Boston May Day: ‘They say cut back, we say fight back!’
The following talk was presented by Workers World Party representatives Mairead Skehan Gillis and Will Hodgkinson on May 1, 2023, in Boston.
Mairead Skehan Gillis:
Good evening and happy International Workers Day/Month to all of the workers across the world! We are so glad to be united with you all this May Day, standing up against the ruling class and their attack on workers.
This month Biden will be ending the COVID-19 emergency for the pandemic, which is still ongoing, infecting and killing thousands of people every week. Vaccines, testing and antiviral medicines will become expensive and more difficult to access, and many people will no longer feel protected in health care settings, especially our loved ones from the disabled community. (The crowd booed.)
The feds are already starting to cut Medicaid and food stamps, criminalizing reproductive and gender-affirming health care and ending housing assistance and the eviction moratorium, while the cost of living in all major cities is higher than ever, and the minimum wage doesn’t even come close to covering all the bills that workers are slammed with.
These are cuts hitting people who need vital benefits the most.
And why is all of this happening? The ruling class is making desperate attempts to salvage this dying system, as pandemic resources become something they can profit off of, banks collapse one by one and massive corporations like Microsoft, Facebook, Disney and Amazon lay off thousands of employees struggling to survive.
The people who suffer from this aftermath are us, the working class! Millions of people, including a huge delegation from the U.S., are marching in Cuba today to defend and uplift the socialist revolution there. We want what Cuba has, and we want it now.
- Where people always come before profits;
- Direct response to the pandemic;
- Social services and protections for all workers;
- Access to free health care and education;
- Fresh healthy affordable food;
- Actual affordable housing for all (because we know “affordable” housing in the U.S. is nothing close to affordable for the majority of working people); and
- Workers have a say in what happens in their communities.
Dignity should be a right for all workers, not just the ruling class.
Skehan Gillis led the chant: “They say cut back, we say fight back!”
And where is that money going instead? The U.S. is sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to keep its rotting empire together.
The Pentagon budget is at a record high, almost $900 billion this year, and it’s only growing. Hundreds of billions are going to weapons contractors, for new deals with Raytheon and Lockheed.
Hundreds of billions more going to prop up the Zionist state of Israel and its occupation of Palestine. Hundreds of billions are going to the imperialist proxy war in Ukraine, to build new military bases in the Pacific, to push war against China and to intervene in Sudan and Somalia.
Austerity at home, endless war abroad: That’s what the ruling class wants.
Hodgkinson led a chant: “Endless money for war, but not to feed the poor!”
And that’s why we need to stand up and demand: “Money for health care, not for war! Money for jobs, not for war! Money for housing not for war!”
That’s what we in Workers World Party are organizing and fighting against, and we’d love for you to join us.
I’m so glad to be with you all today on May Day to fight back and say: No to War! Down with imperialism! Solidarity with workers here and around the world! Solidarity forever! Thank you.