May Day greetings from the Democratic Socialist Perspective, a Marxist tendency in the Socialist Alliance in Australia.
May Day this year takes place amidst the most severe economic crisis for capitalism since the 1930s. At the same time, the very survival of humanity is now threatened by catastrophic climate change that cannot be solved without fundamental social change. It has never been more clear that capitalism is not working.
While trillions of dollars are spent trying to rescue capitalism, a billion people struggle to live on less than US$2 a day. While the capitalists force wage cuts on workers and price cuts on poor farmers, the retail price of food around the world remains high and most of the world's population has no food security at all. While more and more of the world's people are forced to flee their homes due to the impacts of neo-liberalism, war and global warming, the rich world's leaders whip up nationalism and racism to strengthen their fortresses against refugees.http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2719/1/85/574959972/n574959972_2495824_6787577.jpg
Like all capitalist governments, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Labor Party government is trying to make working people pay for the economic crisis. Although this wealthy country has not yet felt the full brunt of the crisis, just in the last seven months 140,000 more Australians joined the ranks of the unemployed. Meanwhile, the Labor government's new industrial relations laws maintain severe restrictions on workers' and trade union rights, the privatisation of public utilities continues, and the May federal budget is expected to further reduce the public sector and welfare provision.
The Labor government is also continuing its attacks on Australia's Indigenous people, maintaining the forced quarantining of welfare payments to Aboriginal people, the suspension of the Racial Discrimination Act and the weakening of land rights laws to allow big mining companies' unfettered access to Aboriginal land. The Socialist Alliance is planning a national day of protest action on June 20, the anniversary of the introduction of these racist laws.
Internationally, the Rudd government is consolidating Australia's close partnership with United States imperialism. Following a recent meeting with Barak Obama, Rudd announced this week that the Australian government will send another 450 troops to Afghanistan. This is despite 65% public opposition to such a move.
The Australian government's complicit silence on Israel's brutal war on the Palestinian people and on the Sri Lankan military's ongoing massacre of the Tamil people is generating increasing anger in Australia, and members of the DSP, Resistance and the Socialist Alliance leading the anti-war campaign in Australia are working hard to build a movement to force the withdrawal of all Australian troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and build solidarity in Australia with the peoples of Palestine and Tamil Eelam.
Australian imperialism's role in the Asia Pacific region makes our solidarity with the people's movements for national liberation and democracy and the revolutionary organisations in this region especially important. There have recently been significant gains in our region, in particular the election of a revolutionary government in Nepal, mass movement victories such as the forcing of the Pakistan government to reinstate the chief justice, and the election of socialists to state and federal parliament in Malaysia.
In Latin America, rising revolutionary socialist movements are posing a serious challenge to global capitalist rule and, in the process of struggle, are beginning to create alternative social systems.
This May Day, millions will take to the streets to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. The Cuban people's courageous struggle for sovereignty and socialism, now strengthened by the Venezuelan and Bolivian revolutions, and the recent election victory of the FMLN in El Salvador, are inspiring anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggles around the world. DSP members proudly continue their work in solidarity with socialist Cuba and to build the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network, which last week completed its 9th solidarity brigade to Venezuela. We look forward to continuing our coverage of the developments in Latin America in Green Left Weekly and Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the re-establishment in mid-June of a permanent bureau in Caracas.
This is a moment in history when the need to move towards a society founded on collective ownership, participatory democracy, social justice and ecological sustainability has never been more urgent or necessary. In the words of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez: "If we do not change the world now, there may be no 22nd century".
That message, and the development of alliances and practical activities to advance it, was centre-stage at the "World At A Crossroads: Fighting for Socialism in the 21st Century" conference hosted by the DSP and Resistance in Sydney on April 10-12 this year. The conference was very successful, bringing together 440 activists, including 25 movement and party leaders from 15 countries, and reaffirmed for us that in the people's struggle to save humanity from destruction by capitalism, international solidarity will be essential.
We look forward to closer links and great collaboration between our organisations and peoples in the years ahead.
Workers of the world unite!
Long live May Day!
Long live socialist revolution!
DSP National Secretary