The following greeting was sent by Blade Nzimande, National Chair of the South African Communist Party, to the May Day event organized by the CPUSA and its YCL in NYC on May 1st, 2023.
On this May Day, the South African Communist Party (SACP) wishes to salute the pioneering struggles by militant workers in Chicago, the United States of America, in 1886. It was indeed these struggles that gave birth to May Day, a day that has continued to inspire millions of workers in fighting for their rights, and also in the struggles against capitalism.
This month marks the 137th anniversary of that historic struggle, notably including the battle for the reduction of the ordinary working-day to eight hours. Today, we pay tribute to those workers, to whom the imperialist regime of the USA reacted violently, and by legislative means crippled the struggles around May Day.
I feel particularly honored to give a short message at this event as organized by the Communist Party of the USA and the Young Communist League. The relationship between the CPUSA and the SACP goes back decades. The SACP will always value the role of the CPUSA in the broader anti-apartheid struggles that finally led to the dislodging of the apartheid regime from power in April 1994.
The SACP, therefore, also wants to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the countless Communist leaders and grassroots activists from both our Parties who took part in worker organization and struggles throughout the history of our two countries and two parties.
Workers of the world are today celebrating May Day against the background of the failure of the neoliberal policies globally and in the midst of growing imperialist aggression through wars of destabilization.
The neoliberal restructuring of the capitalist work-places has led to millions of workers being retrenched, casualised and turned into part-time, temporary and highly exploitable labor.
We are also celebrating May Day in the midst of a NATO-inspired conflict in the Ukraine. The SACP is strongly of the view that without the aggressive and expansionist putsch by NATO towards the borders of Russia, there would not be the death and destruction that we are seeing in the Ukraine today.
The SACP, however, is no supporter of contemporary Russian oligarchic capitalism, led and presided over by Putin. This current path of capitalist accumulation in Russia is based on the squander of over 70 years of the economic value built through the blood and sweat of the Soviet working class.
The twin evils of neoliberalism, and the imperialist wars of destabilization, pose an immediate challenge to all Communists and peace-loving people to build a truly progressive global peace movement. At the same time, we need to deepen the international solidarity of workers’ struggles for socialism, against the barbarism of capitalism. Underlying the building of a peace movement and the struggle against neoliberalism must be the struggle against uneven global development, and the struggle to uplift the peoples of the South!
Another key challenge that Communists and all progressive forces face around the world, is the need to wage a fearless battle against gender-based violence and patriarchy.
Women in the workplace, the economy, and in society generally still face different forms of gender discrimination and abuse, including gender-based violence. The twin scourges of gender oppression and gender-based violence must be put to an end through the common effort of both women and men workers, both as sisters and brothers united in pursuit of a non-sexist society.
It is in the trenches of fighting all the above struggles that we should also deepen party-to-party relations between the CPUSA and the SACP.
This must include exchanging experiences and perspectives on how to rebuild a strong and progressive trade union movement, a global progressive peace movement, a fight for equitable global economic development, and a struggle for gender equality and women’s emancipation.
Let the struggles of our two parties continue to be inspired by May Day as it is only a strong, united working class that will ultimately defeat capitalism and build socialism.
I wish our comrades in the CPUSA strength in their continuing struggles (inside the belly of the beast) to support the just cause of workers in the USA.
Image: Blade Nzimande by Morning Star