May Day message from the Socialist Alliance
As workers around the world take to the streets to celebrate May Day, we are sharply aware that the capitalist system has reached a point of development where it threatens the habitability of the planet on which we all live.
Last month, for the first time in three million years, the carbon concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere reached 399.7 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. In several other parts of the world that day, the reading exceeded 400 ppm.
When CO2 concentrations were last above 400 ppm it was the Pliocene era, when temperatures were 3-4 degrees and sea levels were 5-40 metres higher than they are today. Capitalism is throwing our planet into dangerous climate change.
Sadly this is no surprise. Capitalism has already devastated the lives of billions of people through exploitation, war and poverty.
All for what? So that 1,426 billionaires in the world can amass a combined fortune of US$5.4 trillion, and use this to enslave the majority of the world's people.
But by so enslaving that majority, the super-rich elite have created a majority class that has a deepening interest in ending that very system of enslavement, capitalism, and building a new system based on shared wealth, cooperation, justice and ecological sustainability. These billions who now have nothing but their labour to sell under capitalism will be the fighters, builders and architects of socialism in the 21st century.
On this May Day, we in the Socialist Alliance declare our full solidarity with the oppressed and exploited all around the world. We reject the stepped up attempts of our local ruling class (and all other imperialist elites) to use divide and rule through racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and religious sectarianism.
Australia will be going to a federal election later this year and the Socialist Alliance is taking this message to the Australian working class and all other oppressed people: In the name of justice, and for our common future, we need to take the resources and wealth out of the hands of the billionaires, beginning with the nationalisation of the mining, banking and energy sector.
We know that many Australian workers have yet to reject a future held hostage to the corporate rich. Conservative Labor and Liberal governments alike have sought to persuade them that there is no alternative to letting the capitalists run society. But we are finding that our bold call for the nationalisation of the mining, banking and energy sectors and placing these sectors into the ownership and control of the people, is striking a powerful chord.
Here in Australia, the left is emboldened by a new hope for the greater unity of the socialist organisations, in particular between the two largest left groups: the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative. We urge other groups to join in the new unity process that has begun.
In the spirit of unity, the Socialist Alliance initiated united Fightback Contingents in the May Day marches in several cities around Australia this year. We express our deepest appreciation to all the groups that have joined these contingents.
Finally, we want to send our heartfelt message of solidarity and sympathy to the families and communities of the hundreds of garment workers in Bangladesh who were recently killed in the collapse of their factory. We hold the big branded capitalists who benefited from the blood, sweat and tears of workers like these in the poorest countries responsible for their deaths.
Long live May Day! Workers of the world unite!
Susan Price & Peter Boyle