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IWW General Executive Board Resolution - May Day 2003

The First of May is a traditional time to celebrate the return of Spring to the northern hemisphere and the natural solidarity of workers around the world.

This year, however, the mood of workers is considerably subdued. As workers gather to celebrate the international worker's holiday, we look upon a world becoming more and more unstable. From the invasion of Iraq, to the economic crisis, to continuing attacks upon working class organizations and living conditions, everywhere there is war - against workers.

Understanding Our Strength

Before the invasion of Iraq began, several unions, most notably in Italy and the United Kingdom, made efforts to use their power as workers to stop the transport of war materials. As an IWW poet said years ago, "Without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn". The ruling class - international capitalism, needs us to do its bidding. When we organize and refuse its orders, we can start to define an alternative to the "New World Order".

Organization Needed

The scattered demonstrations and isolated local acts of rebellion will not be enough to defeat our well-organized opponents. The expression of moral or political outrage may have passing influence, but in the long term has little effect. In fact, the ruling class needs riots and violent demonstrations, using them as an excuse for funding repressive police forces and further restricting our rights.

In order to fight a well-organized, highly centralized enemy, we need to transform spontaneous mass protests into reliable, democratic organizations of mutual aid and support. These structures need to emphasize the working class strengths - solidarity, economic power, and internationalism.