In 1856, Australian workers organized political actions to reduce the daily working hours to 8. They were on strike for a whole day. Many people participated in these actions.
In 1886, the American Federation of Labor accepted the proposal to reduce the daily working hours to 8 by law, starting on May 1 st 1886. In Chicago, Black and white workers demonstrated together to reduce the working hours. At this time, Blacks were not allowed to enter Louisville Place.
However, the works united and violated these laws.
The police attacked the assembly of workers at Haymarket, leading to violent confrontations. 4 leaders of the protest were subsequently hanged. One of the leading figures, Albert Persons, refused the offer to be set free in exchange for a public apology. He did not bow to the bourgeoisie.
May 1 st represents the day when workers achieved a success by their esistance. It has been celebrated as a day of the international workers coalition, of solidarity and of resistance since a proposal of a French worker at the 2. International more than 100 years ago.
However, workers are still being exploited today. Whereas a minority can live a bourgeois, luxurious live, millions of workers, unemployed and refugees live far away from humane conditions.
The products of their hard labour are instrumentalized by arms trading actors, nourishing illegitimate wars which again kill the poor of the world. Whole societies are forced to flee or migrate in order to to access resources. Refugees are exploited in minimally paid jobs (so called 1-Euro-Jobs). State practices like Residenzpflicht, camps and deportations make them live in complete isolation. Due to rising rents on a monthly basis, the poor are displaced from their homes.
The reduction of the daily working hour has to be seen as a result of the workers’ resistance. Today, the high degree of technology makes hard work unnecessary. Seemingly, the bourgeoisie has not profited enough from exploitation. In the whole world, workers, unemployed and poor cannot yet
live a life apart from wagework. A majority of the people does not possess the opportunity to live basic human rights for cultural needs, freedom of movement, health, or accommodation.
Capitalism is still being based on people who constantly comply, who do not rebel, who work, produce a surplus and consume. We do not accept this way of living. We demand an equal, free and humane existence. But we are conscient that this freedom will not be given for free. The capitalist system of exploitation cannot flee the economic crisis. The deeper the crisis gets, the more racism will become state politics. It is always the life of workers, unemployed, refugees and
migrants which are turned into hell during crises.
The 1 st of May is our day to rebel against the bourgeoisie, who convicts us of life in isolation; against war; against sexism. It is our day to protest on the streets. Only if all workers, unemployed and refugees unitedly take the streets, we can attain our freedom.
We do not want exploitation and a life absorbed with work. We want to take back the organization and products of our work and to liberate our minds poisoned by capitalism. We do not want the capitalist nation-states to control us at every pace.
Since one year, we fight on the streets for our liberty and against the capitalist system of isolation.
We protest with different political actions against exploitation, racism and war. Accordingly, we will be on the streets the 1 st of May – the day of workers’ coalition, solidarity and resistance!
LONG LIVE OUR RESISTANCE FOR HUMAN DIGNITY AND SOLIDARITY
The Revolutionary Refugee Movement