Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

International Workers’ Day

The Russian Federation joins the rest of the world in celebration of 1st May, International Workers’ Day, in defence of human rights, the end of racism, sexism, homophobia and any other theory or practice of exclusionism or elitism.

1st May is a day of unity and solidarity, not only among the proletariat around the world but of all citizens of our planet. It is the day when we remember those who do not enjoy the same rights as we have, it is a day to reflect upon what can be done to make our planet a place where all can live as equals, like brothers around a common lake – the sea.

International solidarity with causes which support human rights is fundamental for us to build a world where religion, race, ethnic group or skin colour do limit a person’s rights, where all our children have the same birthright, where digital inclusion and a universal standard of education are a reality.

It is not enough for us to say we should do something once a year and then spend the rest of it in lethargy. There are many organizations and institutions which work in the social area at the national or international level and there is a great variety of activities the individual can take part in to make that difference.

The origins of 1st May

Rosa Luxemburg tells us in her article “What are the origins of 1st May?” written in 1894, that it was in Australia where the workers’ cause was joined to the old Spring celebration on this day, more precisely in 1856, when the workers of this British colony began a campaign for an eight-hour working day, making a stoppage. This was total and the action was repeated the following year. The cause of the international workers had been launched.

From Australia, the May Day cause passed to the USA, where in 1886, the workers decided to create a day of stoppage and on this day, 200,000 proletarians marched in favour of an eight-hour day.

In Europe, 400 delegates attended the International Workers’ Conference in 1889, in which the main demand was the eight-hour day and 1st May 1890 was declared an international day of stoppage around the world.

We end with the words of Rosa Luxemburg for their vision and eternal quality:

“And, when better days dawn, when the working class of the world has won its deliverance then too humanity will probably celebrate May Day in honor of the bitter struggles and the many sufferings of the past”.

Let us not let the aspirations and dreams of the many heroes who fought for us to enjoy this holiday pass in vain. So let us use this day to continue the fight for equality and the end of exploitation, injustice and exclusion.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY

PRAVDA.Ru