Let’s make this a May Day to be remembered!

BY:Communist Party USA| May 1, 2024
Let’s make this a May Day to be remembered!

Every year on May 1, we celebrate International Workers’ Day to commemorate workers securing an eight-hour workday, a victory that needs to be defended today. May Day has deep meaning going back to 1886 after the resistance of Black, white and immigrant workers in Haymarket Square in Chicago. The Haymarket Martyrs were eight immigrants, seven sentenced to death and one to life in prison. They were struggling for the eight-hour workday alongside hundreds of thousands of workers striking and attending rallies throughout the United States demanding “Eight hours for work. Eight hours for rest. Eight hours for what we will.”

The echoes of that struggle are resonating across the United States in the student uprisings demanding an divestment and an end to the Gaza genocide, in labor union organizing and contract struggles, in demands to cut the work week to 30 hours with no cut in pay, in the struggles of African American, Latino, Asian, Indigenous, women, the LGBTQ+, and all oppressed and working peoples to participate with dignity, equality, and joy in building a democratic and healthy society where human exploitation for profit is no more: a socialist society.

Let’s make this a May Day to be remembered!

As the CPUSA National Committee said in Forward together: For pre-convention discussion: “The U.S. is in the midst of a deep systemic crisis, perhaps the most severe since the Civil War and the Great Depression. It is a political, economic, social, cultural and ideological crisis of the capitalist system. Confidence in government is at an all-time low, while working-class anger at mounting inequality is at an all-time high. Gaza, Ukraine, COVID, stagnant wages, high prices, student debt, climate change, racist police violence, the outlawing of abortion and affirmative action, anti-immigrant and LGBTQ hate, mass shootings — all contribute to a growing sense of fear, instability, and uncertainty.”

That uncertainty diminishes when one stands on the picket lines with the Starbucks, United Auto Worker, UPS Teamsters, and other union workers who organized and fought in 2023 and 2024, demanding a greater portion of the fruits of their labor, a shorter work week, union or contract recognition, and peace.

Organized labor is taking a leading role today in the struggles for peace and democracy. United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain said the “… working class is the arsenal of democracy and the workers are the liberators. The one thing I’ve seen throughout this fight, and the one thing we know, is that it’s not a CEO that’s going to save us. It’s not a president that’s going to save us. It’s not me and it’s not you — it’s us, and it’s a united working class. That’s how we’re going to win.”

All workers must fight for a ceasefire now and then get out and vote in the 2024 elections to stop the fascist threat. Workers must use the contradictions of bourgeois democracy to their advantage. A strategic vote is not collusion, it strengthens the struggle. Vote up and down the ballot, and vote strategically to strengthen the struggle for a worker-led people’s democracy in the U.S. What is at stake is the people’s continued ability to organize and fight.

We demand that the military budget be deeply and permanently cut with the money redirected to meet the needs of working and oppressed communities in the United States. Imperialism drives the military budget and oppresses both our siblings in the working class in other nations and ourselves here in the U.S. Cut ICE and stop migrant deportations. Make education free from kindergarten through graduate school. Provide free quality healthcare through expanded and improved Medicare for All. Ensure affordable housing for all. Make union busting illegal. The power of workers is in collectivity and united struggle.

Workers are struggling against U.S. imperialism for survival in Palestine. They’re fighting in socialist Cuba to halt the stranglehold of the U.S. embargo. We stand in solidarity with those struggles.

Workers, students, and youth in the U.S. have carried on the waves of protests that most recently started with the police murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, marching, seizing college buildings, and making their demands heard around the world.  Struggles to protect and expand women’s control over their own bodies and autonomy in healthcare and other life choices has animated many to protest, and has prompted  state referendums to protect abortion access and defeat the criminalization of women’s struggles to be the decisive power in their own lives.

In recent weeks students all over the country have risen in magnificent protest against the occupation, calling for a ceasefire and university divestment from Israel.  We salute their courage and stand with them. In recent days their peaceful protest has met with brutal violence from the police on several campuses. We condemn these actions.

As in 1886 at Haymarket, the forces of capitalist oppression are arrayed against workers and students today — and the people are not backing down. It is appropriate on this May Day 2024 to say yes to democracy, no to fascism, and to sing with workers over the centuries:

Arise ye pris’ners of starvation
Arise ye wretched of the earth
For justice thunders condemnation
A better world’s in birth!
The International, Eugène Pottier, Paris, June 1871

Happy May Day!!!


Images: mayday_NYC2013_DSC_0448 by Michael Fleshman (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed); UAW Strike – Kansas City, KS – September 22, 2019 by Adam Schultz (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Deed).


    The Communist Party USA is a  revolutionary working-class  political party founded in 1919 in Chicago, IL. The Communist Party stands for the interests of the American working class and the American people. It stands for our interests in both the present and the future. Solidarity with workers of other countries is also part of our work. We work in coalition with the labor movement, the peace movement, the student movement, organizations fighting for equality and social justice, the environmental movement, immigrants rights groups and the health care for all campaign. But to win a better life for working families, we believe that we must go further. We believe that the American people can replace capitalism with a system that puts people before profit — socialism. We are rooted in our country's revolutionary history and its struggles for democracy. We call for "Bill of Rights" socialism, guaranteeing full individual freedoms.

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