First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 18, May 9, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
Copyright: This work is in the Public Domain under the Creative Commons Common Deed. You can freely copy, distribute and display this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line as your source, include the url to this work, and note any of the transcribers, editors & proofreaders above.
Spirited rallies were held on May 1 in cities throughout the U.S. to commemorate International Workers’ Day. The forums, dinners and mass meetings drew close to 2,000 people nationwide, the vast majority of whom were workers and minority people. The events were sponsored by the October League, the Organizing Committee for a Marxist-Leninist Party and the Communist Youth Organization.
The themes of “Jobs or Income Now!” “Down with the Two Superpowers!” and “Welcome the Founding Congress of the New Communist Party!” were enthusiastically greeted and supported.
In Detroit, about 200 people filled a hall in the Latino community to hear Odis Hyde, veteran Afro-American communist, speak about the tasks of the workers’ movement today. Among those in the crowd were auto workers, who are readying to demonstrate at the UAW convention in Los Angeles next week.
Speaking of the UAW, Hyde pointed out that the union was built by rank and file workers themselves under the leadership of communists and radicals. But today it has been betrayed. He called for a new storm of struggle against the whole capitalist system, as well as its agents within the workers movement.
Hyde also dwelt on the traitors to the Black liberation struggle, citing the cases of liberal Black politicians like Maynard Jackson in Atlanta and Coleman Young in Detroit. He emphasized the necessity of the proletariat having its own Marxist-Leninist party in order to break the influence of these liberals and reformists, as well as the revisionist Communist Party.
After speaking about his own experiences in the CP during its revolutionary period, Hyde said, “I didn’t leave the Party, the Party left me, and all other people, Black people, and poor people.” He pointed out that the revisionist party had gone over to the enemy’s camp, so that a new party had to be built.
Also at the Detroit rally, a solidarity speech was given by a representative of the Canadian Communist League (M-L). He underscored the fact that Canadian auto workers and those in other industries are up against the same corporations and the same sellout leadership of the big unions. In concluding, he saluted the present efforts to build a U.S. Marxist-Leninist party.
In Los Angeles, a crowd of about 200 people attended a dinner celebration. October League Chairman Michael Klonsky addressed the crowd, along with representatives of the Ethiopian Students Union of North America and workers from local strikes.
Commenting on this years’ May Day around the world, Klonsky said, “In Spain, Turkey, El Salvador, Italy and elsewhere today, the workers’ blood has been spilled in the streets, and new martyrs in the cause of liberation have fallen.
“In some of these countries, it was the revisionists who were used by the police to lead the attacks on workers, students and Marxist-Leninists. This is a bitter example of why our struggle must take aim at social-imperialism and revisionism as well as imperialism. But these events today show clearly that the revolutionary struggle of our class is on the rise all over the world!”
In Boston, about 300 people attended the May Day celebration, hearing speeches by representatives of the OL, the Boston Unity Collective, the CYO, Boston Workers United to Fight Back, the Haitian May 18 Revolutionary Movement, the Dominican Linea Roja organization, and the Ethiopian Students Union in North America.
Highlighting this great day of internationalism, many immigrant workers also spoke, and the whole meeting was translated into four languages. Fundraising activities succeeded in raising $8,400 for the new Party.
Coming on the eve of founding the new Party, the May Day campaign was highly successful in building Marxist-Leninist unity and bringing forward the leadership of the working class in the revolutionary struggle. Next week’s Call will carry a more complete report of May Day events in the U.S. and around the world.