Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

May Day Greetings!

May Day Greetings to all readers of Greenman's Occasional Organ old and new.

It seems we are fated to live with the ancient curse of "living in interesting times"!

Feelings of solidarity and comradeship go out to all those facing attacks from bosses and governments, to all those living in the shadow of the new flu and the fears that it arouses, to all those who dream and organise and struggle for a better world.

May out of our current trials and battles come greater international understanding and unity, and clearer views of how we might work together to fight climate change, eliminate bigotry and take back control of our own lives, workplaces and communities from neo-liberal capitalism and corporatism.

Below is the draft text of the leaflet that the Nottinghamshire General Membership Branch of the IWW will be distributing at local May Day events over the next few days:

Make This A May Day To Remember – Join The IWW!

Whilst May Day has historically been a day of worker's solidarity and a celebration of the power of working people, this is not a day or year like any other.
That's because the world is in the midst of economic recession and financial failure, and it is workers worldwide who are suffering from layoffs and mass firings in almost every sector of the global economy.

While working people are under attack, the capitalists are taking advantage of the situation to claim for themselves bigger and larger shares of national and global wealth, as governments rush to bail out banks and investment firms, which have been allowed to become "too big to fail."

Under the newly amended rules of capitalism, corporations (especially in the financial sector) can scam, steal, and hustle virtually everyone, and when the economy falls, the government sails in and bails them out with public money!

Under a system such as this, the capitalists can never lose. It's like a gambling casino, where the house rules change all the time to benefit the winners.

But workers are losing.

Around the world, workers are facing lost jobs, vanished careers, repossessed homes, and families broken and shattered against the grinding wheel of Capital. Capitalism is destroying our natural environment and squandering the resources of the world in its never-ending pursuit of profit at all cost. It is even beginning to threaten the long term survival of a viable civilization. The pursuit of dwindling resources leads to more catastrophic wars.

This will be one hell of a May Day for many - but it's the one that globalized capitalism has fashioned for us all.

Only if labour – the organised working class - is truly globalized can it now effectively fight for its’ fair share from the ravages of capitalism.

Everywhere, people are beginning to fight back – strikes, occupations, militant demonstrations are growing across what were previously held up as countries of capitalist triumph. Many of the tactics and strategies being employed have a long and glorious history – some are those that were employed from the start by the Industrial Workers of the World, the international Union set up in North America at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Despite a marvellous period of struggle that union was diminished by repression, war and the false hopes upheld by business unions and dogmatic “Communists” alike. Nevertheless it survived, and now in the first decade of the Twenty First Century the IWW, or Wobblies as they are affectionately known, have enjoyed renewed growth as working people seek effective and militant forms of organisation untainted by soggy capitulation or links to failed models of 20th Century regimes.

The IWW has particularly grown in Britain, with new groups and branches springing up across the country – including locally in Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire. Many who attended the Put People First demonstration in London in March this year were surprised and impressed to see the many flags and banners of the IWW, with a block of marchers to rival many of the TUC unions.

The IWW is not exclusive, you can hold dual card membership with a TUC union if they are the main organisation in your workplace – we are not about dividing, but uniting workers around a militant platform. We are not about splitting workers and sectionalism, but about uniting all workers in each industry and all industries. We are about workers, not bureaucrats, calling the shots, about democracy and direct action rather than credit cards and funding neo-liberal political parties. We are not about narrow nationalism, but international workers’ solidarity that recognises that, as ever, UNITY IS STRENGTH!

Join with us and begin the task of building the new society within the shell of the old. Defend the gains that working people have made and look forward to a just, sustainable and dynamic society where all are engaged in democracy at every level, in every community and workplace.

Forward to the future – forward to ONE BIG UNION!

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