is necessary to build organisation from below in all social spaces in order to resist the attacks of the dominant class against our people. Only through the direct and organised action of the oppressed in every social space can we advance towards a world without oppressors and oppressed. Only through social revolution that ends this system of death at its roots will we achieve a life of dignity. “If even one of us is imprisoned, none of us are free”!
We will be in all the streets of the world on May 1 to keep our comrades’ memories alive, to raise their fight and to create an equal and free world in which there is no hierarchy and property and in which everything belongs to everyone. Without oppressors and oppressed.
We will shout the words of our comrades who said “There will come a day when our silence will be stronger than the voices you drown out today!” And this voice will continue to bring fear to the capitalist class, not just this May Day, but every day. On May 1, to the streets, into the fight, to the struggle with the power of organized anarchism!
Long live May 1st!