Message of Solidarity to the People at the demonstration on May 1st in Oakland
We salute you on this year’s Labor Day at the demonstration in Oakland. In the USA the tradition of celebrating the 1st. of May as the people’s day of labor may not have called many people to the streets during the last decades. Still people did gather again and again on this day to fight for the rights of the working class. Especially on May 1st. 2006 migrant workers took to the streets and spoke out strongly to oppose migration laws. Today again you are out in the streets of Oakland, as well as people in cities all over the world are, to stand up for another, better society. In the wake of the crisis working and living conditions have deteriorated for people working in the fast food industry, in care- and cleaning jobs as well as for longshore men at the Port of Oakland and elsewhere. Unemployment or precarious working conditions have become a fact of everyday life. These conditions concern all working people. We support your efforts to join with unions in fighting for better living conditions. In this struggle Occupy Oakland together with the working people have brought about a unity that creates hope. A new hope that things may grow and develop that have not existed for a long time. A movement that is based on solidarity and mutual respect. A movement that aims at not only improving living conditions for all parts of society, but also to create an egalitarian society, without exploitation, without discrimination and without oppression. A classless society.
Labor day on May 1st is based on a long tradition of international solidarity. Like you we too are out in the streets today, fighting for the same goals. Celebrating the 1st of May is a tradition in Switzerland as well. And in Switzerland as well May 1st was not always known as a day of struggle for the rights of workers. For many years a so called ‘peace at work’ was suffocating any attempt to strike. ‘Peace at work’ actually meant, that the union leaders sold the right of the workers to strike to get the bosses to give some crumbs of their profit towards better wages. This may sound good to some, but as a result the unions became lazy and the tradition and know-how to fight for better working-conditions was lost. When the times of ample jobs were over, the working class stood disarmed while the bosses started attacking the social benefits that the workers had gained with their struggles in the past. Collaboration of unions with the powerful in the industry and business world was part of the system in the USA as well. Those high times of prosperity in the economy are past. It has become vital to again start learning how to fight. This is so for us, it is so for you and also for workers worldwide. You have shown that standing up and fighting can lead to something and that battles can be won. We are with you in solidarity in your battles we are glad with you in the battles you win and we wish you many more battles to be won in the future. It is not only that the ones who have all the power have to be deprived of it, it is not only that speculation with our living spaces and our jobs has to be ended. It is about the whole, because capitalism has no mistakes it is the mistake.