May Day 2019 message from the Unity of Democratic Forces, the platform for 26 Turkish and Kurdish socialist organisations in the UK, working together to raise awareness on the political developments in Turkey and Kurdistan.
Brothers and Sisters!
We stand in a proud tradition – the tradition of the First of May – of unbroken class struggle for over 130 years.
Right now across the world comrades are facing torture and imprisonment to mark this day – international workers day.
In our home countries of Kurdistan and Turkey May First demonstrations have been banned – just as our leaders have been jailed – just as our votes have been stolen – just as our hopes have been crushed – under the gathering clouds of Islamic Fascism.
The situation is desperate. 7000 comrades in Turkey and Kurdistan are now on hunger strike unable to find any other way to resist. They cry out to you, the struggling masses, the organised working class because they know that calling on the decaying institutions of left-liberalism is pointless.
Only this week we, political refugees visited that supposed bastion of progressive liberalism, of “human rights”, Amnesty International: we were thrown out and arrested by the riot squad and arrested.
All over the world the signs of a great rupture are gathering. Just as we found a century ago, conditions are becoming unbearable at the top and bottom of human society – the contradictions are sharpening.
The contradiction between national sovereignty and imperialist globalisation.
The contradiction between rising consciousness of women and patriarchy.
The contradiction between technological advance and an impoverished, unsecure, and increasingly unemployed working class.
It’s not simply a story of rich countries and poor countries – the situation of generalised poverty is spreading faster than any populist right-winger can simply blame on immigration.
Here in the UK 4 million people rely on the solidarity of other working class people in the form of Food Banks so that they don’t starve.
14 million British people are officially living in poverty including 5 million children. Schoolteachers are giving their students food and clothes – and parents are fundraising to give their children’s schools enough money to do repairs and by books.
We demand our due from the banks and financiers and they tell us there is no money left – and under their system, they are right: there is nothing left to sell today to buy us off tomorrow.
Something will give.
When it does we, the left, need to be ready to march a head the of the masses towards justice and equality, trampling fascism and ignorance under our feet.
We call on our fellow migrants and UK-born comrades alike to prepare – and the first step is unity.
Not the easy unity of saying how nice it is to live in a multicultural society kept separate in our little ghettoes of religion, race and language, but meaningful unity.
The unity of socialists, leading the struggling angry masses into direct conflict with capitalism.
Seizing on every injustice, from an eviction to a racist attack, to build stronger alliances behind real, socialist, solutions.
Only when our values and our movements become one united power can we truly be in solidarity with each other.
On that day our enemies will tremble and flee.
Long live the First of May! Long live socialism! Workers and oppressed peoples unite!
UNITY OF DEMOCRATIC FORCES