“With the Tories refusing to tax the rich to pay for decent pay rises, strikes are continuing across much of the public sector and beyond.”Richard Burgon MP
By Logan Williams, Arise Festival
On the first of May, workers across the globe will join together in celebration of the massive victories won by the working class historically and our current battles against reactionary policies forged by both governments and employers as part of International Workers Day or May Day. These celebrations globally will seek to highlight the progressive alternative being forged by the global labour and progressive movements.
Arise Festival are hosting an event in the run-up to May Day alongside Tribune magazine which seeks to look at how we can fight back against the Tories’ reactionary agenda at home as well as abroad and win progressive change. This event will see leading figures from across the labour movement, socialist parliamentarians, international justice campaigners and socialist voices from across the globe come together to discuss how we as a movement should respond to the reactionary agenda and the socialist alternative we should seek to organise around.
The event will feature key figures of the Labour left, such as Richard Burgon MP who argues: “With the Tories refusing to tax the rich to pay for decent pay rises, strikes are continuing across much of the public sector and beyond.” Richard, the Secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group, says: “It’s clear that working people have had enough of the Tories and their rigged economic system.”
He explains that the Tories are responding to this mass wave of resistance by “clamping down on some of the basic freedoms that people have to oppose their government by restricting the right to vote, peacefully protest or take strike action.”
Burgon will be joined by Fran Heathcote, President of PCS Union, who highlights the urgent need for the labour and progressive movements to stand together in “the biggest possible coalition of the willing, in order to defeat the attacks being launched at the working class.” Fran says: “There is no room for division. We need as much unity and solidarity as possible.”
The event will also hear from Jess Barnard, Labour NEC Member, who says: “As resistance to the Tories grows – with massive industrial action ongoing in the NHS, from the PCS and in education – now is the time for us to come together and build a fighting left.” Jess also explains that is vital to for all of us in the labour and progressive movements “to resist the ruling class offensive, or everyone suffers – and that means the movement as a whole must be standing fully behind all those striking.”
Jess went on to argue that efforts to build a fighting left across Britain “also means we must keep fighting for Labour Party democracy and saying ‘let the members decide’, including when it comes to choosing Labour’s candidate in Islington North.”
We will also hear from Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, who has described the Conservative Government’s anti-strike laws as “a brazen attack on working people” and stated that “our movement has defied and defeated anti-union laws in the past- and it’s time to do it again.”
Arise and Tribune magazine’s eve of May Day Workers of the World Unite event promises to be a key step in forging an alternative political agenda to the stale neoliberal dogma currently offered globally. It is vital that we come together to offer those workers and movements undertaking action on the 30th April a popular, progressive and positive message of hope against the global reactionary agenda.
Join us on 30th April to discuss how the labour and progressive movements win and how we as a movement win socialist policies that put people before profit.
- The Workers of the World Unite – Arise & Tribune Magazine Eve of May Day Rally takes place online on Sunday 30th April at 2PM. Register and find out more.
- Logan Williams is an NEU activist and an organiser for Arise: A Festival of Left Ideas. You can follow Logan on twitter here; and Arise Festival on Facebook and Twitter – plus see what events they have coming up and listen to the Arise Festival podcast on Spotify.
- This article was originally published by Labour Hub on April 28th, 2023.