May 1 is a revolutionary internationalist holiday. What does that mean?
First, what do we mean by revolution? A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution, explains it like this:
It is a hard but basic truth: For the masses of people, and ultimately for humanity as a whole, there is no future, or no future worth living, under this system.
But there is a way to a world and a future that is worth living, and is worth fighting for right now: revolution—a real revolution, not playing around with a few changes that leave this system in place and in power, while benefitting only a small number. A revolution means a force of millions, drawn from many different parts of society and organized for an all-out fight to overthrow this system and replace it with a radically different and much better economic and political system, a socialist system, based on meeting the needs of the people and carrying forward the fight for a communist world where there will finally be an end, everywhere, to the exploitation, oppression, and destruction of the environment that is built into this system of capitalism-imperialism. Anything less than this revolution will completely fail to deal with the root of all the problems or lead to the actual solution.
And this revolution is internationalist—that means that we are fighting together with people all over the world to wipe out exploitation and oppression all over the world. The mission of the movement here is not only to end exploitation and oppression here, but to be part of ending it all over the world—including the oppression and hell that this country brings down on the rest of the world.
May 1 is a day on which we reach thousands and thousands with the message that the world does NOT have to be this way; and that there is a force determined to change it the only way it can be changed: through revolution. May 1 is a day on which we reach people with the leadership we have for this revolution—Bob Avakian—and let them know about the revcoms, who are rooted in and acting on the New Communism he has brought forward and the revolutionary strategy he has developed. And through that, we aim to bring new people into the ranks of this movement for revolution from all different groups of people and on all different levels of understanding and activity—that is, to get organized.
What are the slogans for May 1 and why were these slogans chosen?
The first set of slogans puts forward a clear stand on the war in Ukraine. While the Russian war against Ukraine is itself imperialist and unjust, the United States is using this war to advance its own imperialist interests. Both sides want to gain more power and influence in Europe as part of their vicious competition to dominate the whole world. So America and its allies in NATO are arming Ukraine to the hilt, aiming to prolong the war and use the Ukrainian people to bleed its Russian rival. They are escalating the war in a way that 1) could easily end up drawing the U.S. directly into it, and 2) even involve nuclear weapons—weapons which could easily set off a dynamic that would end civilization as we know it.
As part of this, the powers that be are using the media to whip people up into a frenzy. The whole history of the U.S.—the millions that this country has killed just in the past 70 years—and the whole way that the U.S. has been provoking and messing with Russia in different ways is blotted out. Instead, people are being whipped up to support the U.S. imperialist moves in the region as if this is “fighting for freedom.”
The most important thing is that this war is the product of a system—the capitalist-imperialist system. Bob Avakian (BA) says that:
Imperialism means huge monopolies and financial institutions controlling the economies and the political systems—and the lives of people—not just in one country but all over the world. Imperialism means parasitic exploiters who oppress hundreds of millions of people and condemn them to untold misery; parasitic financiers who can cause millions to starve just by pressing a computer key and thereby shifting vast amounts of wealth from one place to another. Imperialism means war—war to put down the resistance and rebellion of the oppressed, and war between rival imperialist states—it means the leaders of these states can condemn humanity to unbelievable devastation, perhaps even total annihilation, with the push of a button.
Imperialism is capitalism at the stage where its basic contradictions have been raised to tremendously explosive levels. But imperialism also means that there will be revolution—the oppressed rising up to overthrow their exploiters and tormentors—and that this revolution will be a worldwide struggle to sweep away the global monster, imperialism. (BAsics, 1:6)
This system must be ended before it ends humanity—the only way it can be ended, through revolution here and around the world.
All this is why we are taking up the first slogan for May 1:
NO US/NATO WAR WITH RUSSIA! NO WORLD WAR 3!
IT’S THIS SYSTEM, NOT HUMANITY, THAT NEEDS TO BECOME EXTINCT!
We aim to go out with this slogan over the next two weeks and use it to struggle with how people are being manipulated to think about this war, and how they are getting played into acting against the fundamental interests of the people of the world and the majority of people here. And we aim to rally those we win over on May 1 itself to reach and influence many, many more through a powerful march.
But that is not all. May 1 has another slogan:
WE DON’T ACCEPT THEIR FUTURE
IT’S TIME TO GET ORGANIZED FOR A REAL REVOLUTION!
This means that we want to struggle hard with people about what kind of future we need and the revolution we need to get to that future. We want to organize as many people as we can to get into the process of learning about and being part of contributing to this revolution in all kinds of ways. As part of that—and going into May 1—we want to get people watching The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show as a good way to get started… and we want them to come to May 1 to represent for this, and to learn more about it as they do.
What does it mean to get organized?
Here’s how the Declaration and Call explains it:
We need to urgently change the situation where not nearly enough people know about this revolution and are with it. We need to get this revolution, and its leadership, known everywhere. We need to challenge and seriously struggle with people right around us, and all over the country, to do something that, yes, requires real heart and will make a positive difference for real—become part of this revolution, and follow this revolutionary leadership. We need to organize more and more people into the ranks of the revolution.
Organizing people into this revolution means reaching out to all sorts of people—not just where there are protests and rebellions against oppression and injustice, but everywhere throughout society—spreading the word about revolution and getting people together (in real life and online) to grapple with why an actual revolution is necessary, what such a revolution involves, and what kind of society this is aiming for. This will enable people who are new to the revolution to themselves become organizers for this revolution and to recruit more and more people to do the same. On this basis, and through the growing ranks of the revolution acting together as an increasingly powerful force, it will be possible to attract and organize the necessary numbers, and build up the necessary strength, to be in the position to do what needs to be done.
Will there be other struggles discussed and other groups there?
Yes. All these different struggles flow out of the same system: capitalism-imperialism. People should learn on May 1 about the struggle for abortion rights and against gender oppression more generally… the struggle against the police murder and repression of Black people and other people of color… the struggle against the demonization and repression of immigrants… and the struggle against the plunder and destruction of the environment. We will try to bring people to represent those struggles, and build unity.
Through all this, we will do three big things:
- We will challenge the thinking of everyone who comes into contact with everything we do to build this and with the march itself. We will win over some, interest others, and “circulate in the minds” of still others (planting seeds)…
- We will bring new people into learning about and supporting the revolution
- We will strengthen our understanding and organization
These in turn are part of something larger—impacting society and organizing forces for the revolution humanity needs—a revolution which could be made in the period ahead. Bob Avakian says:
Everything depends on bringing forward a revolutionary people, from among the most bitterly oppressed, and all parts of society, first in the thousands and then in the millions, as a powerful revolutionary force, organized from the start and consistently with a country-wide perspective, impacting all of society and changing the terms of how masses of people see things and how every institution has to respond. Everything must be focused now on actually bringing forward and organizing this revolutionary force.
What are ways to participate?
Everyone who agrees with these slogans can and should be:
* Spreading the word about Revolutionary May Day—getting posters up everywhere and organizing people to distribute leaflets and stickers where they live, work, or go to school.
* Raising funds for all the things that are going to be necessary to have the march and rally. Be part of pulling together all the international food fit for a celebration of May 1.
* Be part of going to schools and neighborhoods doing revolutionary agitation with the revcoms—going out to challenge the ways people are being played around Ukraine and getting the needed debate going. Be part of building mini actions that get May Day and the slogans for it known and into the news.
* Be part of a group viewings of The RNL Show—where you learn more about why we need a revolution, what it entails and what kind of future is possible.
* Learn to live by the Points of Attention for the Revolution (POAs)—breaking with the system’s ways and taking up a radically different and better culture, morality and ways of relating to each other. It’s not “everyone out for themselves and against everyone else” It’s all of us together who can’t stand to live like this and hunger for something much better, something truly emancipating.
* Be part of learning to march—representing the hope of humanity—as a bold, serious and disciplined force aiming for Revolution, Nothing Less so that we can bring into being a world fit for human beings.