Following the #UnitedAgainstTheDragon movement the syndicates Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg and Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hamburg as well as the activist group in/progress Braunschweig initiated the Global Garment Workers’ Solidarity Network (GGW SoliNet). It sees itself as part of the Global May Day network.
We, the working group Global Garment Workers’ Solidarity Network (GGW SoliNet), are an alliance of (grassroot) labor unions, initiatives and politically interested individuals, wanting to support labor struggles in the textile industry. […] The excessive consumption of clothing can only take place to this extend because workers in the textile industry are exploited. Wage gaps and precarious working conditions only too clearly show the system of class society beyond national borders. Our goal must therefore be to critically question the modes of production with a global and anti-capitalist orientation and, in turn, to actively fight them on the ground together.
We, as initiators of the GGW SoliNet, invite to a first online meeting to introduce this newly formed network and kick-off the networking process creating a broader basis for the GGW SoliNet. For this meeting an online video conferencing tool will be used. Details below.
Self-organized. Anti-capitalist. In solidarity with struggling textile workers worldwide. GGW SoliNet!
Please enter your name (preferably incl. your location) when entering the room. You can access the room on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You should accept access to your microphone. Activating your webcam is optional.
Cultural activists as well as students organized with the Bangladesh Student Union (BSU) rallied today in Shahbag, a district of Dhaka. The protest was held against the military junta and its attacks on the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM). A particular focus was on the recent killing of poet Khet Thi. The action also took place in the context of Call for International CDM Solidarity.
Myanmar poet Khet Thi, whose works declare resistance to the ruling junta, has died in detention and his body was returned with the organs removed, his family said.
A spokesperson for the junta did not answer calls to request comment on the death of Khet Thi, who had penned the line “They shoot in the head, but they don’t know the revolution is in the heart.” His Facebook page said he was 45.
Among others the following speech was held in Bangla:
The people of Myanmar continue to fight for democracy in the face of intense repression. Those fighting against the dictatorship are killed in the streets every day. At least 750 people have been killed so far in the protests. But still the movement continues. They died for democracy. The military junta is not stopping and keeps using lethal violence in the streets. Every day organizers and activists of the movement disappear, including journalists, intellectuals, poets and writers who inspire the struggle for freedom. One of the latest victims is Khet Thi, a poet dedicated to the democratic movement in Myanmar. The barbaric acts of the military junta is captured in the media emerging from various sources, both reliable and unofficial, in the midst of extreme repression. Nowhere in the recent past has there been so much loss of life for democracy in the world – as right now in Myanmar. However, the movement against the barbaric position of Myanmar’s military junta and the killing of people is far from over. Regional politics, regional interests, diplomacy is actually for whom? For the people or for the oppressive regime? If the rulers have the last word; if the issue of man and his freedom becomes secondary, then what are the United Nations good for? The Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar is also a motivating force against fascism and dictatorship in Bangladesh. The martyred poet Khet Thi of this movement is our nephew. Let us make clear our position against the brutal repression in Myanmar by demanding justice for Khet Thi’s murder. We sympathize with the struggle of the pro-democracy movement in Myanmar. At the same time, we unite our forces against all kinds of undemocratic, fascist forces at home and abroad.
The following report was shared with the Global May Day list:
On this year’s Workers’ Struggle Day, the FAU Stuttgart participated in the rally “#Solidarity – for a solidary togetherness” in Stuttgart East and contributed an online lecture to the May Day festival of the Gasparitsch neighborhood center.
More than 100 people came to the rally at Lukasplatz. Several speeches alternated with the atmospheric musical program of the saxophonist Moni Ramoni and provided for a varied atmosphere.
The speech of the FAU Stuttgart made the connection from the historical origin of May Day as a day of struggle of the workers’ movement for the 8-hour day to the present under the motto “30-hour week for all!”, which means working less but earning the same amount to limit our exploitation by the capitalist class. In times of the Corona pandemic, our working time conditions tightened, according to the speaker of the FAU Stuttgart: “Almost en masse, the bosses jumped at the opportunity to send workers home temporarily. For this, there was money from the employment agency, i.e. from the state. Those of us who were at work during this time often had to work double time. This is class struggle, but this is the class struggle from above, this is the class struggle against us: the bosses make us work harder in less time and get our money stuffed in their mouths through the state. What comes out of it? Correct! Fat profits at the turn of the year – like at Daimler here in Stuttgart, for example. That’s not what we want!”
But he also made it clear that we don’t have to just accept this and that there are alternatives to these methods of the bosses:
“What we have to do together at work is stick together. What we have to do together is to resist the class struggle of the bosses! What we want to achieve is that all of us together, you, me, us here and everyone else from our class finally turn the tables. Let’s attack! We want less work pressure! We want the rich to pay for the crisis! We want to work less! We want full wage compensation! We want full staff compensation! We want more free time and all that for everyone! We workers need militant unions! Organize with us in the FAU, let’s fight side by side, shoulder to shoulder!”
At the information table of the FAU, the numerous interested people could take, among other things, the current May Day newspaper of Direkte Aktion. We had many conversations that day about current labor conflicts of the FAU and how we are active locally as a union. Visitors to our information table took away about 100 protest postcards about the labor conflict at the Bookstore Walther König.
At the end of the rally, we sent solidarity greetings to all struggling workers worldwide under the motto #1world1struggle – global mayday – and thus also made the international reference of May Day clear.
The feminist Dabindu Collective supports and organizes garment workers across Sri Lanka. It announced to support the call for Global May Day 2021 and planned to rally with workers in Vavuniya, in the north of the country where many textile factories are located, to commemorate Labour Day this year. Unfortunately all May Day commemorations had to be cancelled due to the worsening pandemic situation.
Therefore Dabindu Collective decided to at least publish the following statement:
In Hamburg the local syndicates of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) as well as the anarchist Black-Red May Day alliance announced to put their May Day activities in the context of Global May Day 2021.
Initially all three planned to come together for an anarchist May Day demonstration. The call was ready and FAU and IWW prepared to mobilize for a syndicalist block. In the end the rally was called off because the permission was not given and police was massively present at the gathering points.
The Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Münster endorses the call for Global May Day 2021 and was involved in various rallies on and around May Day.
The FAU Münster celebrated the day of struggle of the working class extensively. It started the evening before with the rally “Bewitching patriarchy and capitalism”. Speeches dealt not only with current impositions, but also with historical mechanisms of oppression such as the “witch burnings” and their continuity. Several hundred participants came. Thanks to the women’s strike alliance, which is not only active and militant on March 8th.
Activities continued with the anti-capitalist block at the traditional May Day demonstration, which the DGB (German Trade Union Confederation) kept particularly short this time. Longer than usual, however, was the demo section that gathered behind the DGB unions. ‘Die Rote Kapelle’ (The Red Chapel) provided an ‘alternative’ musical framework, but could also call itself the ‘Schwarz-rote Kapelle’ (The Black-Red Chapel).
In the afternoon we met comrades from nearby cities, like Siegen, Krefeld, Koblenz and Bielefeld in Dortmund. With about 700 participants, it was a powerful demonstration, even if the police were in a much more irritable mood than in Münster. We hope that the efforts of the comrades from Dortmund and Bochum to build up an independent FAU syndicate were boosted by the conspicuous presence, and we are glad to have seen many of you offline again!