May Day 2021
Militant Actions and Virtual
Exchanges Affirm Rights
and Uphold the Dignity of Labour
Day Events Nationwide
Protests Show People Are Relying on
Their Own Efforts to
of Revolution -
of Thousands Take to the Streets to Say
"No More Police
• Cuban People Celebrate Their Vigorous,
and Victorious Homeland
• Party and State Pay First Rate Attention
to the Working Class
Around the World
• Photo Gallery
Canada and Quebec
Montreal, May 1, 2021.
Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L) Holds Successful
May Day Meeting
Workers from all main sectors of
the economy were joined by several
trade union leaders from across the country to share experiences in a
vigorous May Day
meeting organized by the Workers' Centre of the Communist Party of
Canada (Marxist-Leninist) on the evening of May 1.
greeted the workers of all lands who are fighting as
never before for peace, justice, democracy and freedom. Special mention
was made of the working people in the
United States who continue to fight without a moment's let-up. In spite
of the efforts of the Biden administration to cover up the crimes the
U.S. commits at home and abroad and claim it
represents human rights, democracy and peace, "it is thanks to the
struggle of the U.S. working people that the murderer of George Floyd
was found guilty and it shows the way to get
results," the representative of the Workers' Centre said. "Thanks to
their struggle, the extent of the racist killings and violence in the
U.S. has been revealed, the extent of the crimes against
humanity committed by the U.S. imperialists striving for world
domination have been revealed and we have confidence that the working
people will continue to speak in their own name
and create a new system which recognizes their claims on society, ends
racism and fights for peace."
The meeting also sent
specific greetings to our Mexican brothers and
sisters and fellow workers in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa
Rica, Panama, the entire Caribbean and all
those who are brought to Canada as migrant labourers whose rights as
workers and human persons are not recognized. We are one working class
fighting for the rights of all, the
representative of the Workers' Centre said.
the meeting sent a red salute to "our fellow workers,
farmers and families in India against whom a criminal government is
acting as a wanton killer. The struggle of the farmers,
supported by the Indian working class and people and the Indian
diaspora shows the capacity of the working people to organize
themselves on a new basis which transcends and does not
permit the sectarian violence and splits imposed by the anachronistic
system of party government."
Greeting the workers
of the entire world, the Workers' Centre
recognized that their "fight for the right-to-be of their peoples is
saving humankind in the face of the insatiable greed of a
global oligarchy whose crimes are so great that they control
governments and media who declare it is all for the good of humanity."
The meeting saluted the workers of Cuba and the Democratic
Republic of Korea whose determination and sacrifice under the
leadership of their own communist parties are
maintaining their socialist systems despite being heavily blockaded and
attacked by the U.S. imperialists. It also saluted the Vietnamese
working class and their communist party under
whose leadership they have shown what can be achieved: Vietnam has 96.5
million people, with only 2,865 COVID-19 infections and just 35 deaths.
It can be done! The pandemic can be
brought under control. The economy can serve the people, the
representative of the Workers' Centre pointed out.
people must control the product of their own labour by bringing
into being new arrangements which place decision-making in their
hands," he said.
two-hour exchange of information and views followed in both English and
French with simultaneous translation. Rank and file workers
and trade union representatives spoke to what is
happening in their sector and how the workers are organizing to get
results. Speakers from British Columbia to Quebec and New Brunswick,
retired workers, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada
President Rob Ashton, New Brunswick Federation of Labour President
Daniel Légère, Rolf Gerstenberger, former president
of United Steelworkers Local 1005 in Hamilton and President of the
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, an occupational health and safety
steward of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers in Scarborough and a
Communications Specialist with UNITE HERE Local 40 representing
hospitality workers in BC all spoke about the experiences of workers in
their sector over the past year. Speakers also represented the concerns
of health care workers and teachers. Besides workers, organized and
unorganized, there were also representatives of advocacy organizations
including the Barrie Injured Workers Group, South Asian Women's Rights
Organization and migrant workers. The last speaker was a youth who
expressed the pride of the youth to be part of the modernization and
expansion of the work of the Workers' Centre.
It is thanks to the reports
the workers are giving about their
working conditions and the claims they are making that Canadians are
getting a thorough appreciation of what comprises the
economy of Canada and how it is organized.
Canada only 30 percent of workers are unionized and it is not
just union members who are organizing and speaking out but also the
organizations that advocate for migrant workers,
gig workers and unorganized workers. The response to the invitation to
the meeting shows the significance the workers give to exchanging
experiences and learning from one another.
course of the discussion many people, besides relating their
own experiences, condemned the back-to-work legislation of the federal
government against the Montreal dock
workers, and many expressed support for the militant struggle of Indian
farmers against the anti-farmer legislation of the Modi government.
In his concluding remarks,
Pierre Chenier, Secretary of the Workers' Centre, emphasized the role
of Workers' Forum,
the online newspaper of the Workers' Centre, to give pride
of place to the voice of workers speaking in their own name. It has
created the basis for our own news agency in which the workers
themselves report on their concerns and we are not at
the mercy of what the monopoly media reports and how they report.
Reporting on what is going on in different sectors shines a light
on how governments are operating, using the
pandemic to pay the rich by borrowing vast sums from private lenders
and using those funds to pay the interest, theft pure and simple. The reports received from the workers also reveal the
between corporate leaders and government members and officials.
called on everyone to continue to
contribute to Workers' Forum so that together we
the conditions and work together to change the situation in a manner
which favours the people and society. Workers
need their own reference points, he said, so as not to fall into the
trap of accepting what the rich and their governments say are matters
of national interest and national security. We need to
strengthen and expand our work of interviews and reports and develop
other means of communication such as podcasts and radio, something that
the youth are keen to spearhead, and we
need funds for this work so that it is done professionally, Pierre said.
We have seen over the past year, he said, that it is workers'
for rights which is saving lives and that it is in fighting that we
all the dogmas which claim that the working class
is no more than an extra-parliamentary pressure group to lobby for good
policies, which diverts us from looking at what those policies are and
who they serve.
The meeting ended with the playing of The
Internationale, the song
of the international working class written at the time of the great
uprising of the French working class who created
the Paris Commune in 1871.
On May Day,
Quebec workers and their allies organized actions in several cities.
They put forward measures to emerge from health, economic and
environmental crises and they also opposed the activities of the rich
and their governments to suppress the voice of workers and people in
the defence of their rights, in the name of the combatting the pandemic
and restarting the economy. They demanded better protection of workers'
physical and mental health, wage increases that allow for a dignified
life, increases in social assistance and employment insurance benefits,
the strengthening of labour, social security and immigrant rights, a
major reinvestment in public services, including the working conditions
of those who provide them, and measures to protect the environment.
Workers denounced the Legault government's Bill 59 as an unacceptable
step backwards in occupational health and safety and compensation for
workers who are injured or become ill on the job. Private and
public sector unions, women's organizations, defence organizations for
migrant workers, the unemployed and those on social assistance, student
organizations, environmental organizations and many others took part.
The criminalization of dock workers at the Port of Montreal by
the federal government's back-to-work legislation in support of the
employers' refusal to negotiate was front and centre in the
demonstrations. The dock workers, members of Canadian Union of Public
Employees Local 375, led the march of more than 2,000 people in
Montreal, side-by-side with workers from the Shell oil terminal in
Montreal, members of Unifor Local 121, who have been locked out since
Again this year, police forces
violently attacked the demonstration organized by the Convergence of
Anti-Capitalist Struggles in Montreal, injuring and arresting several
Mayworks' Events in Halifax, Toronto and Winnipeg
events are being held throughout the month in Halifax, Toronto and Winnipeg, starting with an
online panel discussion including migrant workers' advocates, union
leaders and community workers entitled "Essential Work, but Disposable
Online Rally for Indian Farmers
The Farmer's Support Coordination Committee-Ontario, held an
online May Day Celebration on May 2 to support the heroic farmers of
India who have stood their ground to have the three unjust farm laws
passed by the Modi government repealed. There was participation from
across Canada as well as India. Underpinning the celebration was the
months-long work that the Committee has undertaken.
of the topics discussed was how to broaden the support for the fighting
farmers of India by engaging the labour movement in Canada. A
presentation was made about how the pandemic in Canada has particularly
affected national minority workers who make up the bulk of frontline
workers in many places. The speaker noted that these workers have faced
discrimination and abuse by government and employers and continue to
fight for their just demands for a living wage, paid sick leave and
days off to rest and have a family life.
the presentations there were performances of poetry and song
commemorating workers' struggles.
Support Coordination Committee announced that it will be stepping up
work to support the Indian farmers and in defence of the rights of
national minority workers in Canada.
The Edmonton May Day Committee hosted a lively virtual
celebration on May 1. Discussion focussed on the experience of workers
in providing solutions to make their workplaces and communities safe
during the pandemic. Participants also denounced governments' use of
the emergency situation to launch one attack after another on workers'
rights and to line the pockets of the rich. The chair of the meeting,
Merryn Edwards, condemned the Trudeau government for its
criminalization of the Montreal dock workers and the slanders against
them, expressed solidarity with the Indian farmers' courageous fight
and with the people of Cuba and others facing criminal blockades and
with everyone fighting for rights, against aggression and for peace.
Edmonton and District Labour Council, Friends of Medicare, Migrante,
Women for Rights and Empowerment, the Edmonton-Cuba Solidarity
Committee, the Edmonton local of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers
and a teacher spoke about their experiences of the past year in
upholding their rights to safe working conditions and to safety for
students, patients, long-term care residents, migrant workers and all
Albertans. The meeting concluded with a slide show of previous May Day
celebrations and the singing of The Internationale.
At the event held by the Calgary May Day Committee, workers
from many sectors including health care, communications, education, the
post office and utility and retail workers vigorously participated.
Workers, including retired workers and youth, shared information about
their challenges and experiences over the past year in dealing with the
pandemic to keep themselves and society safe and what they need going
forward. Music and a slide show of past May Day events rounded out the
the west coast, in Vancouver, the Left Coast Labour Chorus held an
online concert celebrating the workers of the world with a new
animation of Tommy Douglas' Mouseland speech and a story from fired
hotel workers in Vancouver.
In Prince George, the
May Day Organizing Committee and Stand Up for the North Committee held
an online event with workers from many sectors including education,
forestry, hospitality and construction. Also in attendance were the
mayor of Prince George, Lyn Hall, and two city councilors, Frank
Everitt and Susan Scott.
Dawn Hemingway, University
of Northern BC (UNBC) professor and one of the organizers served as
moderator. She began the event by providing a brief history of May Day.
Mayor Lyn Hall welcomed everyone and spoke to the important role of
workers in keeping everyone safe in the midst of the pandemic with
particular thanks to the city workers.
a retired college instructor and representative of the May Day
Organizing Committee, remarked that despite significant challenges
posed by COVID-19 workers across the country and around the world are
fighting heroically to improve the health and safety situation at their
workplaces, and in the society as a whole, despite the failure of
governments and employers to do so.
introductory comments were followed by presentations from union
representatives beginning with Matt Baker, President of the North
Central Labour Council, who brought greetings from the Council, as well
as speaking to the situation facing workers in construction camps
around the region.
Naden Abenes, a hospitality
worker and member of UNITE HERE Local 40, provided an update on hotel
workers, mainly women and racialized workers, who are fighting against
the industry's mass firings of workers and refusal to commit to
bringing back workers once the pandemic is over. She thanked everyone
for their support of the union's Unequal Women campaign, and encouraged
everyone to share the information to bolster the struggle.
Hapke, President of the Prince George and District Teachers'
Association, spoke about the struggles of BC teachers to keep schools,
staff, teachers and students safe by fighting for proper class sizes,
ventilation, mask requirements and other measures, despite lack of
cooperation from the province.
representing the Faculty Association at the College of New Caledonia,
informed about the challenges facing college instructors in the move to
online instruction, such as lack of appropriate support and
compensation, and, importantly, a failure of management to properly
address and adhere to copyright requirements and related issues.
Paul Siakaluk, President of the UNBC Faculty Association,
spoke of the importance of unionization and unity in the labour
movement. After being formed in 2014 and two subsequent strike
struggles, the UNBC Faculty Association has finally achieved a sector
norm salary grid. Paul thanked the entire labour community for its
strong support and noted its importance in achieving this victory.
The organizers concluded by announcing that more online
discussions will be held, with the next one in June, and invited
everyone to provide topics that they would like to have discussed.
"International Worker's Day -- Activism Is
students and youth across Canada joined speakers from the Philippines
in an online May Day event organized by Bayan-Canada, an alliance of
progressive Filipino organizations.
addressed the situation in the Philippines in the context of the
COVID-19 pandemic. Renato Reyes, Secretary General of Bayan (the New
Patriotic Alliance), which was founded on May Day 1985 to oppose the
Marcos Dictatorship, spoke about how the U.S.-backed Duterte regime has
used the pandemic to carry out a military campaign against the
communists, progressives and human rights activists and others, while
at the same time abandoning its responsibility to ensure the safety and
security of the people. Reyes noted that the Philippine government
passed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 last year and
this has been used to criminalize and attack the movement of the people
for their rights. In response, workers and peasants have stepped up
their resistance with the aim of ousting the Duterte regime from power.
They have also strengthened their social solidarity with one another to
help contain the pandemic and ensure that no one is left behind.
Maria Sol Pajadura, the Chair of Migrante Canada, a national
defence organization for Filipino and other migrant workers, spoke
about the struggle of migrant workers in Canada, many of whom are
undocumented. She pointed out that the racist immigration policy of the
Canadian government encourages human trafficking of Filipinos and other
workers. She spoke about the recent appeal by Ontario Health Minister
Christine Elliott for more nurses from the Philippines to fill
shortages in the health care system which have been made even worse by
the pandemic after decades of privatization and cuts. Canada knows that
the nurses are needed in the Philippines, Ms. Pajadura pointed out, but
nonetheless encourages nurses to come as temporary foreign workers to
help solve their crisis. Still, despite their qualifications and the
fact that English is an official language of the Philippines, these
same nurses face expensive and onerous language and certification
requirements. Ms. Pajadura highlighted the work that Migrante Canada
was doing in helping undocumented migrant workers to obtain basic
services as well as uniting with other defence organizations of the
Canadian working class to fight for the rights of all. Migrante Canada
also works to support the Filipino people's movement for national
The Canada-Philippines Solidarity
Organization provided information about its work in support of the
Filipino people's movement for national liberation as well as campaigns
to hold the Canadian government to account for its role in facilitating
widespread human rights violations in the Philippines. The Canadian
government continues to support the Philippine military through
training and arms sales to the Duterte regime as well as enabling
Canadian mining companies to dispossess the Indigenous people of the
Philippines and steal their resources for private profit.
online meeting highlighted the role of the workers in the forefront of
the Philippine revolution and in the fights for the rights of all in
Cuba's Medical Internationalism Celebrated
in Windsor, Ontario
To celebrate this
year's May Day under pandemic conditions, people in Windsor were
invited to walk by One ten park Studio to view its window display of
Mail Art sent from Canada and 23 other countries in response to a call
to honour Cuba's Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade and support
its nomination for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The call was issued by
the coincidentally named Nobel Peace Project, an international Mail Art
initiative founded over 20 years ago in Nobel, Ontario by artists Susan
Gold and AG Smith as a response to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia.
The Nobel Peace Project's organizers say they are very
pleased with the enthusiastic response of artists and others to their
call, and of community members to the exhibition. A booklet documenting
all the Mail Art images received and where they came from has been
produced and is being mailed to all participants. The images, many
accompanied by statements expressing love and appreciation for Cuba's
contributions to humanity, can be found on the Nobel Peace Project's
website here. (Right click on any of the
photos and select "Open Image in New Tab." to view full size.)
exhibition is included in a YouTube video produced by the Art Gallery
of Windsor. To view the segment where it is featured click
Angeles, California, May Day is marked here as in many cities
in the U.S. with actions demanding "Citizenship for All"
As the numbers of racist
police killings, deportations and child detentions at the border
continue to climb, people have been swift and determined in demanding
justice and accountability. Many actions continue across the U.S.,
including student walk-outs, protests both sides of the border,
opposing racist attacks against Asians, hunger strikes, information
actions with safety training, efforts to change policing laws and
defund and demilitarize policing, petitions, online events, social
media posts, independent news posts and more. There is broad discussion
on what security means for the people, including not only defunding the
military and police but providing rights to housing, healthcare,
education, jobs and accountability for government crimes. There is also
broad recognition that the solution to the widespread state organized
racist violence and impunity is resistance by the people, relying on
their own efforts.
Biden has made numerous efforts to divert the movement from this
direction, with his repeated claims that the federal government will
act to ensure "racial justice," and that the "dream of justice for all
will be deferred no longer." He used the conviction of Derek Chauvin
for the murder of George Floyd as yet another opportunity to secure
reliance on him and the federal government. He referred to systemic
racism and admitted that "such a verdict is also much too rare." But
far from endorsing, even in words, the demands widely made, such as
cutting funding for policing and increasing funding for social
services, greater control by the people themselves over policing and
budgets and eliminating police impunity, Biden repeats the "bad apple"
story: "Most men and women who wear the badge serve their communities
honourably. But those few who fail to meet that standard must be held
accountable." He then calls for reliance on the federal government and
his Justice Department -- already rightly branded the
Actions by federal police
over the summer, the numerous Justice Department "investigations" that
lead to nothing, the long experience with the FBI, Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and others,
all make clear that the federal government exists to serve and protect
private property and the existing constitutional order. It is an order
that is unequal, racist and violent by its very nature, as history from
day one, with enslavement of Africans and genocide against Native
movements for justice and rights are standing firm in relying on their
own efforts and continuing to fight for change that favours the people.
Students are demanding removal of police from their schools and funding
for books, counselors and teachers. Everywhere there are calls to
greatly cut the Pentagon and policing budgets, fund social programs and
empower communities to control and decide issues of security. Ending
racist mass incarceration, today's genocide, and ending all
deportations and detention camps for children and families, along with
immediate legalization for all immigrants and refugees are also being
consistently fought for. These demands are not separate from those that
address the violence and insecurity of poverty and continued government
failures concerning COVID-19 -- such as the right to health care and
safe working conditions for all, to housing, jobs and education.
Hundreds of demonstrations took place in March and April in
many cities involving the majority of states, including those in
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida,
Miami, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota,
Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota,
Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and
Washington, D.C. Far from waiting on the government and falling into
their traps meant to divert and divide the people, united actions are
taking place with people from all walks of life organizing together for
change that favours the people.
San Francisco, CA
New York City
the 100th day of the Biden administration, April 30, 2021, over 40
undocumented immigrants along with allies shut down traffic outside the
White House, risking arrest and their own deportation to demand PAPERS,
marked the 22nd day of Fast 4 Relief. Immigrant essential workers have
been calling for recovery for all outside the War Memorial in New York
Excluded workers in New York held daily actions and a hunger
strike throughout the month of March and into April to demand support
for undocumented workers who are refused unemployment benefits and
excluded from the COVID stimulus payments. There are an estimated 11
million such workers, many of them providing essential services. On
March 31 they joined their action with those demanding Housing For All.
New York excluded
workers' actions, March 31, 2021 (top) and April 2, 2021
gathering at Grand Army Plaza in New York City, March 13, 2021
pro-migrant activists headed across the street to Senator Schumer's
Park Slope home to return his & Democrats' "empty promises."
and Manhattan bridges are shut down simultaneously by protestors March
5, 2021, demanding funding for undocumented and often essential workers
gather in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, April 20, 2021 when
verdict in Chauvin trial is announced
20, Derek Chauvin was convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree
murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on
May 25, 2020. The conviction follows massive protests demanding
justice, equality and accountability in dozens of cities last summer,
with some persisting for more than 100 days. Milwaukee has now
persisted for more than 340 consecutive days, demanding justice and
rights for Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright and many others, as
well for immigrant rights.
People across the
country celebrated the Chauvin conviction while also recognizing that
it does not solve the problem of racist police violence and killings
and the repeated injustice and lack of government accountability.
Indeed, many more police killings, with no accountability to date,
occurred during the trial. As has been reported, only seven officers
have been convicted in fatal police shootings since 2005.
New York City, April 20,
Protests were held throughout the
trial demanding justice, equality, an end to police brutality and to
stop the militarization of the city. In the days leading up to the
conviction Minneapolis had been militarized by National Guard, state
and local police, fencing around the court house and more. A federal
judge had to issue a restraining order against police to stop them from
brutalizing protesters, including press covering the trial. Plans are
going forward for continued organizing against racist police killings
and for rights.
On April 20
Students in over 100 high schools in Minneapolis walk out demanding:
National Guard Go Home!
and Asian Solidarity rally is held in George Floyd Square, April 19,
2021, to mark the trial of George Floyd's killer and in mourning for
Daunte Wright and the Asian-Americans killed recently in the U.S.
solidarity rally, Minneapolis, April 18, 2021
University of Minnesota doctors
join a protest April 17, 2021 and release the following numbers: 89
people injured by #LessLethal weapons during #GeorgeFloyd protests, 32
people sent to ER due to tear gas, 10 hit in the eye by rubber bullets,
16 suffered traumatic brain injuries and seven required emergency
On April 4,
2021 a Community Healing action was held in George Floyd Square.
2021 thousands gather to speak and march on first day of Derek
Chauvin's trial. Actions were held in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York,
and other cities.
7, 2021, the day before the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of
George Floyd, one thousand marched through downtown Minneapolis with a
scroll with more than 470 names of people killed by Minneapolis
April 11, 2021, hundreds gather after police killing of black youth.
Hundreds of people immediately gathered calling for justice
after police killed 20-year-old African American Daunte Wright during a
traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on April 11.
Demonstrators defied the 7:00 pm curfew announced by the Governor on
April 12, demanding accountability. Demonstrators were the ones
arrested, not the police killers. Despite yet another mobilization of
National Guard forces, many people have continued to gather at the
vigil site in Brooklyn Center where there is a memorial to Wright. A
large wooden fist originally made for George Floyd Square in
Minneapolis is now present at Daunte's memorial site.
A large wooden fist now
stands at Daunte Wright's memorial site in Brooklyn Center.
Protest against killing
of Daunte Wright, April 12, 2021, in New York.
Protest against killing
of Daunte Wright, April 12, 2021, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Justice for Daunte
Wright protest in Tampa, Florida, April 18, 2021.
Chicago, Illinois, April
16, 2021 protest demands end to racist police killings.
of Chicago again took to the streets April 16 demanding an end to
racist police killings and accountability after police body cam footage
was released of the police killing of 13-year old Adam Toledo March 29.
It shows him with his hands in the air and without a weapon at the time
of the shooting. Even so, police have attempted to justify the
unjustifiable, saying that Toledo posed a threat as he "had just
dropped a handgun." People responded as they have been: Hands Up, Don't
Shoot! Charge All Those Responsible!
La Villita, Illinois
protest April 18, 2021 against police killing of Adam Toledo
Protests erupted in
Elizabeth City, North Carolina and elsewhere April 21, after police
shot and killed unarmed African American Andrew Brown. Brown was seated
in his car, hands on the steering wheel, posing no threat when police
riddled his car with bullets, shooting him in his arm and the back of
the head. Police came to serve a warrant and instead, as the family's
attorney said, carried out an execution. There were no weapons, no
threat of any kind.
Despite a major deployment of
riot police and a state of emergency being called by the Governor prior
to the release of a small portion of police body camera footage, people
in Elizabeth continued to demand justice for Andrew Brown and his
family. As has occurred with other racist police killings, they were
joined by solidarity actions in other cities.
of Breonna Taylor's Death
March 13, 2021 marks the first anniversary of the police killing
of Breonna Taylor
March 13 Actions across the U.S.
renewed calls for Justice for Breonna Taylor. Demonstrators gathered in
Louisville, where Taylor lived, in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta,
Maryland and elsewhere. Louisville is one of the cities where
demonstrations persisted for more than 100 days last summer and demands
for accountability continue today. Three officers fired a total of 32
bullets, killing Breonna in her home, but none have been charged for
March 13, 2021
Actions in Washington DC (left) and New York City, March 13, 2021 marks
anniversary of the police killing of Breonna Taylor.
Students occupy the Ohio
Union building April 21, 2021, the day after the shooting of
As the guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin was
made known, police in Columbus, Ohio shot and killed young African
American woman, 16-year old Ma'Khia Bryant. She was shot four times in
the chest in front of her home. Protests were held that very evening.
The Ohio Union building was occupied on April 21, the day after her
killing, by students filling the atrium and main floors in protest.
Ohio, April 20, 2021, protest against the police killing of Ma'Khai
Voice of Revolution is a publication of the U.S.
thousands took part in militant May Day demonstrations in as many as 46
cities and towns across Britain. The main focus of the demonstrations
was opposition to the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill 2021,
at present going through Parliament, which gives police and ministers
further arbitrary powers. One such power permits them to ban
demonstrations on self-serving grounds, such as causing annoyance or
being too loud. The demonstrations demanded "No More Police Powers."
The movement against the Bill has been growing around the hashtag
#KillTheBill. A main focus is to oppose the criminalization of protest
that the bill enshrines.
The protests reveal many
aspects of what the bill targets which would otherwise remain hidden
such as how it will drastically impact the lives of Gypsy, Roma and
Traveller (GRT) communities by threatening to criminalize "trespass" in
a state where 92 per cent of the land is privately owned. Travellers do
not recognize the private ownership of land and are persecuted
incessantly because of their way of life.
Day demonstrations were the latest in the protests against the use and
abuse of police powers. More than 40 activist groups have joined forces
in a coalition against the bill since March. The bill is now scheduled
to resume its path through Parliament in May. More than 600 civil
society and protest groups have called for the government to drop the
legislation. A planned quick passage through Parliament has already
In London on
May Day an estimated 10,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square at noon
at a rally featuring speakers from Sisters Uncut, the youth
empowerment organization, the 4FRONT Project, anti-school exclusions
campaign group No More Exclusions, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller
Socialists, Women of Colour and Sex Worker Advocacy and Resistance
Movement (SWARM). The diverse range of organizations represented
included the trade unions United Voices of the World, the Independent
Workers' Union of Great Britain, the University and College Union, the
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers and Unison. This
broad swathe of organizations was reflected in the demonstration
itself, with speakers pointing out, "We're here for everybody!"
Director of Southall Black Sisters, said in London: "The bill
represents a massive assault on civil liberties and it's part of a
wider trend on the part of the government to shut down free speech,
shut down protest, shut down dissenting voices. In a sense it's an
attack on a fundamental democratic value, which is the right to raise
our voice in criticism, in protest, in dissent.
are really, really alarmed by the government's thrust towards
authoritarianism. This represents one in a long line of draconian laws
which the government is bringing in which will impact on our
After gathering in Trafalgar
Square from midday, protesters marched past Buckingham Palace amidst
red and purple smoke flares, then through Victoria, past the Department
for Education and the Home Office, and finally across the river to
Outside the Home Office, speeches
were given from atop a double decker bus, including by students from
Pimlico Academy who recently walked out of school in protest of racist
school uniform policies. Activists expressed solidarity with Osime
Brown, a young autistic Black man currently facing deportation to
As police helicopters flew overhead, the
militant march to Vauxhall Gardens focused on how to intervene in
police Stop-and-Searches, how to resist evictions and how to stop
Opposition to the bill has been
growing also because of the exercise of police violence against
peaceful demonstrations during the COVID-19 lockdown, as well as
revelations of endemic police corruption, racism, and connection with
neo-Nazi organizations. The Mitting Inquiry itself, initiated after the
racist murder of Stephen Lawrence on April 22, 1993, indicated endemic
racism throughout the police. The use of under-cover policing since the
anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, and before, has also demonstrated both
the immorality and provocateur nature of the secret police which is
integral to the police powers in the executive and court system. In
this light, demonstrators on May Day also upheld the slogan, "Whose
Streets? Our Streets!"
Towns where demonstrations
were held included Sheffield, Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol where
demonstrators have come under police attack since the first of eleven
demonstrations since March 2020 when the statue of slave-trader Edward
Colston was torn down and dumped in the tidal river. Other towns
included Margate, Hastings, Oxford, Bath, Doncaster, Brighton, and
Aberystwyth in Wales. In Truro, Cornwall, protesters gathered on Lemon
Quay and marched through the city. A statement from organizers prior to
the event said: "We're taking to the streets again on a day of national
action to Kill the Bill. Cornwall has shown we are rising to each and
every occasion. Let's make May Day bigger and more spectacular than any
of our protests so far. Cornwall is rising! We have shown that we have
a vibrant protest movement here. We need to grow that momentum. We need
to Kill the Bill."
with health and safety conditions during the pandemic, Cuba's central
May Day event was marked this year with a simple commemoration at
Havana's José Martí Plaza de la
Revolución, Granma reports.
those in attendance was Communist Party of Cuba First Secretary and
President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel
Bermúdez, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz and other
members of the Party, Political Bureau, government and trade union
After the National Anthem was played and
the national hero honoured with white roses, Political Bureau member
and Secretary General of the Federation of Cuban Workers, Ulises
Guilarte Nacimiento, congratulated the nation's workers for their
commitment and critical contribution to the construction of a vigorous,
united and victorious homeland.
workers! What has been done to survive the pandemic under a tightened
blockade, and nonetheless advancing, is monumental. A hard-working,
creative people like ours deserves a great tribute," tweeted President
Díaz-Canel on the occasion.
workers and families celebrated May Day virtually, on social networks,
and in small gatherings in accordance with health and safety measures,
reaffirming the people's support for the Cuban Revolution, and their
continuing struggle for equality and social justice.
A new song, Un Eco de
Banderas (An Echo of Flags) was released on the occasion of
May Day. In the video for the song, singer-songwriter Arnaldo
Rodríguez and his Talisman orchestra are joined by a number
of other celebrated Cuban musicians in a tribute to the determination
of the country's people to forge ahead, working hard and overcoming all
manner of challenges as they defy the U.S. attempt to bring them to
their knees. In the words of its chorus, "Aquí no hay marcha
atrás / Aquí la timba está
'cerrá'" ("Here there's no going back / The gambling den is
To view the video click here.
Nguyen Xuan Phuc (4th, left) and delegates witness the launch of the
Workers' Month and the Month for Labour Safety and Hygiene.
this year's main ceremony marking International Labour Day, held in
Hanoi on April 28, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc pointed out that
Vietnamese Communist Party and State always give special attention and
care to the working class, labourers and trade unions. He added that
workers and labourers have continued to play an important role after 30
years of reform, noting they are the driving force in the process of
national industrialization and modernization.
Phuc hailed initiatives raised by trade union members and employees
nationwide for the development of their businesses, agencies, units and
the nation as a whole.
Pointing out difficulties
facing workers and labourers in general, notably those working in the
informal sector, as Vietnam and the world are combatting COVID-19, the
President stressed that the Party and the State have adopted effective
measures to fight the pandemic and recover the national economy.
Incomes of labourers are expected to increase again and new
jobs would be created in the time ahead, helping to boost the rapid,
sustainable economic growth of the country, the President said.
In that spirit, he emphasized the need for the Vietnamese
trade unions to soon draw up an action plan in order to realize the
Resolution adopted at the 13th National Party Congress, saying the plan
must carry forward the core, pioneer role of workers and labourers
At the same time, trade union
organizations at all levels should revamp their operational methods to
better care for and protect legitimate rights and interests of workers,
Nguyen Dinh Khang, President of the
Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), highlighted great
contributions of the working class to the development of the Vietnamese
The VGCL has chosen the theme of
"Solidarity, Creativity, Overcoming Difficulties, Development" for
2021, he said, adding that up to 245,000 initiatives were raised by
workers and labourers across the country under a program launched by
the confederation. On this occasion, the VGCL launched the Workers'
Month and the Month for Labour Safety and Hygiene.
Around the World
celebrated at the Farmers protest camps on the Delhi border as a day of
workers-farmer unity against the farm laws.
Protests against planned
tax reforms take place across the country.
Ankara carnations were laid at a memorial for 415 healthcare
workers who have died in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic at
Ankara City Hospital (top). Despite lockdowns and bans on
demonstrations thousands took to the streets across the country on May
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