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May Day greetings from the DSP

April 13 rally in solidarity with Venezuelan revolution, Sydney 2008.May Day greetings from the Democratic Socialist Perspective, a Marxist tendency in the Socialist Alliance in Australia. You have our revolutionary solidarity in all your struggles today and ahead of you.

May Day in Australia this year will take place in the wake of the November 2007 election of a new Labor Party federal government. The Australian Labor Party was elected with a large majority mainly on the back of a mass campaign against the anti-worker, anti-union laws introduced by the previous Liberal-National coalition government. These hated “Work Choices” laws removed long-held working conditions (such as the 38-hour work week, annual leave, sick leave and penalty rates), forced more and more workers onto individual contracts, and severely restricted workers’ right to organise and take strike action.

Despite the Labor Party’s promise before the election – under the pressure of the campaign - to “rip up” the anti-worker laws, they are mostly still on the books five months after the election. The Labor government is planning to keep many of these anti-worker laws. The challenge now for the Socialist Alliance and other activists in the militant minority in the union movement is to lead a new battle to ensure that the gains of the campaign against the previous government are not squandered.

The ALP is enjoying the inevitable political “honeymoon” of a new government, but we are confident it will not last very long. Like all capitalist governments, the ALP is pushing ahead on hugely unpopular neo-liberal policies (on May 3 there will be a mass rally outside the New South Wales Labor Party’s annual state conference to oppose Labor’s plan to sell off the state’s electricity) and trying to make working people pay for the looming economic crisis in the imperialist countries.

At the same time, PM Kevin Rudd moved quickly after being elected to ensure Australia’s close partnership with US imperialism continues. Rudd recently returned from a “friendship” visit with warmonger George Bush and has committed to maintaining Australian troops in Afghanistan and much of its military presence in Iraq. Imperialism’s never-ending war on the Third World is compounding the massive toll from the ever-widening economic war on the world's majority, and our comrades leading the anti-war campaign in Australia will be working hard to build a movement that can force the immediate withdrawal of all Australian troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

At home, Labor is continuing the war on Australia’s Indigenous people, supporting an invasion of Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory that was begun by the previous government. The sending of police and troops into these remote communities, the forced quarantining of their welfare payments and the suspension of the Territory’s land rights laws to allow the big mining companies’ unfettered access to Aboriginal land has once again exposed the brutal racism that underlies Australian capitalism.

Amidst such continuing attacks, our comrades are inspired to maintain their struggle by the advances in the revolutionary struggle in Latin America and in Venezuela, in particular. The first socialist revolution of the 21st century is bound to lift and inspire anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist struggle all around the world and a few of our comrades are right now proudly leading the third “May Day solidarity brigade” of Australian workers and union activists visiting revolutionary Venezuela.

We are at a moment in history where the need to move society beyond the capitalist system has never been so urgent. The very survival of humanity is threatened by a global warming crisis that cannot be solved within capitalism. This was the clear conclusion of the discussions at Green Left Weekly’s April 11-13 Climate Change/Social Change conference in Sydney, which brought together more than 300 ecological activists, trade unionists, scientists, students and left activists to strengthen the anti-capitalist wing of the growing environmental movement in Australia.

In the people’s struggle to save the planet, and humanity, from destruction by capitalism, international solidarity will be essential and we look forward to closer links and great collaboration between our organisations and peoples in the years ahead.

Workers of the world unite!

Long live May Day!

Long live socialist revolution!

Peter Boyle
DSP National Secretary

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