First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 19, May 16, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the last week, The Call has received reports from many cities where working people celebrated May Day, the international working-class holiday. Across the country, over 2,000 people attended militant rallies under the slogans “Jobs or Income Now!” “Down With the Two Superpowers!” and “Welcome the Founding Congress of the New Communist Party!”
Speakers from the organizations sponsoring the rallies–the October League, the Organizing Committee for a Marxist-Leninist Party and the Communist Youth Organization – were joined by representatives from many other worker, student and international groups.
Among the largest celebrations were those in Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit, which were detailed in last week’s Call.
In Detroit, 200 people heard speeches from Odis Hyde, veteran Black communist, as well as the Communist Propaganda League and the CYO. Solidarity messages were given by the Iranian Students Association, the Canadian Communist League (M-L) and others.
In Los Angeles, Michael Klonsky, OL chairman, addressed a large, multi-national crowd, speaking about the tasks ahead in building the Party. Jehu Eaves spoke for the OL in Boston at a rally of close to 400 people from the Northeast region. The Boston event was translated into French, Portuguese and Spanish.
In Atlanta, workers from Mead Packaging Co., activists from the recent city workers’ struggle and other fighters from the factories and communities heard a speech by Sherman Miller of the October League. Miller summed up the advances that Marxist-Leninists have made since the days when the OL was founded in Atlanta and Los Angeles. He called on everyone to study the recently published Draft Program of the new Communist Party and to join in the historic final steps leading up to the founding of the new Party.
Expressing the international character of the fight against imperialism, a member of the Ethiopian Students Union of North America (ESUNA) told the Atlanta audience: “We are in one and the same struggle, faced with imperialism and social-imperialism.” He particularly stressed the need to see through the Soviet Union’s socialist disguise.
In San Francisco, Denver, Houston and other cities, special work was done in the Chicano communities to build for the May Day events. Several speakers saluted the upcoming anti-imperialist holiday of the Mexican people, Cinco de Mayo, as an example of the common struggle of workers and oppressed peoples.
The Denver rally heard a speaker from Gerry’s, a garment sweatshop where the workers recently won a victory against a fascist deportation raid. The meeting demanded an end to deportations and other ruling class weapons that aim to break the workers’ unity.
In Baltimore, a spirited crowd of 150 heard speeches from Larry Miller of the OL as well as from the Philadelphia Party Building Collective, ESUNA and others. The meeting raised almost $7,000 in cash and pledges for the new Party. The crowd cheered the fighting spirit of Robert Cunningham, a young Afro-American worker attending the celebration, who had recently been shot by police in a typical instance of police harassment in his community.
Rallies were also held in Tampa, Cincinnati and Seattle. All in all, this year’s May Day celebrations showed a high level of Marxist-Leninist unity. This unity was based on a sound political line and good ties between the communists and the masses of workers and minorities. The rallies showed that conditions are excellent for the founding of the new Party in the near future.