1st of May 2023: A day of struggle in stormy times!
This year's May Day was remarkable in many ways and has an important meaning: it took place in turbulent times, in times of upheaval, and is therefore also a reflection of these changes. In terms of the number of participants, both the SPÖ and independent, democratic and revolutionary organizations were able to see an upswing, even though for often different reasons on both sides.
The main issues on this year's May Day were warmongering, rearmament and inflation. Above all, the protest against inflation and price increases was taken to the streets through diverse and numerous forms of expression. The "Action for Democratic Rights of the People" (ADRV), which took part in the revolutionary May Day demonstrations, emphasized that the inflation must be fought as a result of the crisis and politics of the ruling system. Thus, the slogan "Expenses and price increase - Down with the war policy!" was spread very loudly. A banner with the slogan "Struggle against inflation & war-mongering!", which was carried by the ADRV, particularly stood out.
The 1st of May and within it especially the democratic and revolutionary demonstrations were a strong sign that the workers and the people are not helpless against the attacks of the rulers. The current mass protests in France are an important example in this. The masses in France are continuing their struggle undeterred, and it is not without reason that they have chosen this year's May Day as the national day of protest and the "climax" of the protests. At the May Day demonstrations in Vienna and Linz, demonstrators carried posters reading "Solidarity with the mass struggles in France."
May Day was established as a conscious day of struggle for the workers' movement. Also today there are protests and struggles of the workers and the people in Austria, such as the movement against the Corona measures, or the struggle of the workers at MAN Steyr. A leaflet widely distributed by the ADRV states, "But the downturn of the movement has also shown that there is a difference between spontaneous protest and organization... unprincipled association weakens the advance and struggle for democratic rights of the people". The ruling class, such as the SPÖ [Social Democratic Party of Austria], also made a theme of the price increases on May 1. But it was precisely the SPÖ leadership that betrayed the workers' wage demands and is now celebrating it as a success if the party leadership is not booed by its own members this year. Also the KPÖ [Communist Party of Austria] is only the "smaller reflection" of the same politics, because it has "neither in the question of the Corona measures, nor to the warmongering of USA and EU the interests of the people consistently represented", so the leaflet. In the demonstrations, however, it was precisely this warmongering that was attacked through slogans and chants. With slogans like "Against the war of the rulers - restore neutrality", or "NATO, USA, Russia, EU - leave Ukraine!". Quite obviously, broad sections of the population also see it that way, that one must stand against those who are pushing the imperialist war. It is deception when on the one hand neutrality and "peace" are spoken of, but on the other hand the warmongering and armament of the EU is not mentioned.
A banner that could be seen on several demonstrations had the writing: "Long live the International Communist League! For the reconstitution of the KPÖ!" Since its founding, May Day has been a day dedicated not only to the daily concerns of the workers, but above all to expressing the necessity of the revolutionary struggle of the working class. The International Communist League (ICL), an organization of 15 communist parties and organizations from 14 countries, sets itself the goal of promoting, supporting and uniting the revolutionary struggle of the peoples, because it is not only about single improvements, but also about a new world, a world without oppression and exploitation. This is also what the "Reconstitution of the KPÖ" stands for: a Communist Party of Austria that leads the struggle of the working class for power. Those who have abandoned this path, like the KPÖ today, are content with a few "concessions" and have long since said goodbye to the struggle for a new world. The urge for change, however, can only be brought to fruition through a real organization of the workers and the people, a revolutionary organization.
May Day was also marked by the unification of the oppressed and exploited against the rulers. The struggle against inflation, rearmament and warmongering unites broad sections and strata of the population, and that is why it is necessary to unite them. Thus the ADRV demands in its leaflet the increase of the wages, the abolition of all indirect taxes and the introduction of a progressively strongly rising income tax. Likewise the struggle against an EU-army and NATO is a central content of this union of workers, employees, unemployed, small self-employed, pupils and students. With the call "Join the ADRV" on May 1st the necessity of organization was emphasized, because in organizing the conscious struggle of the oppressed is expressed.
May Day is not simply a "day of tradition," but a lively day of struggle with great impact, and this has been confirmed this year. Thus, May Day is both a measuring degree and a starting point for the further struggle and unification of the working class and the people. The urge for change will be able to unfold its great potential if the democratic and revolutionary unification is firmly and persistently tackled and promoted as the main task.