Exactly 130 years ago, the first May Day was celebrated with strikes, demonstrations, and meetings called by the Second International as the Labour Day, the day of the working classes. Ever since then it has become a day like no other for progressives and socialists. The day of struggle for the eight-hour day, for universal and equal voting rights, for women’s right to vote, against imperialist wars, against fascism, and for democracy and international solidarity!
Nevertheless, today’s First of May takes place under unprecedented circumstances. Almost all countries in the world are affected by a pandemic, the consequences of which particularly affect the most disadvantaged layers of society. The pandemic has again brought to the fore with unprecedented clarity the social inequality that exists between world regions, states, classes, and genders.
The Covid-19 crisis dramatically poses the question of how societies will emerge from it. Far-reaching changes must come onto the agenda. The ecological crisis, which was brought to the attention of the world public by the largest youth movement of the still young century, does not allow for ‘more of the same’ or a return to the past.
transform! europe, a pan-European network of intellectuals, activists, and research institutions who feel connected to the European left, wants to help the new to defeat the old.
If the world has changed fundamentally in the past 130 years so that very different forms of political action are required, the ideal of freeing people from patriarchal and capitalist exploitation remains as current as it always was.
On the First of May we celebrate our internationalism, the interconnectedness of all men and women, who cannot be divided by skin colour, nationality, or religious conviction, nor by prejudice and closed borders.
We dedicate this contribution to all of them.