Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

May Day in Europe: two special reports

First Published: The Call,, newspaper of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) of the United States, Vol. 8, No. 20, May 21, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Sam Richards and Paul Saba
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Special to The Call–Brussels, Belgium–An international meeting was held here on May Day which heard representatives from several Marxist-Leninist parties voice the unity of the working class struggle.

Michael Klonsky, chairman of the Communist Party (M-L) of the U.S., gave a speech at the meeting which saluted the Belgian workers and peoples who are facing increased attacks on their working conditions as well as being targets of stepped-up superpower contention.

Referring to the growing danger especially from the Soviet Union, Klonsky said: “Even though Belgium is a small country of the second world, we have drawn a great many lessons and great inspiration from its history of struggle against fascism and aggression. The Belgian people stood up firmly in the face of the Nazi invasion which began 39 years ago this month. We know you will stand just as firm in the face of new threats of aggression.”

A high point of the meeting was a speech by Nghet Chhopininto, president of the Committee of Democratic Kampuchean Patriots in France, who called for a renewed effort in building international support for the struggle against the Vietnamese invasion.

The program was chaired by Fernand Lefebvre, Chairman of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Belgium, who spoke of the demand of the Belgian workers for a shorter work week with no cut in pay as part of the overall struggle of the Belgian working class for socialism.

Lefebvre and all the other speakers voiced common support for the theory of the three worlds as the present strategic and tactical line of the international communist movement.

Also speaking at the program was Jacques Jurquet, General Secretary of the Communist Party (M-L) of France; Mario Rodriguez, representative of the Communist Party (M-L) of Argentina; Jurgen Horlemann, representative of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), and the external representative of the Revolutionary Workers Organization of Spain (ORT).

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Dunkerque, France–Hundreds of workers from across France and other countries gathered here for a pre-May Day meeting in support of the growing steelworkers movement which has jarred the ruling circles of northern Europe.

Delegations from steel plants from as far away as Germany were bused in to voice their solidarity with the workers from Dunkerque, Denain and Longwy who have been in the forefront of the struggle. Presently in Dunkerque, more than 11,000 are on strike demanding a 35 hour week with no cut in pay. Deteriorating safety conditions which have led to the recent deaths of four workers have also been a target of the struggle.

The workers cheered when they heard speakers from various unions and political movements express their support. Among them was Jacques Jurquet, General Secretary of the Communist Party of France (M-L), which sponsored the meeting.

In the international section of the meeting, Charles Costigan representing the Communist Party (M-L) of the U.S. gave a solidarity message that was greeted by rousing applause. Communists and union militants from Spain, Belgium and Germany also spoke.